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Congratulations to House of Lords over hunting ban issue.

I would like to congratulate the House of Lords in sensibly bringing the banning of hunting into the forefront of the general election build-up, something which Tony Blair wriggled to avoid.

If hunting is an out of date anachronism, then it will die out and this distasteful waste of parliamentary time could have been avoided.

If it is an integral part of the countryside social support system, then at a time when the countryside is being decimated by EU and Government policies, it should be encouraged.

As Defra has the hunt as an important part of its Fallen Stock policy, perhaps farmers will now have to leave dead animals out to feed foxes.

The argument for animal welfare stands dead in the water, foxes will now be persecuted by all means possible, many more will die lingering, painful deaths from gas, snares and gunshot wounds.

Politicians may bleat about the "will of elected members prevailing", but most were elected for their views on the health service, transport and foreign policy, rather than their wish to exercise personal prejudice against something few of them understand.

If huntsmen and hunt followers were black or Muslim then they would not have dared offend them.

C JONES,

Wall, Hexham, Northumberland.

Get some of the anti-hunt MPs to shoot foxhounds

HERE'S an idea, get some of the anti-hunt MPs to shoot all the foxhounds and see how they like it.

JM METCALF,

Time Army was used to quell threat of civil disobedience

IT is about time the Army were pulled out of Iraq and used to quell the threat by some pro-hunting supporters of civil disobedience.

These people are now becoming a law unto themselves and should be dealt with accordingly.

I see in your report (November 20) that some farmers are threatening to stop the Ministry of Defence using their land. That is a form of treason in my view, especially in the present times.

Does anyone also notice the stony silence of the Conservative Party in all this.

If this were miners or any other working class elements using similar tactics, what would be Michael Howard's stance?

GARY WILLIAMS,

People feel anything to which they object should be banned

I GREW up in a world where not much was allowed. Almost anything on a Sunday was forbidden, my parents would not permit my brother and I to play chess on the Sabbath.

For years the people of this country battled to have such nonsenses reversed, we saw it as progress that people were left to make choices for themselves, to take responsibility for what they wanted to do and to see.

People now seem to feel that anything to which they object should be forbidden. I refer to foxhunting.

Are we now going back to the old days of control, outlawing anything which gives offence? Surely it is the essence of democracy to tolerate not merely those who share your views, but those whose activities you find distasteful.

VERONICA BLACKETT,

These people are like children who have games taken away

HUNTERS are talking about and still saying they are going to hunt even if a ban on hunting goes through.

Some say they would go to jail rather than stop.

I thought these people were grown up adults and not going on like kids with their games taken away from them. "If you don't give me my game back, I'm not going to play with you, I'll break the law."

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED.

A far greater freedom than that of chasing foxes

AS I see it, the recent threat made by some hunt supporters of civil disobedience can also be seen as the threat of self-destruction.

If the first threat ever becomes a reality then the other threat will also become a reality.

Once one starts to break the law of the land one becomes a criminal and one may even go to prison with the loss of more than the freedom to hunt a fox.

The freedom to enjoy daily family communications, activities and time with your loved ones is a far greater freedom to be treasured than that of hunting a fox, believe me.

ST SALEM,

North Tyneside.

Common sense on issue of both parents working

BACK in April, I wrote a letter critical of Huw Lewis's column, on the perceived benefits from membership of the EU, since I don't believe there are any.

In all fairness, I am writing to congratulate him on his excellent column on the subject of both parents working, which is plain, good common sense throughout.

The idea that taxpayers should assist parents to employ a nanny so that they can both go out to work is bizarre.

The very fact that what he said needed saying is an indication that common sense is not a very common commodity ( especially among politicians.

PHILIP WARREN,

Facts wrong over claim of anomaly in benefit payments

WITH reference to the letter claiming an anomaly in benefit payments, especially winter fuel payments, I think your correspondent has his facts very much wrong.

He asserts that there are only two methods of payment of pensions; the pension book system and a new pin number card system, which is wrong.

My pension, like millions of others, is paid directly into my bank account which is by far the more greatly used method than the alternatives.

And his contention that the authorities are deliberately withholding winter fuel payments until Christmas Eve is rubbish, and the contention that the Post Office workers are having to work extra hours on Christmas Eve to fulfil this is ludicrous.

Other mail besides this, (such as Christmas cards) will be delivered.

D MITCHELL,

Legal cap on interest rates effective way of aiding poor

THE missing element of the Queen's announcement of a Consumer Credit Bill is a legal cap on interest rates.

The sad reality of credit and debt in the UK is that it costs much more for people on a low income.

The proposed "unfair credit test" element of the Bill can never be as effective as a statutory control on interest rates.

Whilst most of Labour's friends in Europe, and the US for that matter, have a ceiling, this Government is failing in their election commitment to "tackle loan sharks".

If Labour is serious about tackling poverty, they need to meaningfully help the three million households who are visited every week by doorstep lenders.

ALAN THORNTON,

Church Action on Poverty, Newcastle.

Success of company was based on two elements

I HOPE you will allow me space to correct some of the mistaken impressions conveyed in the profile of Bonas Machine Company, carried in the November 5 issue of the paper, and comments attributed to me that I do not recognise.

The success of the company was based on two elements: its commitment to R&D, and the training and development of its people. Language ability was but one of the essential skills required to conduct a world-wide business.

We both hired and trained some very fine engineers, as well as people of other disciplines, many of them graduates of the region's universities.

Our only difficulty was at senior level, since it proved impossible to attract industry stars away from top engineering companies in Europe, where conditions were perceived to be more favourable.

Our electronic jacquards represented a tremendous breakthrough in technology, and a reversal of the long term decline of the British textile machinery industry.

They replaced punched card mechanisms as an adjunct to weaving machines produced in continental Europe, and Japan.

The next step, of integration within the weaving machine, required absorption by a weaving machine maker, of which there were none left in Britain.

People who were part of the success of Bonas continue to make a tremendous contribution to the region's economy.

IAN M HARRIS OBE,

County Durham.

Does prince simply assume he has ability to be an officer?

THE Army recruiting authorities spend thousands of pounds to attract young people into the armed forces. Prince William has declared he would sooner fight for his country than be King.

Considering the conflict in Iraq, isn't it amazing that the Army hasn't rushed to take up his offer?

The prince also said that he may join the Army and lead his men into battle.

Does he simply assume that he has the necessary ability, wisdom, and qualifications to be an officer?

That is the trouble with education today ( young people think they can be anything.

JAMES FITZPATRICK,

Low Teams,
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2004
Words:1417
Previous Article:Willy Poole column.
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