Dear Editor, It was with interest that I read Rhona Ganguly’s article in respect of a motion (Labour Councillors demand wheelie bin to up recycling, Birmingham Post, 9th July) debated at the full meeting of Birmingham City Council.
The content of the article was factually correct with the points expressed by Coun Len Gregory and Coun Robert Alden being more persuasive than those expressed by Couns Hartley and Bridle.
However, as a member of the public who sat in the gallery throughout the whole of the meeting on Tuesday 8th July, I take exception to the word “demand” within the headline of the article.
As an observer of the council over a period of time and as a critic of the Labour party, I am becoming increasingly worried about the lethargy they portray.
They presently “demand” nothing and seek minimal participation within the chamber. At times during Tuesday’s meeting, the leader of the labour group - Sir Albert Bore - was so slouched in his chair, he was practically horizontal with his face to the heavens.
Comments made from a sedentary position are part and parcel of the jousting within the politics of the chamber, but, equally and more importantly is to debate.
To offer up little in the way of questions or not even debate ( as the Labour group failed to do) on such issues as renummeration was to make a mockery of their roles and responsibilities to the people of Birmingham.
The Conservative group and I’m sure the Liberal Democrat group do not fear accountability or to be challenged on their policies.
So why is Labour fearful to debate, perhaps they are realising (though a little late), that the Conservative-led partnership is one of positive, sustained and growing success for Birmingham.
When one thinks of the numerous men and women who have stood and debated over the years within the chamber of Birmingham City Council, there must be many turning in their graves at what we are seeing today a Labour group without ambition, energy or drive for either democracy or the people of Birmingham.
Holbeche Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.
Liverpool fans know Barry truth
Dear Editor, As a Liverpool supporter of many years, I have been appalled at the vitriol directed at my club (TK Trouth, Letters July 9) simply because they refuse to pay over the odds for players. In my opinion, Liverpool FC should be commended and lauded for attempting to bring some sanity back to the transfer market at a time when the likes of Chelsea are offering ridiculous sums of money for players and skewing the market even further, irretrievably damaging the game for years to come.
Gareth Barry is a good, solid midfield player (yes, an England regular, but in a team that failed to qualify for Euro 2008), but he is 27 and will have, at best, four years left at the top. He is worth no more than the £15 million Liverpool have offered for him and even that is too high for many Liverpool fans keen to see Xabi Alonso remain at the club. In trotting out the ‘tired, old’ argument that Carrick and Hargreaves cost £18 million and are being kept out of an average England side by Barry, says more about Man Utd’s transfer policy than it does about the genuine worth of those said players.
Quite simply, one of the reasons that more English players do not fill key positions at our top clubs, are the over-inflated fees demanded by their clubs and until these become more realistic then this trend will continue. Liverpool are trying to redress this balance by playing hardball with Villa for their prize asset; someone who wants to play at a higher level and let’s face it, despite their wrangles in the boardroom, Liverpool remain England’s most successful football club and it sticks in O’Neill’s throat that this is, for some years to come, will be the case.
Sothis might be the beginnings of realism returning to the transfer market in this country.
We need information and Zimbabwe needs help
Dear Editor, It never ceases to amaze me how spineless the UN Security Council can be when it comes to making decisions about internal strife in member nations.
I mainly think of China and Russia in the main. Of course I talk about the tragedy which is Zimbabwe 2008.
Now we see similar spineless comments by the African Confederation and South Africa regarding Zimbabwe. I agree with the PM’s views and policies towards Zimbabwe. Even though I have yet to receive a letter from him and his Foreign Secretary to my concerns about Zimbabwe, which I have shared in writing over the years, ever since I received a letter from the former PM to Southern Rhodesia Sir Grafield Todd.
So far I have written to the PM, leaders of EU countries, British MPs, the Foreign Secretary, the Commonwealth, the US Embassy and the leaders of the Anglican Church and Catholic Church, as well as all New Zealand MPs. So far I have received replies from the US Embassy, the Toiseach of Eire, the New Zealand PM Helen Clark, two British MP’s and the leaders of the two main Christian Churches in the UK.
In one interesting e-mail reply on 24th June 2008 one enthusiastic New Zealand MP stated to me :
“I also feel Mugabe could not do this without his military. There is more than Mugabe profiting from the people of Zimbabwe.
And yes I would like at least a Truth and Reconciliation or for him to appear before the court in the Hague.
In 30 minutes we will open up debate in the House of Representatives this afternoon. We will begin with a statement from our PM, decrying strongly the actions of Mugabe. She currently has a call into Mbeki, but he has not returned her call or the call of the President of Zambia. We in New Zealand feel so disheartened.”
It comes to something when I can get more information about Zimbabwe from the New Zealand political arena than from the political arena which exists in the UK, which is the land in which I live. I hope Gordon Brown does not renege on his policies towards Zimbabwe or get sidelined by the wishy washy comments coming out of Africa, Russia and China at present.