Letters - January 4, 2020
If you are driving don’t drink anything
Now in my 70s, I well remember the introduction of the drink-drive law.
Since then the levels of traffic have increased dramatically and the number of police available for checking has dropped equally dramatically.
Why do so many drivers knowingly flout the law?
The simple answer is surely that the effect of alcohol is to reduce inhibitions.
Why else do people drink alcohol?
“It relaxes me”, “I enjoy myself more” etc. It is so easy to convince yourself that just one more won’t be a problem - “it’s been an hour since that pint”, and many other such excuses.
How do you know when your blood alcohol level is getting to the limit, unless you take a test kit?
There is only one way to tackle the problem: change the law to zero alcohol.
This approach has been introduced in some countries - Hungary and the Czech Republic, for example - and to me it is the only workable solution. If you are driving, don’t drink.
Labour out of touch with working people
The anonymous writer of the letter of December 31 refutes my claim that the Labour Party is no longer the party of the manual working class. He clearly lives in a time warp.
The working class no longer comprises the same type of men and women who took part in the 1930s Jarrow March. It has been undergoing a sea change for many years. Corbyn has exacerbated the change by ignoring the industrial north and concentrating on the better educated class based in London and its environs. Diane Abbott admitted this, inadvertently, in a speech in October 2018.
Today many areas that were hollowed out by mass unemployment are no longer afflicted in this way. Unemployment figures prove that attempts by Labour to prove that the manual working classes have had a raw deal are fruitless and baseless.
Unemployment is at a low 3.8 per cent and average weekly wages are up at 3.2 per cent over 2019. Currently, there are some 800,000 vacancies across the economy. The result is that the working population is getting a vastly better deal than 40 years ago. Then we had 3 million unemployed.
The National Living Wage is being raised to over £10 an hour, and the personal tax allowance has almost doubled since 2009. In addition, the National Insurance threshold is to be raised again.
Hence, Labour’s talk of job insecurity is a proven lie. Regarding zero hours, Labour and the letter writer fail to reveal that less than three per cent of the population are employed on zero hours contracts. Some admit it suits them.
This and much more demonstrates that Labour no longer represents working people.
Of course, pockets of destitution still exist. These and the homeless deserve help. Low rates of affordable housing and the bungling of Universal Credit have added to the pressure. Yet there are only 1.2 million unemployed. The number of the destitute is tiny compared with that of working people. Many of the homeless and rough sleepers have mental health and drug addiction issues. The fault is not macroeconomics.
The General Election demonstrated that the Labour Party has little to offer working people. For Corbyn to say when in power he would hand over Chequers to the homeless shows a man and a party bereft of ideas and out of touch with reality.
He and his close colleagues have lived for far too long in London. During the election campaign a lady in Mansfield, a long time Labour supporter, said: ‘Labour no longer care. What does Corbyn know about our needs?’ The answer is nothing.
A close look at those wishing to replace him indicates the future is very dire for Labour.
Dr Barry Clayton
Save referendum for HS2 rail link
Classing myself as a floating voter, I voted for Boris Johnson. The best bet is to get out of the EU. Now the work has to begin.
All MPs who cannot support Brexit should resign or be deselected. We need everyone working together now.
Can I suggest a referendum on HS2? See if we can stop the waste of billions on this ‘white elephant’. The money saved would help tremendously towards new hospitals.