AN OUTSPOKEN WWII veteran, author and columnist has told an audience in Bradford how they need to stand up and speak out against society’s injustices.

Harry Leslie Smith, who fought in the RAF, was one of the guests at this year’s Bradford Literature Festival and last night spoke about his latest book Harry’s Last Stand at an event in the Midland Hotel.

Born in Barnsley, 93-year-old Mr Smith spent time as a youngster living in Bradford, and remembers it as a time when few could find work and most struggled to make ends meet.

In recent years he has spoken out about people using the Poppy for political purposes, and what he sees as the erosion of the NHS.

He told the Telegraph & Argus that both his father and sister were buried in Bradford, and had died because they could not afford medical care in a world before the NHS.

He said his new book outlines how modern life is shaping up to be more like the past he remembers less than fondly.

He said: “I started speaking a few years ago when I realised someone had to speak up. We are living through a very difficult part of history with austerity.

“We have to get people shouting out and telling the Government what type of country they want to live in.

“You see people today who are working on zero hour contracts, and I feel so damn sorry for them.

“Unfortunately we have people avoiding tax and shoving money offshore. It is about time we brought these people in check.

“People need to realise they can change all this. A lot of people say they don’t vote, but that is atrocious.

“The EU vote is a very important one. I am from a period where we didn’t have anything like the EU, and I remember we were scrambling around, trying to find food to feed the nation.

“You can’t just sit and let MPs and the Government tell you what you’re going to have, the people of this country have to tell them what they want and what they are going to get.

“It is a crazy world, but we have to realise that we are not the problem, but we can be the solution. We just have to shout loud and let the world know we are not going to take any more.”