I AM responding to “My Favourite Place” article printed in the WEP dated Monday, July 1, when I chose Ashton Town Centre as my favourite place and in response to the personal attack by Labour Coun Nigel Ash on Friday July, 5 in your letters page.
I want to thank the WEP for giving me the opportunity to publish “My Favourite Place”. I was delighted to be able to promote Ashton Town Centre where I live.
When I was asked if I would agree to an article, I was somewhat surprised but privileged that I was asked.
I have kept several articles as souvenirs for my family.
Coun Ash in his churlish reaction to “My Favourite Place” article really needs to take a deep breath and calm down.
My article was completely non-political, albeit I accept I am the Deputy Leader of the Borough’s Community Action Party. For Coun Ash to react the way he has in his personal attack is completely unnecessary, but in his circumstances, I can sympathise, as he is up for re-election in 2014.
His letter was also unfair in that I did praise Wigan Council when I said “Ashton town centre has boxes, baskets and tubs full of flowers and beautiful colour well cared for by Wigan Council”.
I concluded my article by writing “Everyone is made welcome in Ashton and you are certain to have a great day.”
I still fully endorse that statement.
However, to be privileged twice in one week is somewhat unusual.
The week started by the non-political “My Favourite Places” article and finished by receiving a derogatory personal attack from a political opponent out of the blue and unexpected.
As Harold Wilson once said: “A week is a long time in politics.”
Welfare vital safety net
In spite of a lifetime attachment to the Tory party I admire the intellectual honesty of the left-wing Labour Party who are standing up for universal benefits.
The whole idea of our welfare society is that anyone – rich or poor – has the right to the assistance which the state gives, and that this should be raised by taxes on those who can afford to pay.
Many of us hold a 50 per cent tax rate on the rich is fair and would finance these universal benefits. We might lose one or two foreign billionaires but it would make for a less inequitable society.
Rev John Calvert
Pay for free medical care
The recent discussion as to whether immigrants should be required to pay for their NHS hospital care in this country is best illustrated by that which obtains in other Western democracies outside the EU, where their hospitals first require to record all visitor’s credit cards before applying any medical treatment, irrespective of whether they are subsequently found to have medical insurance or not.
The answer of course is for our immigration department to insist that all potential and existing immigrants have a current medical insurance policy which they must continue to maintain while remaining here.
All countries should be informed by us that they must ensure all potential immigrants and visitors destined here are required to have such medical insurance before being allowed in.
The EHIC card which presently allows EU citizens to receive free treatment in other EU countries would of course be retained. All employed British citizens are required to pay National Insurance to fund our NHS system, so why should we be expected to fund immigrants free of charge?
E J Tilley