Archive for Letters

Letter: Torygraph

Letter in today’s Torygraph … 

Sir – The Conservative proposal for an English Grand Committee is

Simply grouping together the same British MPs who have allowed a
system of apartheid to grow following devolution into a Grand
Committee will not mean better representation for England – these MPs
have demonstrated where their loyalties lie and it is not with the 50
million people who call England home.

The only solution to the West Lothian question is a devolved English
Parliament. The Scots have one and the Welsh are looking to upgrade
theirs – it’s not as if we’re asking for anything more than our
partners in Britain already have.

Is this really so unreasonable?

Stuart Parr, Campaign for an English Parliament, Telford, Shropshire

It’s about half what I sent and missed out the best bit but never mind.

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Shropshire Star: Battle for fairness on matters of treatment

This letter was in last night’s Shropshire Star … 

Battle for fairness on matters of treatment

I must say that I became quite emotional when I heard that my constituent, Mrs Jeannie Evans, of Frankwell, had finally been allowed the vital drug Avastin which will save her life.

At first she was told that this would not be possible and so she approached me.

We found out that this drug is being given to Welsh patients who come to Shrewsbury for treatment but is not available for Shropshire people.  This outrageous situation had to be challenged.

The government has given huge powers to the Welsh Assembly, which they created, and they have different health guidelines to us in England.  This has led to the difference in the treatment between the two countries in what people can recieve in terms of treatment.

I was so angry about what was happening that I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and demanded that he look into theis gross injustice which he has helped create, and sort it out so that citizens on both sides of the border are treated equally.

I contacted the local Primary Care Trust and I am very pleased that they, on appeal, finally decided to give my constituent the treatment she requires.

I will continue to fight this gross cross border injustice until my constituents get health care parity with the Welsh.  Until such time, if other constituents find themselves in a similar position they should please get in touch with my office.

Let me have the details and I will be pleased to look into the situation and do what I can to help.

Daniel Kawczynski

This is good news – I have written to the Shropshire Star before on this same subject when Herceptin was the drug being refused.  Finally, Daniel has realised what is happening and is taking steps to bring it to the attention of the general public but he still supports the ridiculous English Votes on English Matters proposal the Tories have cooked up rather than an English Parliament which is the only way to stop this kind of thing happening.

Daniel, if you read this then please do what is right for your constituents and support the Campaign for an English Parliament.

Letters in Shropshire Star

I’ve had two letters in the Shropshire Star this week:

Blair could gather tips

It is reported 200,000 people signed a BBC petition to Hamas militants that kidnapped reporter Alan Johnston – and he was released.

About 1.8 million people signed Peter Roberts’ petition calling on Government not to introduce road pricing and they ignored it. Maybe Tony Blair could pick up some tips for Gordon while he is in the Middle East.

S Parr

Problem of the PM’s pledge to Scotland

In 1998 Gordon Brown signed the Scottish Claim of Right.

This public oath said “We, tgathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our deliberations their interests shall be paramount.”

Gordon Brown, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, pledged as far back as 1998 to put Scotland first yet the Labour Party – and Her Majesty, The Queen, for that matter – don’t see a problem.

Is it too much to ask that the British Prime Minister and de-facto First Minister of England pledges to represent the whole of the country equally and no to put five million of his fellow Scots in front of 65 million English people in all his “actions and deliberations”.

Stuart Parr

Shropshire Star: Brown has no place as our PM

Brown has no place as our PM

Many people would agree with me that Gordon Brown has no mandate to govern England.

He hasn’t contested an election as leader of the Labour Party and potential Prime Minister for a start – so much for his pledge to restore trust in democracy.

However, there is a more important reason why Gordon Brown has no mandate to govern England.

According to the Labour propaganda unit, Gordon Brown’s domestic policies consist of health, education, housing and planning – none of which he has been given a mandate for by any part of the electorate.

In Scotland, “domestic” issues such as health, education, transport, the environment, housing and planning have all been made the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament.

Gordon Brown wasn’t elected to the Scottish Parliament, so he has no say in those matters in his own constituency and his constituents didn’t elect him for these policies.

