Readers’ letters - June 15

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Yvette’s right about our need for Brexit cross-party group

Although I do not usually agree with the pronouncements of Labour politicians, I do think that Yvette Cooper hit the nail squarely on the head in her call for a cross-party group to lead the Brexit negotiations.

I feel that this is far too important matter to be left to the ideologies of an individual party, especially given the present make up of Parliament.

In addition, it would be helpful if there were members of the group specifically appointed to represent the views of the four countries of the United Kingdom.

Such a step would mean considerably less hassle, both during and after the negotiations, and would leave the Government free to get on with running this country.

Speaking of Labour politicians, I felt that, during the recent election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn came across as a decent, honest person, and although I do not agree with many of his party’s proposals, I can well see why he attracted a large number of uncommitted voters who may well have been put off by Theresa May’s rather bombastic approach.

Brian Waddington

via email

Crack down on elder abuse

This World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), it is worth noting that, according to research, thousands of older people in the North West are being abused by those closest to them. And a further unknown number suffer in some care homes and hospital wards too.

This means they are likely to be feeling frightened, with nobody to turn to, as they are neglected, stolen from or even subjected to violence in their own homes.

That this should be happening to people at this stage in their lives is nothing short of a scandal, and yet, despite how widespread elder abuse is, this is an issue that remains in the shadows, much as child abuse did a few decades ago.

And it is not taken seriously by our courts. Despite an estimated 413,500 people aged 65 or over in England and Wales experiencing some form of abuse each year, in 2015/16 there were just 3,012 successful criminal convictions. This means it is likely that 99 per cent of those who abuse older people are not being punished.

If we are to halt this epidemic of elder abuse, it is about time the punishment started to fit the crime.

For this reason, Action on Elder Abuse is campaigning for abuse of older people to be classed as an aggravated offence, so the police and our justice system are forced to take it more seriously.

Gary FitzGerald

Action on Elder Abuse

Suffering behind horse racing

Video footage taken by a local animal rights group reveals what the racing industry would probably rather remained hidden behind screens – the final moments of a race horse named Tea In Transvaal (IRE) at Newton Abbot on June 5.

Readers may think that such deaths are a rare occurrence, but, in fact, around 200 race horses are killed on British courses each year. The problem is that race horse deaths

are rarely reported in the media.

This is why the footage taken by the Devon Animal Save group is so important.

It bears witness to the terrible suffering and fatalities caused by racing.

We urge the public to show compassion and boycott the races.

Visit Animal Aid’s website for more information.

Fiona Pereira

Animal Aid