Letters - Tuesday, January 1, 2022
Moving Parliament could force change
In around two years’ time MPs will vote on the final proposals for themselves, others, (including around 2,500 permanent staff) and the House of Lords to vacate the Palace of Westminster by 2025, (called a full decant).
This could be for up to 20 years, with the refurbishment of the palace costing around £14bn. Worst case scenarios? - time will tell.
The present occupants are likely to be relocated within London, but why?
This could be the first opportunity since 1941 to reduce the number of our parliamentarians and centralise government by moving them to say Birmingham, Manchester, York with some sessions being replaced by Zoom.
House of Lords Reform Bills are routinely voted down, if an unelected life, or hereditary peer has to venture a few miles out of their comfort zone they might think twice about continuing.
In any case, we currently have an anachronistic political system which currently looks in tune with Westminster Palace, take this setting away - which is imminent - and we may have a case of ‘the Emperor’s New Clothes’.
Covid bouncers would not work
There was a letter from NS in the Gazette (Your Say, December 28) suggesting that bouncers should be employed on the doors at supermarkets to make sure that people complied with the government rules on covid and wore a mask. This would do no good because a lot of the staff in these places are not following the rules either.
In one local supermarket yesterday a good percentage of the staff were not complying and some were wearing exemption lanyards which you can buy in shops; Amazon has over 300 on their website.
I think that the reason for this is the false information coming over the social media. A lot of it asking money for information, and high profile people informing us not to be vaccinated or wear PPE.
Broadcaster James Whale was one to start with but now he is urging people to wear masks, proper ones, not just a flimsy scarf or pulling up your hood a bit.
Another reason is the scarcity of the public being given a reason for adhering to the rules. Although this is on the government website you must look for it.
Dr Barry Clayton wrote a very good letter in the Gazette explaining all of the reasons, but on the TV we have Prof Whitty telling us what to do but he doesn’t give a very good explanation why and unfortunately he is not charismatic enough to make people take notice either.
Monash University in six studies found that wearing a mask reduced the incidence of the disease by 53 per cent and social distancing by 25 per cent, hand washing reduced it also they found.
The PM has a job trying to get this message across because of his fellow MPs and backbenchers not being very cooperative for instance; 99 of them rebelled against a vote to introduce vaccine passports to help save people’s lives saying that it infringed liberty and yet not one of them rebelled against a vote to show photo ID in order exercise their democratic right to vote.
I despair of this virus ever dropping down to a low level if people keep on ignoring the rules.
Do they even care about farming?
Does this government care about British agriculture? Its misguided trade deal with Australia is certainly selling farmers short.
The Department for International Trade’s own impact assessment estimates that the deal will cost our farmers and fishers £94m. The knock-on effect just for the tinned food firms which rely on agriculture and fishing will be a staggering £225m.
The impact assessment callously accepts that this country’s farming industry will contract as a result of the Australia deal. In a Select Committee meeting the Conservative MP Neil Parish warned passionately that labour shortages are destroying our farming system and queried whether some ministers knew what they were doing.
Last year we saw pig farmers forced to slaughter their own animals, abattoirs unable to process meat because of a shortage of vets, milk being poured away, and market gardeners destroying or giving away produce because there’s no one to pick it.
The message is clear – until the Government cleans up its act on farming, it cannot protect our country’s interests.
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