Letters - September 13, 2017

Foodbanks in Harrogate and Ripon are urging residents to help and donate to emergency food supplies.
Foodbanks in Harrogate and Ripon are urging residents to help and donate to emergency food supplies.
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A sad reflection of 21st century Britain

The use of food banks is an issue that keeps coming up from time-to-time.

They have often been used as a stick to beat Conservatives with as a result of their policies, which have forced more people to become dependent on the use of food banks.

I am certainly no fan of the Conservatives.

However, it is worth mentioning that food banks first appeared in the UK in 2004.

They were set up under the auspices of the Trussell Trust and, if memory serves me correctly, happened while the UK had a Labour Government!

Although those associated with Labour at the time don’t like to be reminded of this and would prefer food banks to be a construct of the Conservatives and austerity.

It is not just the UK that has food banks.

Many other developed EU countries use them, such as France, Italy and Spain.

Even Germany has food banks and so does America and Canada!

Let no one suppose that, for one moment, had Labour under Jeremy Corbyn won the General Election this year, the existence of food banks would disappear with a Labour Government.

On the contrary, food banks are here to stay.

This is a sad reflection of 21st century Britain, that, with the wealth we have, food banks even exist in the first place.

Will Heyes

via email


Blair’s immigrant u-turn is pathetic

The righteous Tony Blair has repented.

Thanks to him the country was opened up to EU migrants from new members in 2004.

If this had not happened it is very doubtful if there would have been a referendum. It was the pressure on public services that provoked the referendum.

Blair’s conversion is far too late. His mea culpa is pure chutzpah. To excuse his u-turn by saying things have changed is pathetic.

It should be noted that new figures show again that migrants from outside the EU continue to exceed those from within the EU, and by 52,000 over the past year. There are no signs this will change.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys


A brief respite for disabled travellers

Good news to read that Blackpool Transport is to take over the Blackpool to Preston service during the forthcoming rail closure.

Modern travel at last for us disabled people, to replace the stone-age service provided by the local rail companies.

Well for a short time at least, then it will be back to the good old days (with electrification added).

I wonder when Northern Rail or Trans Pennine will re-introduce the steam train when they used to put wheelchair users in the brake van.

Brian Massey

Bispham Road


Understanding epilepsy better

I listened recently to a radio phone-in where a woman called to say that many years ago she was refused entrance to a grammar school because she was epileptic.

Under the Matrimony Act of 1937, a person could not marry if they suffered with epilepsy because they were not deemed to be of sound mind.

Both cases highlight the discrimination that existed against those with epilepsy.

Over 40 years ago, I worked with a woman who had epileptic fits and it was not a pretty sight to witness one. There is no cure and, in some cases, medication is not effective. In the UK, 1,000 people a year die from epilepsy-related causes. Many are young and in the prime of their lives.

To understand epilepsy, I would like to recommend to your readers a book I borrowed from my local library, A smell of burning. It is a memoir of epilepsy written by Colin Grant, whose teenage brother Christopher was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Many famous people were epileptic – Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Edward Lear, Van Gogh, Lenin, Neil Young and many more. Colin pays tribute to the pioneering doctors who helped give an understanding of how the brain works, and, through the tragic tale of his brother, he considers the effect of epilepsy on his own life.

John Appleyard

via email


Enough is enough, let her rest in peace

I was a big admirer of Princess Diana and join the millions of people in saying her death was a terrible loss, 
especially, as has been pointed out in the many tributes these last few weeks, to her two sons.

However, enough is enough.

Let her rest in peace. We can look forward to her third grandchild and, perhaps if this is a little girl, the name Diana may again be a popular choice in memory of a loved grandmother.

Edna Levi

Address supplied