Find some real celebs!

WITH regards to the letter of Thursday, November 16 by Derek Reed, I couldn't agree more with his sentiments.

Just who exactly are these so-called celebrities. Someone who's had a two minute walk on part on Corry or Emmerdale and suddenly they are celebrities.

When the chat shows are on television, I forget the number of times I've checked the "guest" list and I don't know any of them.

The researchers must have a devil of a job to find anything mildly interesting about them.

Please find someone who we can relate to.

M Horsman,

Moorland Road,



The cost of large families

A RECENT survey said how many families would have liked to have had extra children but didn't because the extra cost involved had deterred them.

Saturday's Press reported about a mother of seven children who was jailed for assault on four police officers.

You must ask where did she get the money to afford to have seven children?

Name and address supplied


Not defeatist, just realistic over the Gaza crisis

IN The Press (November 11) I read a letter which said that I am 'utterly defeatist.'

The writer reached this opinion after reading a letter of mine expressing doubt that Hamas and Israel can ever be persuaded to ever strike a deal and make peace.

I believe that I am not so much defeatist as realistic. Both Hamas and Israel are fighting each other for existential reasons. Hamas seeks to wipe out Israel and its citizens, and Israel seeks to stop this happening. And by the way, my previous letter spoke of Hamas, not Palestine. These are two different entities, though Hamas is embedded in a Palestinian population.

I would welcome peace in Gaza as much as anyone else, but do not see how it is to be obtained.

It may be that America will lean on Israel to withdraw from Gaza on humanitarian grounds.

But America has no traction on Hamas. Only Iran has traction on Hamas, whom Iran funds and arms. If Iran thought that peace in Gaza was in its interests, it could strong-arm Hamas into negotiations. But I see no sign of that happening at the moment.

If Hamas replaced the Palestine Authority as the governing body of all Palestinians, we might get a frozen conflict such as we see in Korea.

The Korean war ended 70 years ago with an armistice, but no peace treaty.

The border between North and South Korea remains a dangerous place to this day.

I would not wish such a 'peace' on the Palestinians or the Israelis.

David Martin,

Rosedale Avenue,

Acomb, York


Cost of smoking - and not

ALTHOUGH I agree with Andy Wood regarding the revenue the Government receives from tobacco sales (Press letters November 16) being whittled away, he has his figures wrong.

The Government does not receive fifty to 80 million pounds, it is approximately £10 billion per annum.

Interestingly, smokers cost the NHS about £2.5 billion.

D McTernan,

Fossway, York


Thank you

AS the Wings Appeal Officer for the York Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association I should like to thank all the businesses that supported this year's appeal.

Also my grateful thanks to everyone who donated and to my wonderful team who turned up whatever the weather. We raised the magnificent sum of £20,598.32.

Ian N C Smith,


Stockton Lane, York