LET­TERS

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Gullible guar­an­tors

Given the level of com­plaints about pay­day loans, i’m sur­prised there hasn’t been more re­ac­tion to the ap­par­ently grow­ing trend to ad­ver­tise loans that re­quire a guar­an­tor.

in my time in a so­lic­i­tor’s of­fice, i lost count of how many peo­ple came in, as­ton­ished that they were be­ing asked to pay a loan for which they had agreed to be a guar­an­tor. They clearly had no idea what this en­tailed.

i won­der how many such loans are be­ing given out af­ter nan or Mum has been asked by a feck­less rel­a­tive to guar­an­tee them, leav­ing those in­no­cent par­ties ei­ther to take on the li­a­bil­ity or fall out with their rel­a­tive.

in this way, of course, the lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion gets its loan re­paid by a re­li­able per­son. it’s time this was re­viewed by the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties.

TOM JOHN­STONE, Bradford, Yorks.

Tax disc tip

My wife and i own two mod­ern run­abouts and a re­stored clas­sic car, and like most car own­ers we re­lied on wind­screen discs to re­mind us when tax had to be re­newed.

no doubt in­ten­tion­ally, the with­drawal of the tax disc has re­sulted in a DvLA frenzy of clamp­ing, tow­ing and ex­tor­tion­ate ve­hi­cle stor­age fees be­cause own­ers have no ready re­minder of when to re­new their tax.

There is a de­fence: all three of our ve­hi­cles have a tax disc show­ing the cor­rect ex­piry date. These are per­fectly pro­duced repli­cas, cheaply and eas­ily ob­tain­able on the in­ter­net.

when the dis­play of an of­fi­cial tax disc was a le­gal re­quire­ment, it was a crim­i­nal of­fence to fail to dis­play one or to dis­play a forged or al­tered one or a so-called ‘colourable imi­ta­tion’.

But you can’t be pros­e­cuted for dis­play­ing a replica of some­thing that no longer ex­ists.

NOEL A. SHAW, Bradford, Yorks.

Bomb folly

Can any MP who sup­ports the bomb­ing of Syria tell me how do­ing so will pro­tect this coun­try?

There is no bomb pre­cise enough to kill only com­bat­ants, and each civil­ian killed cre­ates new re­cruits for iSiS and more ha­tred of the west. i can’t see any cor­re­la­tion be­tween drop­ping bombs in Syria and pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ism in Bri­tain, de­spite what the ‘gung ho’ types claim.

Bomb­ing has been go­ing on for some time: did that pre­vent the act of ter­ror in france? i can see no ra­tio­nal rea­son to sup­port bomb­ing.

Mrs PA­TRI­CIA PARKIN, Sh­effield.

Pan­der­ing to Pales­tine

fAr from the Pales­tini­ans hav­ing ‘few cham­pi­ons’ (Let­ters), vir­tu­ally the whole world seems to sup­port their cause. Anti-Semitism is on the rise, the anti-is­rael BDS cam­paign is gath­er­ing mo­men­tum, and nei­ther europe nor the Un is very friendly to­wards is­rael.

is­rael has given up Jeri­cho, He­bron, Beth­le­hem and Gaza for the sake of peace, but peace hasn’t come — quite the op­po­site. The rea­son, of course, is that Jerusalem is the real prize.

for me, the big­gest ob­sta­cle to peace is that the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship still re­fuses to ac­knowl­edge is­rael’s right to ex­ist.

There were no such peo­ple as the Pales­tini­ans un­til the late Six­ties un­der yasser Arafat. Un­til then, the term ‘Pales­tine’ was used ex­clu­sively for Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The Pales­tinian lead­er­ship should shoul­der most of the blame for the fail­ure of peace talks be­cause they teach their chil­dren and young peo­ple to hate the Jewish peo­ple.

The many ben­e­fits is­raeli Arabs en­joy in is­rael could be shared by the Pales­tini­ans if only they changed their mantra: ‘you love life, we love death.’

Rev MERVYN TIL­LEY, Rom­ford, Es­sex.

Ban the bagel

PC SiLLi­neSS over yoga and som­breros (Mail) could also be ap­plied to the bagel, a quintessen­tially Jewish food with deep roots in Jewish cul­ture.

Dur­ing one episode in the 1,000-year his­tory of op­pres­sion and killing of Jews by euro­pean gen­tiles, Jews were for­bid­den to bake bread. As an al­ter­na­tive, they sim­ply boiled the dough — and that was the bagel.

So for gen­tiles to eat bagels is clearly ‘cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion’ and an­tiSemitic racism.

The same could be said of chicken. At the end of the 19th cen­tury and be­fore world war i, Jewish im­mi­gra­tion to Bri­tain was con­sid­ered a se­ri­ous prob­lem, and one of the many ob­jec­tions to Jews was that they ate chicken, which ap­par­ently most english­men did not.

The fact that many peo­ple found this of­fen­sive is in­cluded in the 1904 report of the royal Com­mis­sion on Aliens, which is what im­mi­grants were then called. So any­one who is PC should re­frain from eating chicken.

Dr L. B. SOKOLIC, Lon­don NW11.

Peace­ful Is­lam

Are mosques rad­i­cal­is­ing young peo­ple? Here in Bradford we have 10,000 chil­dren daily at­tend­ing sup­ple­men­tary schools in more than 100 is­lamic in­sti­tu­tions.

The com­mu­nity has been op­er­at­ing mosques and madaris in Bradford for more than 50 years with­out govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion. yes, it’s true we could be more in­clu­sive — but in this we’re no dif­fer­ent from Bri­tish so­ci­ety as a whole.

