This week's letters

Friday 04 January 2013 Updated: 07/01 14:19

Allow PCC to do his job

I HAVE been following the story about the PCC and his deputy. While ideally the deputy post would be voted in too, I am surprised by the vitriol of the media and councillors. I would have preferred the Police Authority to have remained but for good or ill we now have a PCC and need to get on.

From what I’ve been reading most other commissioners have been appointing deputies in the same way, including Tory and Labour ones. Not ideal but there are other posts where you vote the main person in and then they appoint their staff (I believe Hilary Clinton and other US Secretaries of State are just appointed?) The elected person stands or falls by the results. Bill Longmore has the disadvantage of being an Independent, so there is no party machine to rally round. If this was one of the party men then you would still have the criticism but also support from their colleagues. Would the councillors who have been screaming ‘cronyism’ also be saying that about their party’s man (or woman) elsewhere? From the comments I wonder if they also scent blood and wonder if they force him out they have a chance of getting their person in. I thought I may have been too cynical about that but speaking to neighbours who are local party members the other night I’m starting to wonder if that is part of it.

It’s time to let him get on with the job and judge him by that.

Joe Penny

Ombersely Road, Worcester

Assertations can easily be refuted

IN THE context of a letter criticising the knowledge of Alan Amos, Joy Squires and Neil Laurenson (Letters, December 14), Mr Lankester seems keen to take irony to a new level.

He claims that it is de rigeur for ‘the Left’ to profess support for the Palestinian cause.

I am sure most people would agree that neither Nicholas Soames MP nor Baroness Morris of Bolton could be described as die-hard Trotskyists, but in the Palace of Westminster recently these leading Conservative Party politicians unequivocally condemned the UK’s failure to endorse Palestine’s bid for statehood at the UN.

But aside from his attempt to portray those seeking justice for Palestinians as ‘left-wing’, Mr Lankester makes other easily-refuted assertions.

He claims Palestinians are denied the opportunity to train as doctors of medicine. I suspect that two friends of mine, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish and Dr Mustafa Barghouti, would disagree.

It may be harder for Palestinians to get the pre-requisite training when living under occupation or as refugees, but it is the Israeli government that imposes these harsh conditions and it is disingenuous to seek to place the blame elsewhere.

One thing I would agree with though is Mr Lankester’s suggestion that everyone needs to become more educated about this issue before speaking or putting pen to paper. Indeed his letter serves to demonstrate this point well. To this end, perhaps he and other readers would be interested to know that there will be a public meeting on Thursday, January 24 at St George’s Catholic Church Parish Hall in Worcester.

Doors open at 7pm and an hour-long film will be shown at 7.30pm in which Dr Barghouti clearly explains in layman’s terms the complexities to which Mr Lankester refers.

Dr Barghouti is an independent politician and a vocal critic of the Palestinian politicians to whom Mr Lankester takes exception. I would encourage readers to attend the meeting. There is no admission charge and refreshments will be provided.

Carl Freeman,

Harley Goodacre

Worcester

Let’s close the gap gradually

SOME people say that you can be better off on benefits than actually getting a job.

There are millions of people working at or close to the minimum wage; for these people it must be frustrating to see some people on benefits with an apparent standard of living very similar to their own.

However, we are still a very rich nation ranked within the top ten in the world, although the nation’s wealth is highly concentrated with the fortunate few at the top of our society. State benefits are an essential safety net for the unemployed, the elderly, those with mental or physical disabilities, and we all pay into the system to ensure that there is a safety net in case we or our families are in need.

We should not cut or even freeze benefits to create a bigger difference between benefit levels and work, but instead introduce a living wage and gradually work towards a more equal society where pay at the top is no more than ten times the pay at the bottom.

Louis Stephen

Worcester Green Party

Pleased they could help

I AM delighted students from the University of Worcester supported the homeless at St Paul’s Hostel over Christmas (‘Helping the Homeless’, Standard Dec 28).

I roughed it in Powick Mental Hospital (1961 to 1980) but thank God I have never been hungry or homeless. Give generously folks.

George Cowley

Worcester

Clamp down on dodgers

I SEE the city council are owed £260,000 in unpaid parking fines for the last three years. (‘City owed 260k in unpaid fines’, Standard Dec 28).

Can I suggest clamps only to be released upon payment?

C D Lee

Cavendish Street

Worcester

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