Letters - January 8, 2017

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Long live the dying art of letter writing

Your article on sending letters by snail mail (‘Letter writing making a comeback’ Gazette, January 15) is right up my alley.

I’ve corresponded with pen pals and friends for 45 years and indeed some pen pals have become ‘friends by post’ when we’ve written to each other for many years but with no intentions to meet.

At one point I had 34 pen pals and I recall a past agony aunt stating she didn’t see the point in corresponding if you were never going to meet, but in fact you can share personal thoughts and confidentiality through the post building up a trust you don’t always share with someone in person.

In my experience many like to receive letters through the post, yet aren’t particularly interested in replying in detail. One of my faults is I go into great detail and tend to write (type) at least six A4 size pages and with some pals, up to 12 or 14 pages.

Old friends from my native town found this overwhelming stating they couldn’t possibly reply with that amount and it put them off, never to write again despite me explaining it’s not a competition and to reply with whatever news they have, it doesn’t matter that I babble on.

So I do hope this is a new age for writing letters and a breath of fresh air to know it isn’t going to become a dying art.

Sending an email or text is an excellent way of staying in touch too, but nowhere near as good as receiving a letter through the post where you know you’re going to have a good read from your pen pal. So put the kettle on and make a cuppa before sitting down to read it.

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Road


Is the UK really better than EU?

A note to the shouty Brexiteers who were sold a pup by liars and confidence tricksters ... oh, and now it seems, Russian interference too!

Still, they can’t possibly admit to that, so we’ll all have to persist in this spiteful train crash. Oh, I forgot, we’re not allowed to query anything, regardless of the fact that every five years we ARE permitted to change our minds about who governs us.

Brexiteers must never be questioned. That is the New Religion. They have a point: one single point. There’s too many people in UK already. We need fewer, not more.

That aside, politically, they tell us we’re going to “take back control”. That must be from the ELECTED European Parliament I suppose. We’re going to recover our ‘Beautiful British Democracy’.

Ah yes, that would be the democracy in which:

n The fundamental idea is superior position by heredity.

And we have:

n An elected House in which huge numbers of voters are ignored because their parties achieve only a miniscule number of seats.

n A voting system which ensures the rigid continuation of vested interests who resist any change that discomforts their members.

n Government by quangos, the leaders of which are nearly all the result of patronage.

n A sort of ‘Senate’ (House of Lords), which is vastly overpopulated by political placemen appointees and jobsworths.

n A democracy in which only about half the electorate bothers to vote. Hence a minority of activists achieve the right to impose their will on the whole nation.

We can do much better, I think. We have always had the power to restrict immigration from all but EU citizens, i.e. the majority of immigrants, but have never done so.

We have always had the ability to police our borders but have never properly done so. We have always had the ability to control our own money, and reject the euro. A fine job we’ve made of it too!

We’ve always had the power to upgrade our educational achievements to match competitors, but we still trail badly. Why should it change now that we’re going to insulate ourselves from ideas from our neighbours?

Nigel Taylor

via email


We need to reduce transport pollution

The Green Party is not calling for a car-free world but we want to rapidly reduce the choking transport pollution that contributes to seven million premature deaths a year across the globe.

‘Polluter pays’ is the principle behind Green Party policies, using taxes to ensure the cost of different types of transport reflect their social and environmental impacts.

Currently the NHS is at breaking point, picking up a massive bill for pollution-related health issues.

We hope that a rapid transition to electric or hydrogen-powered cars will make a big difference, although they are not pollution free.

We would like to have seen the Chancellor increasing incentives to help people take diesel vehicles off the roads in the recent budget. Overall, people urgently need better public transport and safer cycling and walking options so they can choose to leave their cars at home. This would reduce congestion for all road users while improving dangerous air pollution and road safety.

Martin Phipps

via email