Readers' letters - January 6

Dambuster deserves honour

Saturday, 7th January 2017, 12:52 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:40 pm
A reader says the last surviving British Dambuster, George Johnny Johnson, should receive a knighthood

Here we go again with ‘gongs’ being handed out willy-nilly.

Knighthoods and dameships handed to millionaires who have earned vast riches – mainly for themselves – by doing something they enjoy and happened to be good at.

Yet the last British Dambuster was snubbed in the New Year’s Honours while many of ‘Posh Dave’ Cameron’s cronies were rewarded.

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George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, 94, was a bomb aimer on Operation Chastise, Guy Gibson’s famous mission to destroy the Ruhr dams, using Barnes Wallace’s innovative bouncing bomb.

Friends had launched a campaign to reward him for his bravery and charity work over the decades with a knighthood.

Of course he was ignored while Tory donors who’ve ploughed millions into the Tory party coffers were given accolades.

Businessman David Ord who put nearly £1m into the party war chest was knighted for “political service and service to the community in the South West”. He is one of 10 Tory politicians or activists honoured for “political service” in the New Year’s Honours, compared with two Lib Dems and two for Labour.

Yet a man who put his life on the line for us gets nothing.

Disgusting, scandalous?

It’s more than that when you look around at many who are ‘prancing’ about, gushing about how good they are in accepting these ‘non-honours’.

Terry Palmer

Address supplied


Fed up of the establishment

What an incredible year 2016 was for politics. In the UK we won the EU referendum with 17.4 million voting to leave and, in the US, Donald Trump won the election to become the next President. There are elections in France and Germany this year and, following the Brexit and Trump votes, the message to the old establishment is that the people have had enough of them and are demanding change.

In Britain, and despite the Brexit vote, the Government is still not listening to the people and is carrying on as per normal – council tax rises, massive business rates rises, railway fair increases, defence cuts and the greenbelt under threat. Yet we are still handing out over £13bn in overseas aid each year (and set to rise)!

Many in our Government are stuck in their ways just as they are in the Labour and the Liberal Democratic parties. They appear to be in denial of the result in June and are reluctant to follow the will of the people.

In 2017 it is our job to hold the establishment to account on all the issues raised and to get our Prime Minister to invoke Article 50 by the end of March this year, without further delays and any watering down of what we voted for.

Philip Griffiths

North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)


Briggs gave us a real treat

What a wonderful treat at the end of a somewhat turbulent year was Ethel and Ernest, a tribute by the illustrator Raymond Briggs to his parents.

It was as enchanting as The Snowman. The last year had its triumphs – Andy Murray along with a host of others winning Olympic and Paralympic gold gave us some relief from the dreadful Middle East tragedies and unbelievable political shenanigans. Ethel and Ernest gave us a glimpse of the 1940s and 1950s when life was slower, gentler and there was great excitement when washing machines, vacuum cleaners and TV sets arrived.

Jean Lorriman via email