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Letters to the Fenland Citizen editor – July 22, 2020

Incinerator people could give scheme cash boost

I quite agree with recent comments that all we hear about is moaning. We need more things to be cheerful about.

That’s why I must write about the perfect opportunity and the answer to our problems in Wisbech.

We have all wanted the Wisbech to March railway line reopened for years. The idea of national funding is a great idea and as it states that the financial case concludes that some funding will have to be locally sourced, we already have the answer!

The commercially viable solution is for heavy rail as most of the equipment for the waste incinerator at Wisbech can be brought in by rail to the site.

It also allows refuse from across the UK to stay off our roads and arrive by train. Therefore we could ask the incinerator people for a financial contribution towards the railway in exchange for due consideration over planning permission to allow the incinerator to be built!

This would also tie in with the next general election and our Conservatives winning the election for reopening the railway with an election promise. It’s a perfect win, win, win situation for all concerned.

I’m sure MP Stephen Barclay, Paul Carey from MVV Environment Ltd and the people of Wisbech can see the great benefits of this deal for all concerned.

Mark Burton


Emma McCarthy's photo of Upwell Road in March. (38640254)
Emma McCarthy's photo of Upwell Road in March. (38640254)

Germany’s system is worth copying

I welcome the news that the Government has dropped the target of having 50 per cent of school leavers go on to university.

The 50 per cent target was set by Tony Blair as part of his mantra ‘education, education, education’ which was aimed at winning over middle class parents.

Tony Blair knew that the middle class is a bulwark against revolution and saw the 50 per cent target as a means to re-create and
re-enforce the middle class.

However, the Tory Government understands that having large numbers of unemployed and underemployed male graduates is asking for trouble.

The revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia as part of the 2011 Arab Spring were triggered off by a revolt of unemployed and underemployed male graduates.

At the same time, in Britain there is a huge shortage of robot, laser, and accounting technicians, as well as plumbers, electricians, and building workers.

The emphasis of successive governments on A-level education has been a disaster for the 50 per cent of school leavers who do not go on to university.

In the 1970s I attended Wisbech Grammar School where I got a great academic education but was absolutely useless when trying to get a job in Wisbech.

After being unemployed for two years when I left the Grammar School, I eventually did a degree in mathematical sciences which included one year’s work experience.

If I had the time again, I would not have done A-levels but would have tried to get a job as a trainee accounting technician after I had completed my O-levels.

The Government now plans to transfer resources to further education colleges as part of its mantra ‘further education, further education, further education’.

All school leavers in Germany who do not go on to university are offered an apprenticeship as part of its world-beating further education system.

This is something Britain should copy.

John Smithee


Allison Shelton's photo of the big Fenland skies in Chatteris. (38640256)
Allison Shelton's photo of the big Fenland skies in Chatteris. (38640256)

Fighting medical misogyny

It is with a heavy heart that I congratulate Kath Samson for her unswerving fight for justice for herself, and the many thousands of other women that have been fitted with mesh implants.

I say ‘with a heavy heart’ because so many of these victims have had their lives absolutely ruined since their operations, with vast numbers being unable to live a normal life due to the excruciating pain they have to live with on a daily basis, with some being bedridden due to the pain inflicted on their bodies, and it is something that none of them should ever have had to go through.

Between 2008 and 2018, 27,016 had been fitted with the implants in the UK alone, many thousands more around the world have had the surgery as well, along with a number of men for hernia problems.

Obviously, I could not even begin to imagine their suffering, but I have spoken to a few of them, and it is clear that their former lives have been stolen from them, and they have been left as shadows of the people they once were.

Kath started the Sling the Mesh campaign in 2015 after her own severe complications after having the mesh implants after childbirth, and has spent the last five years fighting with other victims of the barbaric practice.

Then, after the findings of a review into the mesh implants was made public, health secretary Matt Hancock apologised on behalf of the NHS over the scandal, along with the other scandals of the women that, for decades, had been advised to take pregnancy hormone test Primodos and the anti-epilepsy drug sodium valproate, which have both resulted in birth defects, shortened limbs, autism, and many other life-changing issues for many more victims.

So many women have suffered a kind of medical misogyny, inflicted on them by specialists, surgeons and doctors, that just ignored their pleas, and tried to brush it all away, as if it was some kind of hypochondriacal delusion.

These doctors should be be disgusted with themselves now the truth is out. They must be made to face their reckoning, and these sufferers must have their former lives returned to them as much as they can do, by having their implants removed, and compensated greatly for a suffering that they may never recover fully from.

To Kath, and to all of those that have fought these fights, we salute you.

You have shown a character, a determination, a fortitude, and a burning desire for justice that proves you can get it, just as long as you stick together. I, for one, am humbled by you all, but so too will many more be.

Well done, and we are sorry for your suffering.

Ashley Smith


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