As far as I am concerned, when Gordon Brown takes office this summer, England will be without a legitimate leader and Government

Stuart Parr

Shropshire Star: Scotland benefits while we pay out

Scotland benefits while we pay out

On April 1st the cost of prescriptions in England went up to £6.85 per item.  On the same day in Wales the charges were abolished.

In Scotland 92% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and MSPs only narrowly rejected a bill to abolish them completely in 2005.  It is only a matter of time before they are abolished north of the border.

In Scotland pensioners are entitled to free public transport throughout the country at all times and Northern Irish pensioners have just been given the right to travel on public transport throughout Ulster and the Republic of Ireland free of charge at any time.

In Scotland ethe elderly are entitled to free personal care in the care home of their choice without having to go through means testing or selling their homes.

In Scotland cancer sufferers get the newest and most expensive treatments.  The same applies to those suffering from dementia.

In England the same drugs are refused because the cost of the treatment is more than the value the English NHS puts on a life.

In England we will shortly be required to pay to have a satellite spy box fitted to our cars and pay per mile to drive on our roads.  The same law won’t apply to Scotland and Wales so they will be able to drive in England was well as in their own countries without paying the road pricing tax.

The transport minister was elected in Scotland yet his department doesn’t have a say in what happens to transport in Scotland.

Taking into account the above and the many other services our neighbours receive it would be understandable for an Englishman to feel left out but there is no need because we get something that our neighbours don’t – the bill.

Stuart Parr

Shropshire Star: Scotland Stays Free of Road Pricing

A Telford man has had over 1.8m signatures on his online petition against road pricing. The Department for Transport, Douglas Alexander, says that the wording of the petition is misleading and that’s what has led to the biggest protest in the history of this country.

Lots of people are pointing out the unfairness of this proposed new tax – we already pay a mileage tax, it’s called fuel duty – but miss the most obvious injustice.

Douglas Alexander was elected in the constituency of Paisley & Renfrewshire South, Scotland. Transport is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so he has no say over transport policy in his own constituency.

Because transport is devolved, road pricing only applies to England and law compelling motorists to fit their cars with a spy box to track their every move will only apply to England.

Not only will road pricing not happen in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland but the people who live there won’t have to pay to use English roads.

Douglas Alexander can’t lose. He is the architect of the most unpopular transport policy ever to come out of the Department for Transport yet his own constituents – the people who decide whether or not he keeps his job every five years – are completely unaffected by it.

This isn’t a one-off either – Alistair Darling, the Minister for Trade & Industry recently dismissed a call for Sunday Trading laws to be changed so that supermarkets can open all day on Sundays in England.

Yet in Scotland, where he was elected, supermarkets can open all day on Sunday because it is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

I sincerely hope that the petition will force the British government to rethink their plans to tax the English off the road but I suspect that all that will come of it is a belief by the powers that be that we need the Government to save us from ourselves.

Stuart Parr, Telford

Shropshire Star: Debunking the myths peddled about EU

It seems that I’ve upset one of my MEP’s.  Conservative MEP, Phillip Bushill-Matthews, is a rampant eurofederalist who seems to have taken exception to my accusing anyone who supports the Europen Federation of treachery.

Debunking the myths peddled about EU

Stuart Parr (Star, January 11) claims I “peddle the myth that the EU cannot impose legislation upon us”.

I did not become an elected MEP in order to peddle myths. Neither did I expect to have to spend so much time debunking the myths peddled by others.

The fact is that role of the European Commission is to prepare legislative proposals that would translate into law what member states have signed up to in treaties.

For example, member states asked the Commission for proposals to halve road deaths within the EU.

The directive Stuart Parr refers to, that road vehicles should use dipped head lights at all times, stems directly from this request.

It will only become law if member states and the European Parliament agree it. The Commission has no powers and no votes.

To add that the EU is the cause of the merger of the RSH and PRH by “imposed” regional government on the UK is moving even further into fantasy.

The regional government agenda in the UK has been driven entirely by John Prescott. The test-bed for his theories was the north east, where he confidently expected the locals to vote for it. Happily they had more sense.

