Letters - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Police during the coronavirusPolice during the coronavirus
Police during the coronavirus
See how quickly our civil liberties can go

Emergency powers being quickly enacted in response to the Covic-19 pandemic offer a rare glimpse of how quickly the state can trample on our civil liberties and the rule of law.

Currently,the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act is being invoked. This legislation unilaterally gives any government minister extraordinary power to do anything, anywhere to anyone without explanation. Margaret Thatcher used it to attack striking miners during the 1984 miners’ dispute, using the police as her storm troopers.

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Tony Blair’s New Labour used it to allow police to bail suspects without even taking them to a police station, with officers enjoying broad discretion as to which suspects should be treated in this manner to also allow police to take DNA samples from anyone arrested.

Britain has more CCTV cameras observing us than any other European state. While Edward Snowden’s revelations showed that GCHQ and the secret intelligence service use mass harvesting of data to monitor, observe and track ordinary citizens.

This country is gradually creating a state apparatus that can be used against peaceful protesters, specific ethnic minorities communities and striking workers to silence any voices of dissent.

Royston Jones



Thanks to workers on the front line

At what is a difficult time for us all, I would like to record my thanks and support for all the work being done in Lancashire by our public services and others working to protect our people.

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The NHS is inevitably on the front line, and I know what a sterling job it is doing. It and our community also rely on the help of those in the Ambulance service, the Constabulary, the Fire and Rescue service, public utilities, and our teachers, local authority staff, food workers, carers and other vital professionals and volunteers.

At times like this, we are reminded of the value and commitment of all these people, and how grateful we are for it. I am confident that we can get through the months ahead if we all work together and help each other.

I wish you all well.

Charles Shuttleworth

The Lord Shuttleworth KG KCVO, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire


Supermarkets partly to blame

The supermarkets are partly to blame for the panic buying that is taking place. As soon as that first individual went to the check-out with a trolley full of toilet rolls, the warning lights should have brightly flashed.

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The manager should have been informed immediately and, being aware that if there was going to be a run on toilet rolls there would almost certainly be a run on important foodstuffs, he or she should have made the decision to restrict the number of a particular item customers could purchase.

David Craggs

address supplied

social distancing

Young not taking this seriously

There is an awful lot of good advice being given, both on TV and in the papers, about what we should do or what we should not do, but sadly there are those among us who ignore advice and even directions from anyone.

As an 87-year-old, I am really trying my best to self-isolate but do have to go for supplies. The young folks who are easily bored do not seem to realise the gravity of the pandemic, and will insist on going out and mixing with their mates who may or may not have the virus.

They are too young to fear death and do not think of others at all. We no longer have the ability to enforce any law on the subject because we no longer have an effective police service.

Peter Hyde

via email


Maybe now we’ll see less waste

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The last 30 years has seen an unprecedented increase in the amount of waste in the UK. I’ve seen food which could be kept in a freezer wantonly chucked away.

During this pandemic, we’ve seen supermarket shelves stripped as if by locusts, with little regard for elderly people or vital workers who have not been able to obtain staple foodstuffs.

This crisis should be a game changer in terms of food waste. However, when the crisis ends, we will probably lapse back into our old wasteful habits.

John Roberts

address supplied