Oppose the bill

Have your say

IT was completely wrong for John Hayes of Sheffield Uncut to state in his Viewpoint piece on the Health Bill (Sep 1) that ‘MPs of all persuasions continue to be deluded and defend the Health Bill without properly reading it’.

This Bill represents a fundamental reorganisation of the NHS and Labour has opposed it from the outset. The Government failed to listen to widespread criticism and the Bill still contains essential elements of long-term Tory intentions to break up the NHS.

We will continue to do everything possible to amend elements of this legislation we believe to be regressive and unfair to ordinary working people, who need healthcare they can rely upon.

Our petition calls on David Cameron to keep his promises to protect frontline NHS services, stop precious NHS money being wasted on a top-down reorganisation, which puts the NHS at risk, and provide the real increase he promised in NHS funding. See it at www.NHSAlert.org.uk.

The changes the Government are pushing through will cost £2 billion, at a time when the NHS has to cope with an unprecedented financial squeeze over the next four years.

John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Shadow Health Secretary

Give us what you promised

I READ with interest the article about 50 affordable homes for older people on the Arbourthorne (Sept 20).

But how will these homes be allocated?

I live in a flat-roofed house which is part of the redevelopment and have been waiting seven years already.

We were recently told it would probably be another five years before we would be moving, if at all.

Having bought my property and being in the over-55s age bracket, does that mean I am eligible for one of these new homes? Or does affordable mean they are reserved for council tenants who get help with their rent?

We just want what the council promised us seven years ago: to buy our house from us at market value and allow us to move so that when we do join the ‘ageing population’ we will be comfortable, maybe in an affordable home!

Incidently since when were people of 55 elderly? My husband and I are 60 and 64 still working and enjoying an active life.

Julie Major, Arbourthorne

What am I to do?

I AM a 58-year-old lady but cannot get retirement pension or a bus pass till I’m 63. My benefit will also change, probably leaving me with reduced or even no benefit at all. How the Government expects me to get a job with various disabilities and my age I don’t know. So what am I supposed to do?


Consign the war to the history books?

The double page article in the Retro section of The Star on September 17, concerning the memories of ‘an Old Pal’ was quite moving.

It always amazes me how clear the recall of events can be, despite them happening so long ago.

They remind us all of the courage and bravery of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and as such they should always be remembered.

Strangely enough I was reminded of a visit I made to Austria some years ago. My wife and I were out walking and we came across a small cemetery.

An old lady was tending one of the graves, leaving fresh flowers and scrubbing the headstone. After she left, my morbid curiosity got the better of me and I went to look at the grave.

On the headstone was a picture of a young man in a German uniform, aged 19, with a date of 1943 underneath. He too had made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. It is a sad reality that the Second World War claimed so many lives on both sides.

For the record, almost 400,000 men and women from the UK were killed serving their country and almost 70,000 civilians died. German deaths totalled over five million military and more than one million civilians, many burned in the bombing firestorms created in the cities towards the end of the war.

This letter is not about denigrating memories or reasons why it happened. It is not about who was to blame. It’s not about the consequences of our actions or forgiveness for actions that have taken place and we must certainly never ever forget what happened. This is to ask: Is it time for the media to consign the Second World War to the history books?

C Levesley, address supplied