Reader’s letters, January 10
Plea from would-be pensioner
(copy of letter to David Morris MP)
I believe that as you are my representative in parliament you really should do something to help the women like Christina Barrett and myself who through no fault of their own have been robbed of their pensions (re. Guardian, December 20 - Plight of 1950s women facing hardship over pension age rise).
Like Christina, I have worked full time since I was 16 years old paying my national insurance diligently in the knowledge that the governments over the years would invest my contributions wisely so that I could retire at 60.
So what I would like to know is what has happened to all that money, which is really ours.
Raising the retirement age to equal men isn’t the problem and none of these women disagree with this.
The real problem is that this government realised that over the years successive governments have dipped into the fund leaving shortfalls and to cover this they sped up the introduction of equalisation.
On a personal level I would have retired at 60 but had to carry on even after I fractured my spine in 2016.
As my MP I am asking that you take on board the real concerns these women have.
Cathy Jarman, email address supplied
Let’s take a bold step on Brexit
Just as well Mrs May wasn’t in charge when Captain James Cook went off exploring.
He sailed into unchartered waters without qualms as to what lay ahead, unlike our PM who is warning that a ‘no deal’ means a voyage into ‘uncharted territory’.
Going bravely into the unknown is what helped make Great Britain the world power it is and, while ‘no deal’ is not the ideal outcome, we need to be bold and hold our nerve in the face of EU intransigence.
Paul Nuttall, North West Independent MEP
Abusive and threatening parking notice
As a former resident of the local area, I have to say I was appalled at a notice on a property, on Marine road West in Morecambe, that I saw today Friday, December 28.
The notice was displayed, in a window of a property, close to the former Post Office in the West End.
Clearly the resident has had problems with parking , and the notice says “Private property, do not park here, or we will f*** with your car”. Now I am no prude, but this, to me is threatening and abusive, surely this type of notice cannot be tolerated.
I reported this to the town hall in Morecambe, their response, was it was probably a police matter, I reported it to Morecambe Police station, and they believe it is a council matter,
I suspect, quite rightly, the police are under staffed, and this is trivial.
I hope the people who have put this notice in the window, read this, and realise that some people are offended by the wording, or in this day and age, is that wishful thinking?
Mr A Pedder, address supplied
Bars selling us short
Although it may be considered old fashioned, many people still drink Vermouth with a mixer and this includes members of my family. Vermouth is a fortified wine as is sherry and port and a single measure of these drinks is 50ml.
However, numerous pubs in Lancaster serve 25ml as a single shot and class 50ml as a double. This is against the weights and measures legislation and they are breaking the law.
I’m pretty sure this is not deliberate, it’s due to poor staff training and general lack of knowledge. I have contacted several pubs about this and they have all apologised, yet in many the practice continues.
To put this into context, its the equivalent of ordering a pint of larger, being served half a pint in a pint glass and paying for a pint.
If you know anyone who drinks fortified wines let them know about this and tell them to keep an eye on the bar person when they are mixing the drink.
Name and address supplied
Can we trust politicians on boundaries?
Yes! we knew Bolton-by-Bowland was partly in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Lancashire before 1974 and did you know that Coniston, Hawkshead, Ulverston, most of Lake Windermere, Barrow, Manchester, Liverpool and many other great towns and villages were too?
A crafty thing was done at the time as we were told it was only administrative and they were still in their original counties so poor Westmorland disappeared for good as did Rutland and many other ancient counties!
Beatrix Potter lived in Lancashire (Hill Top) and Stan Laurel was born in Lancashire not Cumberland as keeps being bruited about.
Kendal is Westmoreland and Waddington is in Yorkshire not Lancashire, whilst Whitewell is a bit of both. Well they are if some nefarious goings on hadn’t gone on!
Does it remind you of anything? Like if we voted to join the EU 40 years ago it would be for trading only not to be marching towards a united land of Europe or if Brexit won the vote in the recent referendum, we would leave the EU or if remain won then we stayed in!
Is it any wonder people don’t believe a word from those who govern? Say one thing, do another and often quite the opposite of what they know full well is not what was promised!
Christine Cross, email address supplied
Why does no-one care?
Sadly, I think that unless people are themselves affected, the problem doesn’t concern them, as my husband and I have come to realise since he became a wheelchair user a few years ago.
We have had problems with hotels, such as ramps up to the front door and then steps, shower over a bath in an adapted room, and a lift too small for a wheelchair.
Try going through a manual door when no-one offers to help – or using toilet facilities with no raised seats.
We’ve also experienced, quite recently, verbal abuse on a return flight from Dusseldorf when we had to change seats.
Two middle-aged men verbally abused us for taking their seats.
Believe me, it was not our choice as we were separated from our family and our previous seats, near the exit doors, had more room, so the men actually ended up with better seats!
I feel that I need to do a ‘dummy run’ before we go anywhere and, as for shopping, my husband won’t venture out on to the high street anymore.
Unfortunately, I don’t think anything will change unless attitudes do and people have more compassion for others.
Mrs A, full name and address supplied
Halt climate change
It amazes me that Donald Trump is still in denial as regards global warming, even when America’s own scientists have proven that it is already here.
However, his attitude is nothing remarkable given that the rest of the world is in denial, too. The Brazilian rainforests are being devastated by illegal logging, yet nothing is done by their government.
Our seas are polluted by plastics and our countryside turned into barren wastelands without a hedge in sight, and yet we have people protesting that they do their bit by recycling and buying electric cars and do everything they can to preserve nature – yet a majority of those same people become hypocrites when it comes to everyday life and how it affects them personally.
Those that profess to be shocked at the amount of rubbish in our seas and our countryside, highlighted by Sir David Attenborough, nevertheless happily fly tip or drop plastic bottles or litter in our streets, and then we have those who insist that our precious oxygen-giving trees be felled or pollarded because autumn leaves are a tiresome inconvenience.
Then, of course, we have the trillions of tonnes of polluting fuel vapour tossed into the atmosphere by millions of aeroplanes flying over us each day, and yet Heathrow is expanding.
Yet does anyone really want to halt this madness? Of course not, because it is inconvenient.
Let’s face it – the world is in a mess, and I have no doubt that even when judgement day arrives, we will still have warring parties in the Middle East.
Karl Sheridan, address supplied
End the blue badge cheating
Given the report that, ‘62% of English local authorities did not pursue anyone for abusing the blue badge scheme in 2017/18’, (according to Press Association analysis of Department for Transport data) shouldn’t we be aiming to end such abuse?
Hasn’t everyone who has a genuine need of a Blue Badge, or indeed anyone that has been refused one, or must forfeit their driving licence for health reasons, e.g. injured war veterans, earned the right (time) for Blue Badge ‘abuse’ to warrant the same punishment as physical abuse? Jail that is.
In 1991, just moments after finishing a 50-mile cycle road-race, I was struck on the back of the head by a metal pole protruding from a passing wagon.
With brain injury, and doctors saying, “You’ll never work again, or ride your bike again,” I qualified for a Blue Badge.
Allan Ramsay, full address supplied