Finally, he suggests that those supporting EU ,mem bership are committing treason. The Tower of Lon don would need to be expanded to llt us all in.

Others suggest that the people who should be locked up are those who distort the truth and describe their deceptions as fact through the letters columns of regional newspapers — but I could not possibly comment.

Philip Bushill-Matthews
MEP, Brussels

Worcestershire News: We must keep on scrutinising quango

We must keep on scrutinising quango

SIR — I read, with interest, the debate about the proposed Worcestershire unitary authority.

There are, to my knowledge, two county councils in the West Midlands proposing a unitary authority – Worcestershire and Shropshire.

In Shropshire, the proposal is being supported by councillors Pate and Mosley — both are members of the unelected West Midlands Regional Assembly.

In Worcestershire, the proposal is being supported by councillors Lord and Buckley – both are also members of the regional assembly. Co incidence?

Replacing district councils with unitary authorities is perfect for unelected taxpayer-funded regional quangos. It means there are fewer people scrutinising what they do, fewer people to lean on when something needs doing and less money being spent on local government, which partly negates the argument that we don’t need another tier of draining our taxes.

West Midlands No!,

Comments on West Midlands NO! please.

Shropshire Star: No mention of English people in our anthem

No mention of English people in our anthem

I read the letter by Mr R Dunn, of Telford, regarding the national anthem and the monarchy. Surely he ought to get his facts right before putting pen to paper.

I would point out the anthem he refers to is a German anthem.  It was chosen by a German monarchy (Saxe-Coburg Gotha) who acquired the English throne. The lyrics were designed to consolidate and strengthen their hold on the English throne and the English people. You will notice that it’s all about praising the monarch. The English people and the English country get no mention.

The Welsh national anthem is all about Wales, the Welsh language and the Welsh people.

When the Germans took over the English throne they could not speak a single word of English. They felt vulnerable and threatened. Do you not think that it is a shame to fool the English people?

Tom Williams, Telford

Shropshire Star: Query as PM backs regional changes

A fairly heavily edited letter in the Shropshire Star tonight (bits cut out are stuck out

Query as PM backs regional changes

A poll in the Sunday Telegraph on the 25th of November asked a random selection of English and Scottish members of the public if they supported the establishment of an English parliament or English independence.

Of the English people questioned, 68% were in favour of England having a parliament similar to the Scottish Parliament and 48% were in favour of England becoming independent of the rest of the UK.

This result backs up recent surveys by the English Constitutional Convention, the BBC and ITV which all showed overwhelming support for the establishment of an English government. Following the Sunday Telegraph poll, the Sun ran a phone-in poll which resulted in 81% of Sun readers wanting English independence.

In the 29th of November, Tony Blair told the Yorkshire Post that if the English were asked if they wanted an English Parliament they would vote overwhelmingly in favour of it but in the same interview pledges his support for unelected city regions like the one being introduced in the West Midlands.

If the Prime Minister admits that what the English people want is an English Parliament then how can he get away with forcing us to have regional government instead and how can our Labour MP’s continue to support the anti-English regional policies of the Labour Party when they are not representing the wishes of their constituents?

Next year is the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union and barring a complete u-turn on current anti-English policies by all of the major parties, it will probably be its last.

Stuart Parr

Shropshire Star: EU not to blame for NHS woes

EU not to blame for NHS woes

According to certain readers the EU is to blame for the failures in the NHS.Stuart Parr (Starmail, November 20) claims it has issued a directive removing the individual opt-out from the Working Time Directive, hereby forcing hospitals to cut services.

This is not true. The EU cannot just issue a directive and “dictate” it is observed. It can only propose directives for agreement. There is no such agreement on revision to the Working Time Directive, and the individual opt-out therefore remains in place.

R Knight (November 17) says the merger of the PRH and RSH is because the EU has insisted such services are regionalised. This is further nonsense. The EU has no such powers, and no such purpose.

Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP

Firstly, I was told by the person who wrote the proposals for the cuts to paediatric services at the PRH that they had to downgrade the service because the EU had removed the opt-out clause for medical staff in the Working Time Directives. Who would you believe? A eurofederalist MEP or a manager at the hospital?

