Defending free speech

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Susan Richardson, in responding to a recent letter of mine, claimed that, while she might not agree with someone’s opinions on a particular subject, she would defend to the death their right to express them.

How does she reconcile that with her suggestion, (Letters, February 7), that those who have criticised Donald Trump’s ban on people from certain countries entering the United States should be made to help the emergency services recover the bodies of the victims of terrorist attacks? Is that her idea of defending the right to free speech?

She goes on to claim that Gary Lineker and Lily Allen know “damn all about the complexities of issues (sic) that affect the security of the Western world” – while she does, of course. In that case why does she refer throughout her letter to “refugees”?

Trump’s ban affects everyone coming from one of the proscribed countries, most, if not all of whom will be perfectly innocent people who want to enter America for the usual reasons that people travel to other countries. Does she not see that, by imposing a ban on the free movement of peoples, he is giving in to the terrorists?

She goes on to refer to Trump attempting to prevent another 9/11. In that case, why does his ban not cover Saudi Arabia, where the 9/11 attackers and their financial backers came from?

Trump has not, as she claims, introduced “stringent security checks” that merely inconvenience and delay travellers.

Even his own Supreme Court thinks that his ban is unconstitutional. But that is not enough for Susan Richardson who attempts to defend the indefensible.

Paul Kenny

S3

Sheffield is no pleasure

I find it hard to understand why anyone would be surprised at the lack of high-end stores in Sheffield such as Harvey Nicholls and Selfridges considering that 95 per cent of the population of this city want bargains and cut-price offers.

The other 5 per cent are quite happy to travel to Leeds and Manchester and the quality shops there.

The high-end shops have done their homework and realise that Sheffielders are happy with TK Max, TJ Hughes, Matalan, Primark and the like. They know that the only money many Sheffielders want to spend is on eating, drinking and gambling.

Gone are the days when it was a pleasure to visit Sheffield and enjoy quality shopping especially on Ecclesall Road.

The designer shops there had to close owing to the fact the only sales they made were at sale time. God forbid anyone would be prepared to pay full price.

The shops in Meadowhall and the mighty John Lewis know they are “flogging a dead horse” trying to sell designer stuff in Sheffield so there’s little chance of any designer-led department stores coming here.

PS Lynne’s Pantry on Glossop Road closed months ago.

Ann Smith

Realistic of Sheffield

Let’s save job centre

The public meeting to oppose the proposed closure of Eastern Avenue job centre took place last Thursday, at Manor Estate Social Club.

There were approximately 70 people there. The meeting heard from the guest speakers – Tom Bishell (branch secretary PCS DWP Sheffield), Jenn Dunstan from Disabled People Against Cuts, Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley, Allister Tice from Unite Community South Yorkshire Branch and Clare Goonan PCS local rep at Eastern Avenue.

The meeting was then opened up to all attendees for comments, experiences and suggested ways forward.

The meeting agreed that there should be a campaign to save Eastern Avenue job centre.

The suggested ways forwards included – protests, motions to be heard at Sheffield City Council full public meeting and elsewhere, possible industrial action by affected staff, producing an online petition, setting up a campaign committee and organising responses to the consultation.

See link to petition – www.louisehaigh.org.uk/eastern_avenue_petition

See link to consultation document and how to respond – www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposal-for-the-future-of-sheffield-eastern-avenue-jobcentre

Tom Bishell

Branch Secretary PCS DWP Sheffield

Tolerant and united

The people of Sheffield Central voted by a majority to remain in the EU referendum. However, the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central, Mr Bloomfield has put the Labour leadership before the people he serves by voting in favour of triggering Article 50, which will lead to a hard Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats had tabled an amendment in Parliament to give the public the final say on the Government’s Brexit deal, with the option of accepting it or remaining in the EU.

However, this was defeated after MPs including Mr Bloomfield voted against it.

Mr Bloomfield also ignored warnings about the damage the exit from the Single Market will do to Britain’s economy.

This week figures by the respected Institute for Fiscal studies predicted the UK economy will be 3 per cent smaller by 2030, as a result of hard Brexit, with years’ more austerity and tax increases expected.

While both the Conservatives and Labour are now holding hands towards a hard Brexit, we will be the rallying point for all those in Yorkshire and The Humber who want to hold this government to account and keep Britain open, tolerant and united.

Kamran Hussain

Chair of Yorkshire and Humber Liberal Democrats policy & Brexit spokesperson

Top of the league

In reply to Pete Godfrey, February 13, 60 points? The Blades are already on 63 points and anther 45 points to play for. We’re top of league, with this season one of the best Sheffield United teams seen in many years.

The midfield three of Duffy, Coutts, and most notably Fleck are as good as any in the Championship, League One and Two, allied to a solid defence and excellent attack.

Expect you’re one of the “Massive”.

If you were that “massive” you’d be in the Premier League having beaten Hull last year, and be flying at the top of the Championship, already up with 15 or so games to go. You Owls have got a very inflated opinion of yourselves. Sheffield United are an excellent football team now, like it or not.

APB

S13

Put a levy on top too

At last, the NHS has come to its senses by making all non-British patients pay up front for treatment. There should also be a 20 per cent levy on top of their bills to cover the NHS being £60m in the red.

John Bull

S5

Uniteds statistics

In reply to Pete Godfrey of Stocksbridge, instead of commenting on Sheffield Uniteds statistics and what division we are in now or next season, why don’t you concentrate on your own team. Oh I forgot, all you Wednesday fans are obsessed with the Blades.

Shaun Bramley

by email