Letters - Thursday, September 2, 2021

Food for thought on value of our farms

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 3:45 pm
Harvest time on the farm

Re: challenges in the farming community. As a fairly ‘visible’ industry, we are a target for negative comment and judgment, so often based on assumptions and information which are simply not true.

Despite our best efforts to open our farms to the public, engage with social media, put on agricultural shows and feature on both radio and television, there still appears to be a number of individuals and groups who are loathe to give us any credit at all.

We live in a world of noisy, sensational social media, where those who shout the loudest seem to be the ones who get noticed (and believed!) This has created a new generation of ‘influencers’ who promote ‘stuff’ most of us can live happily without and certainly don’t need, but they are persuasive and we have come to believe that ‘stuff’ comforts us.

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We are less prepared to look at things objectively or read any level of detail to understand the reasons for particular requests/recommendations.

We selectively believe what suits us as individuals.

We no longer see the bigger picture and don’t always want to have to consider others. It seems that despite the hardships and sorrows of the past 18 months, some of us still remain unbelievably selfish and incredibly blind to truth and prefer a glossy, fantasy world.

We have abdicated personal responsibility and prefer to blame others for anything from littering to generally disrespecting the countryside and the livelihoods of those who live and work hard within them to create the landscapes we all enjoy for recreation, health and wellbeing.

Food (and other) supply chains are stretched to the limit, due primarily to staff shortages. We might all do well to consider how much we are really willing to pay for good and nutritious food to ensure a domestic supply (rather than feeding our insatiable appetite for all that ‘stuff’ we don’t need from far-flung places, travelling thousands of miles to get here and lining the pockets of faceless and often invisible vendors) and therefore, how much we pay those who grow, produce, harvest, process and deliver the daily food we have all taken for granted for far too long.

Surely there has never been a better time to reassess priorities and support our domestic economy at every opportunity?

Kate Dale

via email

STORY

My mum is in bed opposite Edith’s.

I have just read the article in The Gazette about Edith Wilkinson, the 101-year-old lady with cellulitis who is in hospital (‘Plea to flood Blackpool centenarian with cards during hospital recovery to brighten her day’).

While I applaud the family’s efforts to support their elderly relative in the best way they know how I feel I could add some balance to what has been written.

My mum is in the bed opposite to Edith and I have spent hours upon hours recently by the side of my Mum’s bed as she is end of life. The staff here are amazing, indeed I have seen the NHS at its best with caring, thoughtful and professional staff who day in, day out look after all the patients in this ward magnificently.

I understand from the article that Edith gets confused and probably doesn’t know where she is, but she is cheerful and the staff use every opportunity to help and reassure her. She enjoys the banter with anyone who is passing by her bed and to an outsider she doesn’t look to be suffering in any way.

The ward is well run and I know that every effort is made to follow Covid guidelines.

Personally I’m grateful to all in the ward for the expert medical care they have given mum, the way they have kept us in the loop with mum’s condition and what to expect in the near future. From what I have seen this is how all patients have been treated.

Jan Fulster

via email

POLITICS

Do not betray our pensioners

People living on the state pension would have every right to feel betrayed if the Conservatives ditch their triple lock pension pledge.

Having paid into the system all of their lives and already been subject to soaring stealth taxes under Labour, surely breaking the triple lock pledge and stripping people of their free television licences will only intensify the outrage.

Considering the likes of David Cameron are making millions from lucrative new jobs since leaving office, it’s hardly what you would call in it together.

Geoffrey Brooking

Address supplied

BREXIT

Nightmare of new red tape regulations

What does ‘Third Country status’ mean?

To me and my German friend of 60 years – we are in our 80s – ‘third country status’ means we now have to stick a customs declaration on the parcels we exchange three or four times a year.

My most recent parcel to him did not arrive as it was stuck three weeks in customs control, 25km from his home. He had to collect it and open it before customs officers.

The customs notification claimed there was insufficient information on the declaration, but it proved to contain the two items declared and of the appropriate value. It might have been a spot check, but the irritation is that for years we have not needed to make customs declarations. He sometimes sends me local Schinken (ham), but now he will need a sanitary certificate.

Bring back open borders and frictionless trade.

Ken Cooke

Address supplied

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