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Letters to the Fenland Citizen editor

PMs have wasted our money on foreign aid

I have read some history.

I know that hundreds of thousands of UK citizens have lost their lives during wars, world wars, plagues and pandemics during a single type of ‘happening’, but, I never thought, for one second, that I would live to witness some event that could take over 50,000 lives of United Kingdom citizens in such a short and cruel period of time.

The first officially recognised case of the coronavirus in the UK arrived in our nation on January 31, but just 282 days later, the disease had taken 50,365 innocent people, 59,365 people that have left families grieving.

It is truly shocking, I am still dumbfounded at the numbers.

But, the numbers get worse.

According to the figures from the UK’s statistic agencies combined with the Department of Health, the number of deaths with coronavirus/COVID-19 on their certificate of passing – as of November 11 – was at least 65,200!

We are an island nation and could/should have been better protected. The fault lies at our Government’s feet, hands and greedy, grubby minds.

I am not blaming Prime Minister Boris Johnson, by no means. He has had his shortcomings, but he was infected with the disease.

The problem with the recent governments of the United Kingdom is that they have cared too much about starving children, space races, and ballet dancing classes in countries like Ethiopia.

All our most recent Prime Ministers, whether it be Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, or May, cared about was their images abroad – to hell with their own starving, freezing, destitute and hopeless own citizens.

It was always foreign aid with that lot, and their reciprocal rewards later on.

The Prime Minister and his advisors could have dealt with the pandemic better, mistakes have been made, but when Boris Johnson inherited the keys to our Brexiting nation, a nation of hope and dreams for the future, he could not have envisaged such a horror.

The fault of the United Kingdom, especially England, to be so unprepared for such a crisis is not the result of Mr Johnson’s failures, per se, but that of the most recent former tenants and lunatics that called No 10 their home.

One after another, they ploughed funds from our taxes into Foreign Aid.

Our nation delivered, painfully, while others flourished.

At that time it seemed inconsequential to many, they believed the rhetoric, they believed the spin, but now, the truth is out, and what our previous recent Prime Ministers, their cabinet members and advisers had done to, not only this country, its NHS, and the livelihoods and lives within its borders, is almost paramount to a stealth genocide.

For too many years, they have stolen our money, and left us to freeze, starve, both, and then die.

I have always had hopes that Boris Johnson was cut from a different cloth, and that he was – even though, Eton-taught – one of us.

I had hoped for Mr Johnson to be our new Churchill and I’m not giving up just yet, and neither should anyone else.

What a first full year as PM he has had. £150,000 for that job? Take a hike!

Ashley Smith


Councils need to build thousands of homes

The waiting list for council housing in England will almost double to two million people next year, amid alarming figures suggesting that hundreds of thousands are already facing the threat of eviction as a result of the COVID-19 fallout.

While government guidance states bailiffs will not be used before January 11 in England. With evidence that renters on low incomes are using up their limited savings, cutting back on essentials and borrowing money to stay afloat, a new analysis warns that the waiting list for council houses in England will exceed its peak following the 2008 financial crisis as more and more people are unable to afford their homes.

The warning is contained in a study commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) and social housing groups.

Another study has highlighted the growing number of people facing rent arrears, which are estimated to total £400m in England and Wales.

Around 2.5m households across the UK are worried about paying their rent over the winter and 700,000 are already in arrears, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

It found 350,000 households have been served an eviction notice or spoken to about eviction by their landlord, raising the prospect of an uncertain winter for thousands of families.

The shadow housing secretary said the latest findings revealed “the scale of the crisis hitting renters right now”.

She said: “An estimated 700,000 households are in rent arrears. For comparison, that is more than the total number of households in Birmingham and Sheffield combined.

“Around half of these households are two months behind – in England that means courts would be forced to automatically grant repossession orders.

“These numbers should shock government ministers into action. They need to make real changes to housing law and the benefits system so they can keep their promise, that ‘no-one will lose their home because of this crisis’.

“Without action which seeks to address growing arrears, any ban on eviction or enforcement only kicks the can down the road.

“Building 100,000 council homes for rent a year would bring significant social and economic benefits, from tackling our housing crisis and reducing rising levels of homelessness to wiping millions off welfare bills.”

John White


New target will mean less young are mobile

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the government will be releasing details of a new ‘Road Toll’ system to offset the £40billion shortfall in fuel tax revenue in 2030, from when the only new cars sold will be electric.

However, I haven’t heard any suggestions of a scrappage scheme.

Bringing this date forward will mean a shortfall in cheap second hand electric and dual fuel cars on the market as ex-company or hire vehicles.

This means our 18- to 25-year-olds need to save £20,000 for their new electric car in 2030 , along with saving up their mortgage deposit.

Obviously the road tax on existing dirty vehicles will go up as well.

An 18-year-old with a 1.1 litre Ford Fiesta will pay £3,000 insurance and lots in road tax , or pay out £20,000 for a new electric car.

The consequence is that more young people will not learn to drive and not own a car.

This means two thirds of the 4.5million unemployed from 2021 will not be mobile and able to find a new job outside of a five mile radius of their town or village, thus they will waste a lifetime on benefits.

It also means the bottom will drop out of the dirty second hand car market, as well as the tax payer-funded financial compensation package, that will compensate car manufacturers for thousands of their unsaleable new scrap cars that will be sent to the crusher from their large vehicle storage compounds.

Unless they pre-register them and sell them as second hand from 2030, thus making a mockery of the Prime Minister’s emissions climate change targets.

Mark Burton


We need a new mass workers’ party

Relations at the top of the government have become so putrid and precarious that it only took the appointment of a new press secretary – Allegra Stratton – to trigger a chain of reactions leading to the exit of two of the closest staff to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Stratton had refused to work under the director of communications Lee Cain and a plan to mollify him by promoting him to the role of chief of staff fell apart.

It was widely reported that Johnson’s partner, Carrie Symonds, among others, had intervened against it.

Cain resigned, followed a few days later by the notorious senior advisor Dominic Cummings, derided and ridiculed across the country ever since his disregard for lockdown rules and subsequent ‘explanation’.

In part, the fault lines over Brexit were resurfacing in this latest bloodbath.

Cain was part of the 2016 EU Leave campaign which was headed by Cummings and Johnson.

Tensions have escalated during the final weeks of negotiations with the EU over the end of the transition period, and now Biden’s victory in the US has thrown an additional factor into that cauldron.

The party infighting has become more entrenched as different line-ups search in vain for a way out of the multiple and severe crises.

Myriad internal ‘factions’ exist: the Northern Research Group, Common Sense Group, One Nation Caucus, China Research Group, the Blue Barricade, among them.

The total dysfunction of the Tories underlines why the capitalist establishment has been so positive about the election of Starmer as Labour leader and his counter-revolution against Corbyn and Corbynism.

They need a political fall-back position that poses no threat to the capitalist economic interests.

But the only way to end the Tories wretched state is to hasten their end and get them out of office – an urgent task of the workers’ movement.

This needs to go along with laying the basis now for the building of a new mass workers’ party that can offer a socialist alternative to them all.

John Smithee


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