Over the years we have strug­gled with child abuse and gov­er­nance can also be an is­sue, but those are prob­lems we also share with other Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tions.

Do we have a rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion prob­lem? no more than in schools, univer­si­ties and places of work. Some peo­ple think we teach ha­tred and di­vi­sion within our in­sti­tu­tions — come and see for your­selves. Our places of wor­ship are open to ev­ery­one.

Mus­lims have a duty to this coun­try as Bri­tish cit­i­zens and must play their part to en­sure we re­main safe and don’t al­low what hap­pened in Paris to hap­pen on our shores.

is­lam teaches tol­er­ance and peace. The ex­trem­ist ide­ol­ogy that gave rise to the events in Paris is rooted in po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic sce­nar­ios which have no place in is­lam.

Bri­tish Mus­lims don’t as­so­ci­ate them­selves with the killing of peo­ple any­where and shouldn’t be pun­ished for the ac­tions of a few.

ZULFI KARIM, Coun­cil for Mosques, Bradford.

No time for Nim­bys

Here’S an idea: the Govern­ment should in­struct the gas distrib­u­tors to cut off sup­plies to the res­i­dents of roseacre and Lit­tle Plump­ton, and to Lan­cashire County Coun­cil, who have suc­ceeded in stopped frack­ing in their area.

i’m sick of all these vil­lage nim­bys and their ‘not near me’ whines over mo­tor­ways and rail­ways. you can bet your bot­tom dol­lar they use them next to some­one else’s home.

STEPHEN BIRDS, Bury, Lancs.

Malaria mys­tery

wHen i was study­ing for my phar­macy de­gree 37 years ago, our lec­turer told us the anti- malaria drug Lariam ( Mail) could have se­vere side- ef­fects in­clud­ing hal­lu­ci­na­tions, sleep dis­tur­bances, sui­ci­dal thoughts and psy­chosis.

we were told the long-term men­tal ef­fects were not yet known, so an al­ter­na­tive should be pre­scribed if pos­si­ble. if these side- ef­fects were known in 1978, why is it still be­ing given to our Armed forces?

JULIE WRIGHT, Dar­ling­ton.

Not so trai­tor­ous

The way in which Ger­man na­tion­als in Bri­tain in world war ii were taken pris­oner and in­terned cer­tainly con­trasts with to­day’s ‘en­emy within’.

My grand­fa­ther moved here from Ger­many at the start of the 20th cen­tury and worked in york­shire. He took his young fam­ily back to Ger­many dur­ing world war i but re­turned when it was over.

My grand­mother and fa­ther were Bri­tish cit­i­zens, but my grand­fa­ther never ap­plied for ci­ti­zen­ship and was ar­rested as world war ii got un­der way and taken to an in­tern­ment camp on the isle of Man, along with 734 ital­ians and 479 other Ger­mans.

in July 1940, all in­ternees were on the Aran­dora Star, be­ing sent to Canada, when it was tor­pe­doed by a Ger­man U-boat off Co Done­gal and sank. My grand­fa­ther was one of those who per­ished. My grand­mother re­ceived a let­ter say­ing he was ‘thought’ to have drowned. And that was that.

Those in­ternees were all in­no­cent,

run­ning busi­nesses and pay­ing taxes in this coun­try. My grand­fa­ther never broke the law. He worked as a butcher, with his own shop in Keigh­ley.

My fa­ther won a gram­mar school schol­ar­ship and could speak four lan­guages by the age of nine. In World War II he was drafted into the In­tel­li­gence Corps as an in­ter­preter but had his iden­tity card marked for fear he was a traitor and was watched care­fully. He, too, died in his early 50s.

When I think of him and of the grand­fa­ther I never knew, I’m amazed to read about the treach­ery of some other im­mi­grants to this coun­try, with no re­ac­tion by the au­thor­i­ties.

Mrs JEN­NIFER LUND, Don­caster, South Yorks.

Our un­elected rulers

VIR­Tu­ALLy ev­ery­thing af­fect­ing our lives is con­trolled by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, made up of 28 mem­bers (one for each coun­try). Twelve have a spe­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, while the re­main­ing 16 (of which one is the uK rep­re­sen­ta­tive) have no power and are sim­ply there to make up the num­bers.

We have no say as to who these peo­ple are be­cause they’re ap­pointed for a fiveyear pe­riod by some mag­i­cal process. Nor can we have any hand in re­mov­ing them, as they’re ap­pointed, not elected.

The cur­rent 12 com­mis­sion­ers with real power are: Pres­i­dent Jean- Claude Juncker; High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Fred­er­ica Mogherini; First Vice Pres­i­dent Frans Tim­mer­mans; Vice Pres­i­dents Kristalina Ge­orgieva, An­drus An­sip, Maros Se­f­covic, Valdis Dom­brovskis and Jyrki Katainen. Gunther Oet­tinger, Ce­cilia Maim­strom, Jo­hannes Hahn and Neven Mim­ica make up the 12 with pow­ers.

There’s not one bri­tish name among them — yet these 12 can tell us what we can and can­not do, say and think. The Eu is to­tally anti- demo­cratic. How many na­tional votes have been ig­nored be­cause they were not what the Eu wanted? Are you happy that un­elected for­eign­ers con­trol our coun­try?

If you be­lieve that demo­crat­i­cally elected bri­tons should run bri­tain from our houses of Par­lia­ment, then you have a so­lu­tion: when it ar­rives, vote No in the ref­er­en­dum. MALCOLM BOUCH­IER,

Louth, Lincs.

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