Secondly, the EU dictates many laws and the British government is unable to veto a large number of them. In fact, the day this appeared in the Shropshire Star (Wednesday) I received an email regarding the EU removing the derogation on British pleasure boats using red diesel from January 2007. The British government cannot veto this decision. The British government is currently trying to convince the EU that forcing British motorists to use their lights at all times will endanger more motorcyclists than it saves motorists and is therefore a bad idea. They have to convince the EU now because they are unable to veto the directive.

Thirdly, the EU issues all funding through regional structures.  It also dictates that regional government must be put in place in all member states.  The regionalisation of the NHS is simply an extension of the general regionalisation forced on us by the EU.

Aren’t the Tories supposed to be eurosceptic?

Shropshire Star: God Save the Queen is the only anthem for us

Someone is entirely missing the point here.  I am proud to be English and yes, long may Her Majesty reign, but I don’t see why being proud to be English and a monarchist precludes you from wanting an English national anthem.  Does that mean Scottish people can’t be proud Scots or monarchists because they have their own anthem?  And English cricket players have Jerusalem before their matches, not God Save the Queen.

God Save the Queen is the only anthem for us

In response to Mr Parr’s letter regarding the national anthem: although I love Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, the one and only national anthem is God Save the Queen.

It is sung with pride by English rugby and cricket players and just listen to the crowd at rugby, cricket and football matches.

Some international footballers fall to sing it, but that shows in their performances.

The fact that the majority of Irish, Welsh and Scots hate it and choose to boo it makes it even more English. So be proud to be English and long may her majesty reign.

Mr R Dunn, Telford

Shropshire Star: Let’s have a national anthem for the English

Let us have a national anthem for the English 

Shrewsbury MP, Daniel Kawczynski, has launched an Early Day Motion calling on Parliament to promote Jerusalem as the English national anthem.

For too long now England’s sporting teams have had to stand through God Save the Queen before matches and put up with ignorant commentators calling it the English national anthem – something that is increasingly irritating our neighbours.

Let’s just get is absolutely clear – God Save the Queen is the British national anthem, not the English national anthem.

In fact, to be totally accurate, it is the British royal anthem and national anthem by convention only as there has never been an Act of Parliament confirming it as a national anthem.

There are often letters in the Star criticising our sporting stars for no singing God Save the Queen.  I ask: why should they?  They are representing England, not Britain.

Before the Commonwealth Games, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport received many petitions for Jerusalem to be used as the English national anthem.

There have been a number of polls asking which song should be the English national anthem and every one comes up with the same answer – Jerusalem.

Instead of choosing a song that English people want they chose Land of Hope and Glory – another British royal anthem.  It isn’t even an English song.

The English cricket team has recently adopted Jerusalem as its anthem but the English FA and English rugby team refuse to use anything other than God Save the Queen.  So far EDM 2791 has been signed by the following Shropshrie MP’s: Daniel Kawczynski, David Wright, Derek Conway.

Please write to your MP and ask them to support EDM 2791 if they haven’t yet done so.

Stuart Parr

Shropshire Star: Farmers worse off as British citizens

I thought I’d upset someone at the Shropshire Star as it’s been weeks since any of my letters have been published and then this one from a couple of weeks ago was published …

Farmers worse off as British Citizens

Farmers in the UK, like farmers in the rest of the European Federation, receive farming subsidies.

In Scotland, they are paid out by a department of the Scottish Executive and in Wales they are paid by a department of the Welsh Assembly.

In England they are paid out by DEFRA, a department of the British government.

Scottish and Welsh farmers received their subsidies on time last year. In fact, in most cases they were early.

In England some farmers are still waiting for last years subsidies. Shropshire farmers whose farms straddle the English/Welsh border are the lucky ones.

They have had at least part of their subsidies, but the majority have had to remortgage their homes, take out loans or expensive overdrafts to pay wages and bills or they have simply gone bankrupt or sold up.

Because of the late payments, the European Federation has levied huge fines on the British government which continue to increase as time goes on.

