Letters – These sham negotiations represent everything that is wrong with modern politics

Dear Editor,

The sham negotiations currently being held in Brussels between David Cameron and EU leaders represent everything that is wrong with modern politics.  Whilst Cameron has asked for nothing of substance, it appears to be a heavily choreographed charade designed to make voters think that Cameron has played hardball and won significant reforms that the EU was unhappy to concede.

I would respect the Prime Minister much more if he simply admitted the truth: he wants Britain to stay in the EU regardless of any renegotiation. Instead, he is using the same old dirty political spin and propaganda tricks that have ruined public trust in Westminster to try to trick the British public into thinking that he has secured reforms that will change the nature of our relationship with the EU.

As Mr Cameron has been unable to convince his own party that he has secured a good deal, I have no idea how he hopes to fool the public – but I have no doubt that it will involve plenty of scaremongering (a tactic that has formed the basis of the “IN” campaign’s strategy in recent weeks).

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Congratulations to Durham Constabulary

Dear Editor,

In recent months we’ve heard so much about problems within North East police forces, funding cuts biting hard, a lack of officers on the streets, reduced front-line services and crime on the rise.

Let’s not overlook the great work done by a great many local officers. In particular, I would like to congratulate Durham Constabulary for being the only police force in England and Wales to be rated “outstanding” in a recent review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Bad news is often the easiest to remember, but good news should also be remembered and celebrated – and this is no small achievement!

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Maternity rights will not be impacted by leaving the EU

 

Dear Editor,

As far as I can tell, the core strategy of the “IN” campaign so far has been to scaremonger about a post-Brexit UK.    The latest example of this scaremongering caught my attention; Frances O’Grady from the TUC Union has warned that leaving the EU could threaten maternity leave rights in the UK.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure both Frances O’Grady and your readers that they have do not need to worry about this. The UK already offers better maternity leave rights than the EU requires; maternity leave will be unaffected by Brexit.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

 

Letters – Voters should weigh up the key issues and decide for themselves how to vote

Dear Editor,

Your article (17/2/16) declared “Prince William backing is boost for ‘stay’ camp.”  If this were so, I would have been concerned about our future King attempting to sway the outcome of the upcoming referendum.  Constitutionally a future monarch must walk a tightrope when expressing opinions; the Queen has handled her role with gravitas and dignity for many years.

But the Prince hadn’t even mentioned the EU in a speech that actually stressed the need to work with the likes of the UN and NATO.

When your readers are deciding how they vote in the upcoming referendum, I would encourage them to weigh up the key issues and decide for themselves how to vote.  I hope they won’t base their decisions on spin from the Westminster bubble – this speech by Prince William is an excellent example of politicians twisting a narrative to suit political aims.  Such spin has had a toxic impact on UK politics for years; it is time to move past this.

Indeed, if we do free ourselves from the shackles of the EU, the many international organisations we’re proud to be members of could well become even important than ever as we re-establish our nation as a leading player on the world stage.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Northern Powerhouse? All I see is yet more cuts and underinvestment

Dear Editor,

In the run up to the recent General Election we heard much talk about ‘the Northern Powerhouse.’

Today the Government has announced that Consett Magistrates Court, Morpeth County Court and Hartlepool Magistrates and County Court will close.  This is on top of the previous closure of Courts such as Langbaurgh East and Tynedale.

Police budget cuts continue to bite hard with many front line services being cut across the North East whilst simultaneously crime has risen significantly in many areas of the region (22% in the Cleveland Policing area.)

Is this what David Cameron and his Conservative colleagues meant by the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in the run up to the election?

Powerhouse? All I see is yet more cuts and underinvestment, no matter how many press releases they send out, it seems that the North East simply is not a priority for the Westminster elite.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

My letter – Council cuts, crime on the rise, police budget cuts, Court closures – is this the Northern Powerhouse?

Dear Editor,

In the run up to the recent General Election we heard much talk about ‘the Northern Powerhouse.’

Today the Government confirmed that Hartlepool’s Magistrates’ and County Court (along with others across the North East) will close next year.  So, that means that the town has no A&E and an entire hospital that remains under threat, a significant and long running unemployment problem, deep Council cuts that have resulted in the loss of many frontline services, an underfunded police service (not to mention a 22% rise in crime in the last year) and now will lose its Courts.

Is this what David Cameron and his Conservative colleagues meant by the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in the run up to the election?

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP

 

Letters – The more the Europhiles scaremonger the more reasons emerge why Britain should leave the EU.

Dear Editor,

 

It seems the more the Europhiles scaremonger the more reasons emerge why Britain should leave the EU.

Newly-released figures reveal that for the second consecutive year our sales to EU countries lagged behind exports to the rest of the world.  Britain buys more from the EU than they do from us and Office for National Statistics figures show the EU accounted for just 47% of British exports last year, down from 62% in 2006.

Official figures include goods shipped via European ports to countries outside the EU; without this so-called ‘Rotterdam Effect’ distortion they would be even lower.

The gap between EU and non-EU exports has grown from £1.7bn in 2014 to £17bn last year. Every set of trade figures reveal that the EU is a failing trading bloc, declining in importance to our economy.

Free from Brussels shackles we’d make our own trade deals, reactivate our seat at the World Trade Organisation and strengthen our ties with our Commonwealth family.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Do not reduce front line policing services when crime is on the rise

Dear Editor,

I was surprised to hear that Cleveland Police have decided to significantly reduce staff numbers and will close public access to stations in Billingham, Thornaby, Coulby Newham, Eston, South Bank, Redcar, Guisborough, Saltburn, and Loftus. Only residents of Middlesbrough, Kirkleatham, Hartlepool and Stockton will have access to police stations.

Recently, we heard that crime in the Cleveland Policing Area had risen by 22% over the last year. When crime is on the rise, is this really the time to be reducing front line services available to the public? I understand that budgets are tight but I would encourage Cleveland Police and Labour Party PCC Barry Coppinger to reconsider this decision.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Good news on legal aid

Dear Editor,

 

I welcome the news that Michael Gove, has scrapped the proposed re-structuring of the criminal legal aid system.

It would have been a disaster for justice to have reduced the number of legal aid contracts from 1,600 to 527. Lawyers get a lot of flack but people should be entitled to have a proper choice of representation and that would have been taken away from them.

Of course we all know that it’s not a case of the Justice Secretary deciding to play nicely with lawyers but rather the fact it had not been properly thought through in the first place.

And sadly like lots of other mis-conceived government plans it will have wasted a huge amount of hard working taxpayers’ money, for which guilt lies with his predecessor Chris Grayling, whose other hair-brained schemes in post have already been overturned.

The head-long rush to save money has already meant that dozens of magistrates courts have been closed down, including Guisborough and Tynedale, with Hartlepool under review.

This has led to great inconvenience for those now forced to travel much further and is a long way from the original principle of being tried locally by local magistrates.

 

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – ‘Northern Powerhouse’ jobs moving south

Dear Editor,

I’ve long suspected the Chancellor’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ of being little more than a gimmick; the North East doesn’t seem to have been a priority for this government in any way.  When the government forgot about the North East whilst tweeting about the Northern Powerhouse, it reflected what many of us have felt for a long time.

The Northern Powerhouse department is ironically being moved to London, and North East jobs will soon be at risk in Gateshead, Billingham and Darlington. Sadly, I think this is yet another example of my suspicions being confirmed.
Regards,
Jonathan Arnott MEP