I am as passionate as anyone in support of re-opening the railway line between Colne and Skipton. But the idea promoted by your reader Edward Johnson, that all that is needed to find the money is for this country to leave the European Union and “temporarily suspend overseas aid”, is silly nonsense. The right-wing politicians who foolishly want to do these things are not by and large the ones who favour of the Government investing in the railways.
Then we have my old sparring partner Michael Sutcliff who thinks Europe is a “nasty word”. And there was silly old me thinking it was the name of the continent to which we belong! I remember Mr Sutcliff as a Conservative councillor a long time ago and don’t remember him then as being strong on logical reasoning and evidence-based proposals. I do remember him leaving the Conservatives and leading a breakaway group into the political wilderness, and it seems that’s where he still stands.
I’m not sure on what basis Mr Sutcliff claims to be an expert on Liberal Democrat policy, but whatever it is he is wrong on all counts.
Just for the record, the Liberal Democrats do not want to do away with the UK Parliament and just get run from Brussels, a ludicrous idea.
We do, however, feel sorry for Mr Sutcliff as he “asks the almighty on a nightly basis” in his prayers that the Liberals will have “simply disappeared” after the next election. I fear he may be praying to the wrong god since he will yet again be disappointed!
I am slightly involved in producing a new and up-to date Liberal Democrat policy paper on Europe for approval at our conference in September. When it’s agreed I’ll send a copy to Mr Sutcliff for him to read. He won’t agree with a lot of it since we are determined to see our country playing a strong and constructive part in Europe, but at least he will be able to quote our policies from a basis of the facts.