Letters to the Fenland Citizen editor: March 10, 2021
If true, he should be instructed to resign
If the allegations of flaunting Covid restriction rules are found to be true, then the landlord of The Angel (pub in Wisbech) should be instructed to resign all official representative roles.
If allegations are true, Elgoods (brewery) must be extremely desperate if it continues allowing three of its premises to be stained by their incumbent.
Or is anybody better than nobody?
Wisbech St Mary
NHS will be privatised within two years
The public has a strong emotional attachment to the NHS, like in no other country. Using its services is the way that millions of us interact with the public sector every day, often at times of great anxiety, sorrow, or joy.
When it comes to election time, it is often at the top of voters’ lists. So, no surprise there is always tension and trepidation in Westminster when governments want to make changes.
The most important question, of course, is what is behind the changes, but whether patients will see any difference to the care they receive in the real world in the years to come. But it is worth pondering the political journey the changes represent.
It is worth noting that Tony Blair’s health adviser was none other than Simon Stevens, now, of course, the chief executive of NHS England.
Tony Blair sold off council housing to private companies. With the NHS’ operational independence, sources complained at the time that the health care system was like a ‘black box’.
As a result, the health secretary, as part of these changes, will regain some of the powers that were passed over to the NHS years ago.
The temptation to take control is clear, particularly in the current circumstances.
But one former minister warns of a twofold risk: “You can’t run the system from Whitehall and it’s politically foolish.” He will end up with every problem on his desk.
My personal prediction is that within 24 months the NHS will be fully privatised, like the USA, where you will be asked for your credit card or health insurance before taking you to hospital, and charge thousands of pounds for a needy operation.
Beware of the wolves in sheep clothing.
I didn’t call them scroungers
To Mr Smithee, when replying to my letter, you wrote the words: “Mr Smith, rather than attacking the poor, should aim his ire on the real scroungers in society – the super-rich living on their luxury yachts in tax havens.” For one Mr Smithee, if you are going to attack my letters, and accuse me of being wrong, can I please ask you to re-read what I have written, and not to paraphrase my words to make them sound worse then they were intended?
I never wrote the word ‘scroungers’ in my letter when talking about some of the parents complaining about their parcels.
It seems to me, that if you hadn’t spent the last four-and-a-half years whingeing about Brexit, you may have seen how this country is sleep-walking into an unstoppable force of ignorance and laziness.
Most parents are fantastic but a growing number are letting the side down.
They are sending their children to school unable to use the toilet by themselves and blaming it on the pandemic.
I’m sorry, but if your child has started school in the last 15 months, you should have toilet-trained them long before that.
Knives and forks?
The children can’t use them, they don’t know how to, but give them an unplugged tech-device, they will turn it on and soon be navigating it.
Please don’t get me wrong, I see some children out there with amazing manners and respect, and it may seem churlish to those that don’t see the world with such a clarity, but I will always try to make a point of telling the parent (s), guardians that they should’ve proud of what they have done.
They always thank me, they exchange proud pleasantries with the child, and walk off feeling a littler prouder.
Mr Smithee, I wasn’t besmirching all of those on benefits, just those that think that it is just their jobs to give birth to their babies, but then again expect Google and teachers to raise them, whilst claiming the benefits for being ‘parents’!
Use your money to build council homes
At a recent meeting of Fenland District Council, Conservative leader Coun Chris Boden answered questions from newly-appointed opposition group leader Coun Mike Cornwell.
Coun Cornwell, leader of the Independent group, had raised concerns by residents over reports of commercial activities by the county council.
He was worried “this council is going down a similar route”.
Coun Boden replied, saying that Coun Cornwell failed to understand the point about commercial work by councils.
It was impossible not to be exposed to commercial risk – the alternative was to put all the council’s money where it would earn just 0.75 per cent interest.
Last year the council was told eight per cent gross yield, and five per cent net yield, were achievable.
One early investment by Fenland’s new business board could be housing, with Wisbech a prime target.
In the 2000s, under pressure from Tony Blair’s New Labour government, Fenland Council sold off its entire council housing stock to a housing association.
In hindsight, that was a big mistake. The housing association in question is now loaded up with debt and is likely to get into financial difficulties in the years ahead.
In contrast, Fenland Council, like all other councils, is low risk and can therefore borrow money for long periods of time at very low interest rates.
At the same time, there are more than 2,500 families, couples, and single people on Fenland’s social housing waiting lists.
Fenland Council should therefore use its money, which is currently sitting idle in the bank, to kick-start a council housing building programme.
The target of 1,500 new council housing in Wisbech within three years would be a good one.
The rent received, and not having to pay housing benefit to private landlords, would result in a very substantial revenue stream for Fenland Council.
Building council housing is a no-brainer.