Letters: Benefits should only be temporary

Employers have to be encouraged to create more jobs, says Brian Mitchell
Employers have to be encouraged to create more jobs, says Brian Mitchell

It seems the big thing on television consists of programmes featuring benefit recipients, highlighting a lazy scrounging bunch with an unemployable attitude.

When I started work in the 1960s, people of all social standing were gainfully employed.

Some in management, some supervisory – most divided by skilled, semi-skilled, some in less demanding production or packing operations.

There were also administrative staff. If this wasn’t your bag, there was sales, service, distribution and care work.

Basically, everybody could get, and was expected, to be employed.

As the years rolled by, automation replaced workers, computers replaced adminstrative staff and a programme of de-skilled to lower paid unskilled, temporary personnel, causing redundancies, forcing workers to claim unemployment benefits.

Why replace a person with a machine, so taking away their ability to support themselves and family, creating a situation whereby social services are made responsible for them, therefore creating a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

As the TV shows highlight, they are unable or unwilling to get away from this benefit culture that has engulfed them and their offspring as well.

Immigration has not helped with its flexible and enthusiastic workforce, making jobs harder to find, but the biggest problem has been the quest for profit and the competition of global trade.

So, I’m afraid to say, it is the failure of governments past and present to address this problem and take action as soon as possible.

Employers have to be encouraged to create more jobs. Anyone unemployed should be under no illusion that benefits were only a temporary safety net.



If you’ve got something to say about this letter, or anything at all, why not email the editor?

Why we have duty to resolve conflict

Every night, we watch or listen to the ongoing obscene graphics to what is happening in the plight of the Palestinian people.

The brutality by the Zionist state of Israel should be reined in and Britain should take the lead for a crusade for justice, because they have a moral duty to do so.

Let me explain where I am coming from.

One of Britain’s acquisitions from the aftermath of the First World War was the Middle East.

They ruled by “Balfour’s” mandate. It was the Trojan horse, within which the Jewish state was to be secreted into Palestine.

Winston Churchill, no less, observed and said: “The cause of the unrest in Palestine and the only cause arises from the Zionist movement and our promises and pledges to it.”

As early as 1921 Dr Eder, the acting chairman of the Zionist Commission, stated before a British commission of enquiry, with arrogant candour: “There can only be one national home in Palestine, a Jewish one, and no equality in the partnership between Jews and Arabs, but a Jewish predominance, as soon as the numbers of that race are sufficiently increased.”

The blood-letting that followed was atavistic which proved that man becomes brutal when driven by fear.

Lord Curzon, who succeeded Lord Balfour as Foreign Minister, had asked rhetorically of the Palestinians: “What is to become of the people of this country?

“They and their forefathers have occupied the country for the best parts of 1,500 years.

“They own the soil and they will not be content either to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the latter.”

In 1935 it was noted and reported by senior British civil servants to inform the British High Commission for Palestine that the Arabs had been driven into a state verging on despair and the present unrest is no more than an expression of that despair.

It was evident by now that Lord Curzon’s question would now be answered with the gun.

The slaughter of the Palestinians begins.

On May 14, 1948, a few days after the British had scrambled out of Haifa, the voice of the Chief Secretary of the British administration raised itself above the chaos formally to announce that the mandate was at an end.

He was asked by a journalist: “And to whom do you intend to give the keys to your office?”

Hiding his shame behind a British stiff upper lip he replied: “I shall put them under the mat.”

There was, by now, no doubt as to who would pick them up.

On the same day, before an assembled crowd of 200 journalists, photographers and Zionist notables David Ben Gurion declared the establishment of the state of Israel.

A proclamation which was recognised within 60 minutes by the United States of America.

David Ben Gurion made equivocal public pronouncements that were belied by his deeds which made it plain he was in his national home, making no place for the Arabs as equal citizens enjoying equal rights with the Jews.

In short a Jewish state for the Jewish people.

This catastrophic situation is the unjust legacy the Palestinians have been left with.

Surely Britain, which was the progenitor of this Palestinian/Jewish conflict, must act by all means to hand.

If Britain still considers itself a world power it should form an alliance of adjuration through diplomacy and a steely resolve to achieve a peaceful settlement based on a two-state outcome for both nations.



If you’ve got something to say about this letter, or anything at all, why not email the editor?

Help track Bugler Henry Yates

I am doing some research into soldiers who served in the First World War and wondered whether anyone in the Northamptonshire area could possibly help me.

I would be most interested to hear from anyone connected to Henry Yates, who was born in 1893 and was a Bugler in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry.

His Service Number was 9919.

After the war Henry and his wife Maude settled in the Kettering area with their six children Henry, Phoebe, Katherine, Connie, Leslie and Neville.

Any help would be much appreciated. Please contact Margaret Sheridan at 3 Tanrallt Terrace, North Street, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, LL53 5EL, or email.


By email

BT finally facing competition

We read with interest your recent articles in the Northamptonshire Telegraph about broadband services.

The real story which you’ve not reported is that Northamptonshire County Council has opened up various areas of more rural Northants to commercial organisations, not BT, to deploy their fibre to the premises real superfast broadband services; those starting at 50Mbps down and upload speeds.

West Haddon, Guilsborough, Ravensthorpe and Coton will all be receiving a Gigaclear commercial offering – all areas where BT had declined to reach.

Your article highlights that further households will be reached at no additional cost; the cost is already more than £11m.

Perhaps this is a good example of BT finally needing to respond to a competitive threat.

Remember that the Gigaclear roll-out is at no cost to the county council and the tax payer.

For the record, the additional – and current – BT roll-out is a fibre to the cabinet service, and does not make fibre broadband available to 175,000 homes, as you suggest.

The final element, from the cabinet to the homes, remains as ancient copper wires.


By email

We must push for peace and justice

An open letter to Kettering MP Philip Hollobone.

In light of the ongoing military offensive of Israel against the beleaguered people of Gaza, the UK Government has a duty to use whatever influence it has to call for an immediate and effective ceasefire in Palestine and an end to all current hostilities.

For any ceasefire to work, this must include an immediate end to the blockade around Gaza that has rendered it an open prison with dehumanising restrictions on the movement of goods and people, the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and the release of the Palestinian prisoners initially released following the 2011 prisoner swap and subsequently re-arrested.

It must also be recognised that there can be no lasting peace in the region until Israel ceases its war of aggression against the Palestinian people, ends and rolls back its illegal settlements, dismantles the separation wall and allows the return of displaced Palestinians.

The UK Government should impose sanctions on Israel until it unequivocally conforms to international law regarding the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, illegal settlements in occupied territory, illegal demolition of Palestinian homes and the illegal detention of Palestinians without trial.

It should also recognise the right of occupied state Palestine, call for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for war crimes and support the creation of a territorially contiguous Palestinian state.

As the elected MP for Kettering, I trust you will do all you can to bring pressure to bear on the Government in the cause of international justice and peace.


By email

Speeding drivers problem tackled

There has been a problem for many years in the north of the county with foreign drivers breaking the speed limit.

The serious questions are whether they are insured and have they paid their road tax.

It is good news that this Government has decreed that this is a serious problem and the police should make it a high priority.



If you’ve got something to say about this letter, or anything at all, why not email the editor?