CALL me naive but I really wonder whether we can still afford to be a big player on the world’s stage.

I refer to the decision to spend £3.2 billion on two large aircraft carriers – money which could surely be better spent by the Government on getting its act together at home.

I know the contract means the creation or securing of thousands of jobs in the steel industry etc and good for them.

But when so many areas of our economy are under-funded or when many charities are folding through withdrawal of grants, surely the Government needs to get our house in order before going out and looking after other people’s.

I read recently that a Gornal councillor had been recommending boot camps for our young offenders. Why just young offenders?

They all need something to put them back on the right track.

I think a good go at the three Rs wouldn’t go amiss – responsibility, retribution and rehabilitation.

They should, in no uncertain terms be made to reocgnise the full responsibility for their crimes.

I would go along with recent calls for a more public retribution, where they cannot be hidden away and forgotten. (Is it really a no-no to bring back the stocks for all those minor offences, whether it be for offenders young or old?).

Alongside these, there should be a firm but supportive rehabilitation, that says to them, things just needn’t continue as they do, and if no progress has been made at the end of the rehab period, then prolong it until it is made – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Get them of those drugs, get them off that alcohol, get them off and away from that antisocial behaviour and get them back to living.

Simple, isn’t it. I don’t think so – it all takes time, effort (blood, sweat and tears) and money but surely something like £3.2 billion would go a long way to helping a bit.

Call me naive, but let me know why.

Tim Crump, Dudley