Readers' letters - April 5

A correspondent asks, do we need parole at all?
A correspondent asks, do we need parole at all?

Justice system exposed by serial rapist’s parole

The discredited decision by the Parole Board to release serial rapist John Worboys, now thankfully being reconsidered, shines a whole new light on the question of parole.

Indeed, one has to wonder why we need parole at all? Far better for all sentences to be served in full, with any misdemeanours subject to additional terms.

Further, the way in which life sentences are dealt with has become a joke.

A life sentence should mean just that. Shorter sentences need a different name, although at the moment terms being handed down are, more often than not, inadequate.

Consider also the Bill going through Parliament which calls for increased maximum penalties for those who assault and abuse emergency workers. But why do we need maximum sentences?

Let all punishments fit the crime, and to abolish all maximum sentences would be an excellent start. If all the above means the building of more new prisons, then all well and good.

Bob Watson

Address supplied

Is the NHS a sacred cow?

The BMA says grandly that our health service will see an extension of the so-called “winter crisis”. This is, of course, yet another way of trying to squeeze even more money out of taxpayers’ pockets.

Nothing wrong with that – the BMA is a trade union after all and has the financial wellbeing of its members at heart, though it would be nice if doctors volunteered to take, say, a 20 per cent pay cut across the board, as their contribution to the health service’s financial woes.

Not going to happen, though, is it ?

The reality is that we all have a decision to make. Is the NHS a business or a sacred cow? If it is the latter, we should throw out the accountants, together with their budgets, targets and recurrent financial head-shaking and simply pay whatever it takes to keep the NHS going all the year round. Turn the money taps on and keep them running.

If, however, the NHS is actually a commercial concern in disguise, why should we not hand it over to those who know how to deal effectively with any imbalance between supply and demand?

No more “winter crises”.

No more overstretched A&E. No more bed-blocking. Payment upfront, of course. There are plenty of private health insurers. Anyway, since when do dentists, opticians or even vets let you walk out without paying?

Healthcare, like any other service, costs you money. We shouldn’t go on pretending it doesn’t. Good wages for the staff, too. Isn’t it time for us all to stop being so squeamish and dump our last great nationalised industry before it dumps us?

Hugh Rogers

via email

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