Letters - March 20, 2018

Photo Neil Cross'Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson visiting BAE Systems Warton
Photo Neil Cross'Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson visiting BAE Systems Warton
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Tim Gavell’s special report in the Gazette (March 10) has Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson MP and Mark Menzies MP wandering the corridors of BAE Systems with the Defence Secretary telling of Britain’s high standards and ethics would be applied on any deal.

We have heard it all before. It’s a nasty joke. A lot of your current Government colleagues literally get pay cheques from the arms companies.

For years arms company employees have been working in the MOD and Department of International trade on secondment, while there they get paid from the arms companies - arms dealers working inside Government, literally. Also a government unit, with over 100 tax payer funded employees who promote sales abroad.

With the line between government and arms companies so consistently being blurred, ignored and distorted, there is considerable group pressure on individuals within government not to rock the boat by mentioning the death and destruction the arms trade cause.

It’s much easier to go with the flow, promote the arms trade and reap the rewards with a seat on an arms company board on retirement. The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security and damages economic development.Recent polls found just six per cent of Britons support arms sales to Saudi Arabia.Now is the time to let MPs know how we feel.

RoysTon Jones

Anchorsholme

TRIBUTE

We should build a statue to Ken Dodd

I don’t know if there is a Saint for Blackpool, but if there is not, then perhaps the late Sir Ken Dodd, should fit the bill.

He has been entertaining people in Blackpool both locals and visitors for more years than I care to remember.

He is responsible for many thousands of people coming to Blackpool, perhaps booking for the early show on the off chance that they would get away before midnight.

I remember stage managing for him when in the 1980’s,when he vowed to visit every amateur theatre in the UK. I have never met anyone who was so graceful, understanding, generous, caring and lovable. Not only was he so talented, so down to earth, friendly and genuine. He spent his life entertaining us, the public; and he did it with such precision, such committment, and with so much love for his fellow man.

I just hope that over the next few months, perhaps the management of The Grand Theatre would agree to house a statue of Sir Ken in the reception area of the theatre. A theatre whose boards he trod to give us so much pleasure and happiness during the decades. He may have angered many taxi drivers who were waiting to pick up patrons, but than pales into incognificance, when you compare the genuine love, sincerity and happiness that he gave us over the years. May he rest in the eternal peace of Christ.

Alan Ward

Blackpool

PENSIONS

Nail in coffin of UK as nation state

Designed to harmonise pensions and benefits across Europe and to create a ‘social Europe’, a recent EU Directive – ‘Solvency 11’ – affecting private sector companies offering Defined Benefit Schemes in Britain, is set to be written into national law by 13.1.19.

However, in 2012, PriceWaterhouseCoopers claimed this would cost businesses in this country billions of pounds to implement with additional costs being borne by individual savers by way of reduced pensions.

Universities (supported by many students) and Capita staff have already taken strike action against the threat of ‘massive cuts’ in retirement income. Nevertheless, despite condemnation from the CBI, TUC, National Association of Pension Funds and Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Commissioners pushed on with plans which, it was claimed, ‘would suck Britain in as well as Euro countries’.

The ‘This is Money’ website warns that the British pension system is under threat and that this ruling would cost British pensioners £400 billion. In addition, it claims that if the UK remains in the EU it could be responsible for pensions in other countries eg Greece, Italy, Spain, France where ‘economies are failing and unable to meet pension obligations’.

Equally concerning is the claim, by the former Chairman of London Pension Fund Authority, that the EU wants to ‘take control of the British tax system and impose a European tax code across 28 member states’.

Could this be the final nail in the coffin of the UK as an independent nation?

Optimists say we can change the EU from the inside but a spokesman for War on Want says they have been attempting to do just that for 20 years and that ‘it will never change for the better’ because it is ‘directed solely towards the interests of business and trans-nationals’.

Mary Steele

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