Dear Editor, I never ceased to be amazed by the hypocrisy of our legislators. It is always do as I say, not as I do.
If the Home Secretary wants us to control the alcohol consumption and the rowdy behaviour of our young people, she ought to set an example by controlling such consumption and behaviour first in the Palace of Westminster I did not see this week's broadcast of Prime Minister's Questions. I have no doubt it was as rowdy as usual with members of both front benches (when not shouting across the floor of the House) gossiping with each other.
What an example for our children and grandchildren. The failure by the Speaker to discipline those who are rowdy and/or who gossip is as bad an example as it is possible to have.
The young people with whom I have contact do not vote. Why not? They have no respect at all for any of our elected politicians. I do not blame them for that.
The unequivocal need is for our legislators to set an example first by banning the consumption of alcohol in their place of work, secondly by excluding from the Palace of Westminster all those who have any alcohol in their bodies and thirdly by disciplining severely all those who are not totally silent during the business of the House.
If that were to happen, there is just the possibility that our politicians might be taken seriously.
ROGER CORBETT, Walsall
Addressing unequal pay
Dear Editor, I was interested to read the views of MP Richard Burden on single status. "It is not an easy issue to deal with," he states, "and there have been years of very unequal pay in local government, but they have had since 1997 to get it right." (Back to 1970s on pay row, Post February 6).
He is absolutely correct, of course. However, as the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition addressed this issue head-on soon after coming to power in 2004, could Richard Burden let us know what pressure he put on the previous Labour administration to do something about pay inequity in the seven years beforehand?
Coun PHILIP PARKIN, Birmingham
Trams are the way to go
Dear Editor, It is welcome news that a tramway is to be laid from Snow Hill to Five Ways. But Broad Street is almost completely full of hotels, clubs and pubs. With very few business premises. Whereas a tramway along Hayley Road, would serve workers from Ladywood and Edgbaston all the way to Bearwood, with workers from Harborne and Bearwood city bound.
Trams rolled around Birmingham for more than 50 years in every district. They were the safest and most popular form of transport at the time.
Going south, a tramway system from say Digbeth to Solihull would serve at least seven districts.
Trams are pollution free, but buses...
JAMES BENTON, Birmingham
No need for a total traffic ban
Dear Editor, I do not agree with Sir Albert Bore's proposals to totally ban private cars from the city centre. However I do feel that access to the city centre should only be available to commercial vehicles, public transport, cars under 1000cc, motorcycles and electric vehicles.
There needs to be a significant improvement in public transport, such as a comprehensive area rapid transit system and trams for example along the Bristol Road, before we can even begin to consider a ban on city centre traffic.
JOHN CREAN, Rednal
A lecture lacking in vision
Dear Editor, As a critic of Liam Byrne, I welcome the historical analysis within his "Roger Dicken's Memorial Lecture".
However, it's Liam Byrne's thoughts on the here and now, as well as on the future of Birmingham and the West Midlands, that I have a continual problem with.
This memorial lecture was a great opportunity to positively voice both his and the Labour Government's vision for our region.
This could have been the platform by which Liam Byrne outlined the results of his 150 day consultation with the West Midlands and launched his "action plan". He could have even explained his ministerial role as the Minister for the West Midlands and what he was looking to achieve from this position?
Sadly, all these opportunities were lost within his negative tones - all be it dressed-up in the colourful language of history. In his speech, Liam Byrne said "we can aspire". I would contend that young people, community bodies or the business community all consistently strive to aspire.
Whether individuals come from a civic, commercial or cultural background, the people of the West Midlands - and particularly those of Birmingham - have always welcomed the chance to evolve and move forward. It is for good reasons that we are known as "the City of a Thousand Industries". These industries may have changed and some alas have gone but others go from strength to strength and new ones start up. What they all have in common is that they have been welcomed and embraced.
So it was a shame that Liam Byrne could not more positively acknowledge the current and on-going work of all sections of our region and the diverse communities which make this possible. His negative inference that we can only go forward by adopting his vision lacked one major thing - the vision itself.
I believe Liam Byrne to be an honest man, but I am left wondering why he publicly cannot outline his so called "action plan". Until he does so, it is not unreasonable to ask what is being hidden and denied to the people of the West Midlands.
PAUL BURKE, Sutton Coldfield
Lack of civic pride
Dear Editor, Council workers who demonstrated outside the Council House on Tuesday should be ashamed of themselves.
As I walked through Birmingham's main civic square outside the city's most famous building at about 8pm I was amazed at the amount of rubbish left by these so-called "public" sector workers.
There were piles of leaflets just dumped on the pavement, there were ribbons and placards just left on the side of the street. There were also hundreds of pieces of litter not associated with the protest - crisp packets, sweet wrappers and cardboard coffee cups.
These demonstrators claim to be carrying out their work for the benefit of the city - but they do not seem to be showing much civic pride with their protest.
And away from the centre, in streets across the city, there are still thousands of bin bags left uncollected. It would be helpful if many of my fellow citizens could take in their rubbish, so that it is not left to be blown around the suburbs for the next week.
I am no eco-warrior, but it does upset me that a quarrel over money has left the environment of a city that we all claim to love so damaged.
SIMON HARRISON, Sheldon
Dear Editor, Can anyone help us to contract two couples we met on holiday in Malta at the New Year?
Both couples came from the Birmingham area, but we have mislaid their addresses. We only know them as Bob (Robert), a window cleaner, and his wife, Margaret, and John and Marjorie.
We met them at the Canifor Hotel in Qawra, Malta. We were there from December 27 to January 7. They also left on January 7.
We have some holiday photographs we would like to forward on to them and, again, wonder if anyone can assist.
Our details are Fred and Margaret Steele, 41 Heath House Lane, Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 8AH (telephone 01782 266216).
MARGARET STEELE, Stoke-on-Trent