Dear Editor, I read with interest Jonathan Walker's article ( New boys set out the way forward for Labour, Birmingham Post, 3rd April).
Though it clearly shows that a new generation for the Labour Party is available should they be bold enough to take a generational leap forward, one wonders if they have the energy or willpower to do this.
The article, however, attracted my attention in respect of Liam Byrne MP. At a time when nationally and locally (for which Liam Byrne is associated with both) the Labour Party is mistrusted by the electorate, he within the article compounds this mistrust with dishonesty towards the people of the West Midlands. Jonathan Walker's article implies that Mr Byrne has written and produced a policy document for the Labour party which to me sounds suspiciously like the challenge he made back in August 2007. At that time he called on the people of the West Midlands whether they be civic, business, community or education leaders, and to quote Liam Byrne to "Be bold, be brave" and have input in an "Action Plan" for the West Midlands. One hundred and fifty days was set by Liam himself for consultation with those who took an interest. However, we the electorate have seen no evidence of this consultation or document. But surprisingly we read (care of The Birmingham Post's own Political Editor) that a document of this nature is to be placed before Labour's own National Executive Committee.
Call me suspicious, but when a Minister particularly in his capacity of being the West Midlands Regional Minister calls for consultation and then places his findings before his own party's national executive in a document sited as a Labour party consultation document. I tend to get the feeling that something is not quite right!
For the sake of transparency and good old fashioned honesty, Liam Byrne must put on record that these are two different consultation exercises and declare that no government money has gone into the Labour party consultation document which he is placing before his own party's governing executive.
I believe he should go further and publish his 150-day consultation as to show the difference between the two documents, in Liam Byrne's own words, it time for him to "be bold, be brave".
For him not to clarify, only leads to further mistrust of both the government and of Liam personally.
Holbeche Road, Sutton Coldfield.
Why Tata deal could be good news for the environment
Dear Editor, The deal to sell car maker Jaguar Land Rover to Indian conglomerate Tata was completed this week.
This represents a success story for a West Midlands car industry that has too often suffered hard times. I would like to congratulate everyone, at every level, who were involved in making the sale a reality. Joining together these two famous British car brands and their new Indian owner will save thousands of jobs in our region.
Before the deal was completed I travelled to India to speak to Tata executives.
We had a full and frank discussion about how the company might meet climate change obligations.
I have been working hard with other MEPs and the government to reach a compromise.
We are only too aware of the support the industry needs on this issue: our aim is to ensure that JLR receives the necessary assistance that will enable it to remain the dynamic car maker it has always been.
We will make progress on climate change with the co-operation of all parties, which will include Tata's funding of research and development into more efficient cars for the future.
Tata now has the opportunity to show just how successful Indian businesses can be, but will only do so in partnership with its employees. Through working together, this new enterprise will flourish. I wish them every success for the future, and hope this is just the beginning of renewed investment interest in our talented region.
Labour MEP for the West Midlands
What is so wrong with failure?
Dear Editor. It is said that over 80 per cent of small business start ups fail in the first year!"
I am thoroughly fed up with everyone using this same line.
It is said by whom? For the life of me I have not found where these people get their information from.
Is this supposed to encourage people to start businesses? Don't you feel sorry for the poor budding entrepreneur?
In America, most serious entrepreneurs have had one or two failed business in their past, they see them as steps in the right direction towards getting the big one.
Sadly, this entrepreneurial spirit is looked down upon in this country; we would see them as "too big a risk", in reality, the experience that they'll have gained will have taught them not to make the same mistakes again. I would call them a "better bet"!
I am a "glass half full character"; a believer in positive thinking and I say, "if you believe it will happen and if you can see yourself in that picture, then you will be successful".
I have heard people say to me, "It didn't work because I'm just unlucky!"
I say there is no such thing as luck. A successful business person is someone who'll go that bit further than others by doing the things that others don't like to do and to keep doing it until it becomes second nature to them. So if you want to sell those widgets get on that phone and "smile and dial".
Operations Director of Advantage Business Angels and a Certified NLP Practitioner
Why is colour an issue?
Dear Editor, Most of the media covered about the race to the White House invariably refers to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama as "black" (Post, June 4).
Given that most US "blacks" are at least 80 per cent European by ancestry, at what point do we stop using that term and start calling them "white"?
There are people in the UK who have found that they have African blood from over 200 years ago who look European in every sense of the word. Equally, there are people of European descent (particularly in the Afrikaner part of South Africa) who look decidedly Mediterranean. Yet they are classed as White.
I believe it is long overdue for the media to drop these largely pointless and potentially sectarian labels. The coverage of the US Presidential race ought to be on whether candidates can deliver key policy issues such as peace in the Middle East.
Chris Youett, Coventry.