No doubt this will please our neighbours over the border in Wales who will pay a share of the fines by way of a reduction in their annual subsidy from the English taxpayer via the Barnett Formula. The same is also true of the Scots – the SNP must be rubbing their hands together with the impending Scottish elections!

A devolved English government, however, would be directly accountable ONLY to English voters and even if they were no less likely to make such monumental cock-ups, they would certainly be much more determined to fix their mistakes than a government that doesn’t rely so heavily on English votes.

Stuart Parr

Shropshire Star: Gordon serves Scotland

Gordon serves Scotland

Gordon Brown launched his leadership campaign with a gushing Blair-hug and a lovely speech about how great Britain is going to be under a Brown premiership. The only problem is, nobody seems to want Gordon Brown as PM and pretty much everything he’s talked about changing is only relevant to England, not Britain. A poll conducted in Yorkshire asked the question whether Brown make a good Prime Minister with a simple yes/no option. Only three per cent of people thought he would – even Labour would struggle to put a positive spin on that result.Newsnight spoke to a sample of 30 Labour voters ranging from swing voters to Labour Party activists about what they thought of Gordon Brown as their leader and most people objected to him because he is old, deceitful and Scottish.

Of course, any suggestion that Gordon Brown shouldn’t be Prime Minister because he is Scottish is denounced as racist and Gordon is keen to show us all that while he is a die-hard Scot he is also British so there’s no problem there.

Except there is because the issue is not with his nationality, it is with the constituency he was elected to represent.

When the people of Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath elected Gordon Brown, they didn’t elect him on the basis of his policies on the English NHS, English schools or English emergency services.

They elected him to represent their interests in the British parliament on those matters that are not devolved to the Scottish Parliament and that list is a very small one.

Stuart Parr, Telford

Shropshire Star: Change to voting will not affect the nation

Change to voting will not affect the nation

Gordon Brown kicked off his leadership campaign with a speech on Britishness in Scotland, the least British part of the UK.

In his speech he said: “The SNP want Scotland separate from the UK and want to force Scotland to choose between Scotland and Britain”.

On the Tories he said: “The Conservatives want English votes for English laws and want the English to choose between England and Britain”.

On the former he is correct and I personally wish the SNP the best of luck. The sooner England loses the financial, social and political liability that is Scotland the better. We could spend the £11.3bn annual subsidy on cancer treatments in England instead.

On the latter, however, he is way off the mark. The Tories are merely trying to find a way of stopping MPs elected in Scotland – such as Gordon Brown – from voting on matters that only affect England. As Gordon Brown can do next to nothing that affects his own constituency in Scotland, banning him from interfering in English affairs would leave him with next to nothing to do.

English votes on English legislation is a fatally flawed idea but at least the Tories are recognising that there is a problem.

Contrary to Gordon Brown and Labour’s assertions, banning MPs not elected in England from voting on English legislation or even establishing an English Parliament, will not lead to the break-up of the union. Giving Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland their own devolved governments hasn’t lead to the break-up of the UK so there is little reason to believe that merely evening the political inbalance in England would.

Stuart Parr

Letter: Shropshire Star

Lives not worth cost of drugs

The Shropshire Star, along with most of the UK media and the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, all incorrectly reported that the two bowel cancer drugs Avastin and Erbitux were being denied to patients in the UK.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has refused to license the drugs on the basis of cost for English patients. Health is a devolved matter and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales put a higher price on the lives of their own people than the British government does on the lives of English people.

The annual £20bn subsidy that English taxpayers pay to the rest of the UK covers the cost of expensive medical treatments along with the many other perks that our neighbours have become accustomed to at the expense of the same benefits and life-saving treatments being made available to the English.

The situation with these bowel cancer drugs is the same as with Herceptin and means that English sufferers are denied the most effective drugs because the drugs are worth more than an English life. Like Herceptin, these two bowel cancer drugs are available in every EU member state except England.

The British government, when considering funding for expensive medical treatments, has to consider the impact it will have on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The devolved administrations in those countries only have to consider themselves. If we were allowed an English parliament then we might be allowed the same life-saving drugs that our taxes fund for the rest of the UK.

Stuart Parr, Telford