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Letters to the Fenland Citizen editor – July 15, 2020

Need for footpaths and cycleways

With the prospect of extra funding from the Chancellor in prospect I would like to see more footpath/cycleways alongside our roads.

Many more folk are walking and cycling now but I know from several terrifying experiences that our narrow fen roads are highly dangerous for walkers and cyclists.

The lorry traffic is wider and longer than before whilst vehicles in general are travelling faster.

To encourage tourism and fitness would be good post-pandemic. There exist verges sufficiently wide alongside most roads.

Don Morris


Emma THomas' lovely picture shows that some of us could still smile through lockdown. (38072008)
Emma THomas' lovely picture shows that some of us could still smile through lockdown. (38072008)

Farming community were so kind

Myself and my wife would personally like to thank the local farming community for the produce they donated to ourselves and other residents in these unprececented times.

It was very much appreciated.

Our thanks must also go to members of Newton-in-the-Isle Parish Council who took it upon themselves to ensure that these donations were delivered safely to our doors.

Once again, a big thank you for this selfless act of kindness.

Martin Ford


£5billion is not nearly enough

The worldwide economic impact of the coronavirus has been seismic, and the job losses are starting to crash on the shores of the UK with increasing frequency and severity.

The 1,700 job losses at Airbus had a grim inevitability to them, given the destruction of demand in the aviation industry.

Demand for air travel in April and May was down more than 90 per cent and normality is not expected to return for up to three years – maybe never for the more lucrative business class travel.

BA, EasyJet, Ryanair and Rolls Royce have already announced 20,000 job losses between them, so Airbus was never going to emerge unscathed.

The travel wipeout has seen SSP, the owner of stalwart transport hub tenants Upper Crust and Café Ritazza, cut 5,000 posts. We already know that the number of workers on UK payrolls shrank more than 600,000 between March and May, according to statistics.

That looks like the thin end of a very big wedge as the Government’s unprecedented job support scheme tapers off, with employers being asked to share the burden of the cost from the end of July to its withdrawal at the end of October.

One of their key concerns was the “fraying of the social fabric in the UK”, thanks to a toxic cocktail of mass redundancies which will hit the low-wage jobs the UK has excelled in creating. Employers are discovering that with increased use of technology, they can do many things with fewer people.

The march towards a more automated world has been accelerated by the virus – and the UK, with its high levels of employment in lower-skilled work, has further to fall compared to others. The divide between the digital skills “haves” and “have-nots” will widen.

The reason the Government has thrown tens of billions of pounds at trying to hold back the waves of unemployment is that they realise that it does long-lasting damage to demand in the economy.

There is no doubt that the furlough scheme helped delay the impact, but this barrage of job cut announcements suggests the government is now struggling to turn the tide.

One thing seems certain: to combat the huge economic shock whose repercussions are being felt in airlines, factories and now high streets, the Government will need a bigger boat than the £5bn previously announced in the last spending review.

J White


Letters are so important to us writers

I agree with S Harrison (Letters, July 8) that we should be spared the constant letters of complaint.

As someone who has written to this paper regularly for more than 26 years, I try to put forward a socialist alternative using facts, figures, and arguments.

This comes from my training by the late Ted Grant, founder of the Militant newspaper, who said that socialists should use facts, figures, and arguments, not personal attacks.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, this paper has an editor who gratefully spikes my more zany, wacky, and over-the-top letters I sometimes mistakenly write.

In writing my letters, I try to use Lenin’s advice in his pamphlet: ‘Where to begin’ by politically exposing the injustices of global capitalism.

These exposures include pointing out that the world’s richest eight multi-billionaires have the combined wealth equal to that of the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet.

At the same time, on a more local level, I repeatedly point out the failure of Fenland District Council to build homes for the 2,500 on Fenland’s housing waiting list.

Unlike some members of the Labour Party and trade union movement in Fenland, I have never made personal attacks on councillors, MPs, and US President Trump.

When I stood as an Independent candidate for Wisbech Town Council in 2003 and 2007 I did no negative campaigning – I just asked people to vote for me if they agreed with some or all of my socialist programme.

I have had a daily battle with severe depression for more than 45 years. The letter writing relieves the depression for the three to four hours it takes to research, write, and sub-edit them.

I hope S Harrison understands how important letter writing is to correspondents of this newspaper.

John Smithee


A future free of slave rules

There will be no more kicking-the-can down-the-road, there will be no more Brextensions, no more flextensions, no more of any kind of extension to the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.

At 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve 2020, we will once again become our own sovereign nation, free from the shackles, the bureaucracy, and the power-mad tyranny of the European puppet-masters.

We will be free to decide our immigration policy, to spend our money where it’s needed most in our own country, rather than pay the bills of the Eurozone, and leaving ourselves scraps of pennies and tuppences to survive on.

Just look at our schools, hospitals and roads. We need that money, every single pound of the £9bn that we give to the EU, net.

We give them £13bn per year, and they give us £3bn back. That amount has been, and is, for now, the membership fee we pay to allow the evil EU to control our lives, and tell us what to do. It has been like Robin Hood in reverse!

Oh, and what for the marine life surrounding our nation? These beautiful little creatures and corals can begin to return in protected waters off our coasts once we take our fishing rights back, and stop the mammoth EU trawlers, some of which are 13 times the size of our own, from dredging every single cell of life from our waters.

I don’t eat fish, I love the idea of life returning off our shores, but, what about our fishing industries that have collapsed and died during our membership of the EU? They could come back, creating hundreds upon hundreds of jobs.

June 30 was the last chance to legally request an extension to the Brexit transitional period. That day has been and gone, it is in the past, it cannot be changed, and no amount of whining and whinging, bitching and complaining, no court cases, no amendments, no revolts or blasted remainer rhetoric can change it now.

No, wonder Theresa May was so scathing about Brexit negotiator David Frost’s new job in the Government, after, he, Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings tricked the EU and the remainers into believing that her ‘Brexit in Name only’ agreement was still valid, when, the first opportunity to grab the power back, the trio screwed up the BRiNo deal, tossed it into the bin, and shut up shop to let the clock run down.

On July 1, Angela Merkel took over the presidency of the euro-bloc, and immediately admitted that Brexit in an imminent risk to the EU, because she, and the rest are too aware, that without the billions of British pounds, sterling, they cannot afford to carry on, especially once the reams and reams of Euro red-tape has been removed from our ability to thrive and make deals, and that our nation will become a threat to their community of member states when we sign trade deals all over the world. Something the EU has never been able to do, because of the aforementioned reams and reams.

One more thing, if you don’t mind? I am not harking back to the days of colonialism and slavery – those ideologies in Britain today are the foreign gangmasters that illegally employ illegal immigrants, and, also those that allegedly continued to keep their sweatshop garment factories working, forcibly, during the height of the lockdown.

No, I am not thinking of the past, I am envisioning a brighter future, a future of sunshine-laden dawns, I’m just thinking about a future free from the kind of slave rules that we have been forced to live by for the last few decades.

Ashley Smith


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