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Your letters on Wisbech Church festival, Tory sleaze and drug abuse

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Here are the letters published in this week's Fenland Citizen...

Massive thanks for your support

St Augustines Parochial Church Council would like to say a huge thank you for the support they received for their two day Christmas Tree Festival.

Thank you to those businesses, children’s groups and individuals from within the church and from the general community who gave their time to contribute to the stunning display of Christmas trees. The church looks beautiful.

Considerable work went into preparing for the weekend. There was a lot of baking which resulted in a splendid variety of cakes to accompany tea and coffee.

Different stalls were organised with opportunities to win a surprise such as a bottle of wine (or water), a lovely patchwork item from the tombola as well as smaller items from the ‘pick a card’ game.

The main raffle also provided a chance to win a beautiful prize. In addition, people could browse a range of items to buy from cards for Save The Children, stationery items and also a bric-a-brac stall.

More thanks to our mayor who came along and declared the festival open with his usual sunny manner and also to Roy McManus and friend who kept us entertained during the afternoon.

It was great to see people just sitting in the church enjoying the music and sometimes joining in.

The festival was a great success.

There was a wonderful attendance and many complimentary comments and appreciation of the trees, refreshments and the general atmosphere.

Just over £900 was raised for church funds.

So, thank you everyone. We were delighted that so many enjoyed it and wish everyone a very happy Christmas.

St Augustine’s PCC


March reader Jane Dale's dog Buster enjoying Christmas in March
March reader Jane Dale's dog Buster enjoying Christmas in March

Natural conclusion of nod and wink system

Our great impartial independent judicial system is now going to be circumsized by modifying the instrument to the advantage of the ministers in the House of Commons.

Boris Johnson’s Goverment is planning to pass legislation so ministers have more judicial clout than a High Court judge.

This means ministers can throw out any judicial review or decision made by the courts to satisfy their own means.

This in time for the new investigations and public inquiry into flammable cladding and the true scale of landlord pressure and lobbying in government to avoid their responsibilities and costs of removing the cladding.

We also hear that since the Lakanal House fire, Fire Service experts have raised concerns over such cladding, and evidence has come to light that Westminster has suppressed the whole truth and scientific test results.

We can only assume as the majority of property portfolio holders and developers are loyal Conservatives with Westminster connections, the whole nod and wink system has now reached its natural end via the Grenfel disaster.

Seriously Boris? If its not Pepper Pig World or Moses on Mount Sinai and the 10-point commandments for a greener climate and economy, it’s Lord Chief Justice or God of All Creation.

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”?

Mark Burton


John Elson's Fenland Citizen cartoon (53689510)
John Elson's Fenland Citizen cartoon (53689510)

Drug abuse is not a crime, it’s a health issue

The Tory government’s new drug strategy for England and Wales is a sham.

The plan claims that it will completely overhaul the drug recovery and treatment system. But it will still largely target poorer people and let the rich off the hook.

The Tories say some £300million will be invested into drug-treatment and diversion in a bid to reduce the number of jailed users and turn them to healthcare.

But it’s all built on a plan of harsher punishments for drug users.

Boris Johnson told the Sun newspaper: “We need to look at new ways of penalising them. Things that will actually interfere with their lives. So we will look at taking away their passports and driving licences.”

The focus on more punitive sentences for people who supply drugs is a continuation of a tired tough-on-drugs narrative, one that we have had in Britain for decades.

This failed policy will do little to address the high rates of drug-related deaths, which over the last decade have increased year on year, with some of the highest rates in Europe.

Britain is going backwards, embracing a Richard Nixon-style ‘war on drugs’ approach.

Many drug reform activists point to more progressive approaches such as Canada and US states which have recently legalised recreational cannabis.But Johnson denounced a change in Scotland where prosecutors can refer people accused of drugs offences for “diversion”.

The Tories said this amounted to “de facto decriminalisation” – which if it were true would be a small step forward.

It is yet to be seen if the Tory government’s new measures will be extended to those in Parliament as drug detection wipes recently found remnants of cocaine in 11 out of the 12 toilets in the building.

Drug abuse is a health issue, not a crime.

John Smithee


Tories a dead loss but no hope with Labour

Ignore the present distractions that stop us focusing on the important issues.

In the last 25 years we have had roughly 50-50 Labour and Tory Governments.

I could go further back but let’s keep it simple and start with the issues that were outstanding in 1997 when Tony Blair became PM.

Social care, underfunded NHS, badly run NHS, underfunded local government, low welfare benefits, child poverty, low wages, homelessness, lack of social housing, extremely poor state pensions, a mad energy market, over-priced public transport – all of these matters are no further on after a quarter of a century.

Tony Blair opened our borders when other EU states held off for seven years, started wars that authored the migrant crisis, people still continued to have to lose all their assets to pay for social care, nursing homes and residential care stripped the cash from councils to pay for those with no assets, children still lived in poverty and in B&Bs.

David Cameron started wars, and the worst chancellor in living memory, George Osborne, ran an austerity program which exacerbated the issues outlined above and even opened the doors for pension scams to strip people of security in their retirement. Under Boris Johnson it is just more of the same for the less well off.

We had the unedifying sight of a SPAD crying through her resignation – just one of a small army of young overpaid, well connected people with minimal experience of anything (except daddy’s wallet and University), running free through Whitehall dispensing ‘advice’ that solves nothing and gets us nowhere.

The NHS is still run by non-medical managers wasting money on non-jobs and better paid jobs for their mates and themselves.

As for the energy market – it needs nationalising, as does public transport.

Then there is the civil service in need of upskilling (at home or on holiday during the Afghan crisis, not processing licences for HGV drivers and so on).

The Tories are becoming a dead loss but Labour offers no hope either – open borders and probably three million migrants in the span of a parliament.

Women’s rights cancelled as Labour pushes the lunatic and destructive Marxist agenda of gender ideology.

David Silver


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