Letters to the Fenland Citizen editor: April 7, 2021
Much better ways to spend our money
Upon reading the article about investment in Wisbech, I remembered the previous plan about a glass elevator just to look over Market Place and the other side of the road.
Does the Mayor think that proposing such items as he has, including a water park in Wisbech – probably the place that suffers the most vandalism than any other area in Fenland – may improve his votes when next required to keep his very well paid position in the county?
Also, doesn’t he consider with others that pot holes are a danger to everyone, not only those that drive a car but cycles and motorcycles as well.
This, if spent as stated, is a complete waste of finance, and should receive very serious thoughts.
Remember where the finance comes from in the first place. Just tell them to cast their minds back a few months ago when homes and streets were flooded in March, and other areas around.
Residents will tell them where to spend the money in a more sensible way rather than making a water park to be vandalised.
Proving status likely to be a part of our life
The Government gave some big hints at what life might look like as we come out of the most stringent lockdowns.
Ministers, and the administrations in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, have set out plans for how the rules they imposed will be rolled back, as long as the virus ticks down in the way that everyone hopes, and the vaccine programme continues.
But there are still significant question marks over what will take the place of the laws we have lived with for so long.
In other words, how does the Government propose to manage the disease in the long term when lockdown ends?
The Prime Minister made clear that he was willing to countenance the idea of ‘jabs for jobs’ and suggesting that it was responsible for “care home” owners for example, to be making vaccination compulsory for their staff, “those many thousands of workers who look after some of society’s most vulnerable.”
And the Government held open the possibility that bars and restaurants might ask for ‘papers for pints’, suggesting that the use of vaccine certificates could be up to individual landlords. But just as school pupils are taking them regularly now, and increasing numbers of workplaces, the normalising of Covid testing is a valuable tool.
If tests are available in walk-in centres, to be sent to homes, or even distributed outside a pub or theatre, it is harder to argue that any member of the public is excluded.
The Government is reluctant to make any of this compulsory for everyone, whatever the circumstance. But it seems that proving our Covid status, through the vaccination, or a test, is likely to be part of our lives in the near future, possibly by dictatorship.
Forced to have a vaccine we don’t need
When George Orwell wrote 1984 it was supposed to have been a warning, not an instruction manual. Governments around the world are not happy enough with the power they already have with the amount of surveillance over us.
They are now dictating to us by telling us what we can and cannot do without any opposition from other political parties, human rights supporters and the mainstream media.
When did we cease to be a free, democratic society? Good people fought and died for our freedoms which are being eroded day after day. There is something very sinister going on in the world right now.
We are now being told we will be forced to have an injection with a vaccine that healthy people with a working immune system do not need – otherwise we will be excluded from society.
No injection, no travelling abroad, no injection, no visiting entertainment venues, no injection, no job, etc, etc.
How long before they say no injection, no school?
The Government’s scientific advisors and particularly the mainstream media have spent the last year scaremongering people into thinking that this virus is so deadly that if you get it you will die, when the truth is the majority of people will incur only minor symptoms, but definitely will not die if they catch it.
And the majority of people under 60 who do catch it have a 99% survival rate.
Young workers are in need of our help
Recent figures reveal the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on youth in Britain.
Young workers below the age of 25 have accounted for two-thirds of all job losses over the past 12 months.
The sectors of employment hit the hardest by the pandemic tend to be dominated by a younger workforce.
The hotel and bar industry has seen 368,000 jobs disappear, while a further 123,000 shopping and retail jobs have been lost through this crisis.
As a result, there are now 437,000 fewer 16-24 year olds in paid employment than there were 12 months ago.
All of this, coupled with ten years of austerity, cuts to services, lack of opportunities and an increasingly competitive job market, amount to a bleak future for young people in Britain.
Yet the unemployment figures alone do not paint the full picture. Millions of young workers in employment are still struggling to make ends meet.
Quite often the only jobs available are insecure, part-time, temporary contracts or precarious employment of the Deliveroo and Uber companies.
As a result, millions of young people are becoming a lost generation, unable to become independent from their parents due to unaffordable housing and a lack of prospects.
Unite the Union is ramping up its campaign to organise workers in Amazon.
The Bakers’ Union has already had successes in organising young people with campaigns like the McStrikers, which was aimed at fighting for the rights of fast-food workers.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, it is evident that the Tories will attempt to make the working class pay for the cost of the pandemic.
Those disproportionately affected by cuts and job losses will be young people.
Now, more than ever, the trade union movement must organise a fightback and bring young workers into their ranks.
The camel is a horse designed by a committee
As with all things in life there are two sides to the coin. I have been a volunteer at Chatteris pocket park since before it officially started as FLAPP (The Friends of the Park).
There are people who garden and people who are enthusiastic gardeners who love gardening, and the latter the committee isn’t.
So when you come up with ideas and they ignore you, it does get frustrating.
I personally spent £800 on the pocket park out of my own savings.
I also used my petrol strimmer and never got refunded for the petrol.
During 2019, my wife and I watered down there and we also paid for and planted the soft fruit.
I also made and donated the metal fish sculpture. Needless to say, we never even got a thank you.
Apart from Coun Julie Smith, we never saw any of the committee until it was pictures for the newspaper.
I started the nectar area, while Julie created the wildlife pond on her own.
Interestingly an old man came up to me one day and said: “You’re doing a grand job, but you know they won’t appreciate what you’ve done, and one day you’ll get a good hiding for nothing.”
I came with good intention and put my money where my mouth was.
I’ll now conclude with a saying about my experience of the committee: “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”
Don’t pollute us with yet more traffic
Regarding plans to dual the A47 through Wisbech, I would like to point out that anyone living in Peterborough who wants to get to an east coast port are nearer to Harwich and Grimsby than Yarmouth or Lowestoft.
So, don’t pollute Norfolk with more traffic – let’s keep it rural.
Also, if Cambridgeshire has money to spend, let getting the water to the sea via the River Nene be their first priority. Flood prevention should be their priority.