Letters - October 16, 2017

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Start valuing people as assets - not costs

People tell me that, when visiting Ireland, it’s necessary to beware of political sensitivities. For instance, some Irish people would bristle at any mention of the various Irish potato famines. An alternative view is that there never was a famine and that only one crop failed... the potato.

The problem was that so many people subsisted on the potato. It was the staple of their diets and, as it proved, a food they could not do without. Other crops flourished as normal and there is evidence that Irish beef was being sent to market in England.

For whatever reason, the people then in power did not organise the supply of alternative foods. Lots of people solved their problems by emigrating. Many of those who did not solve their problems died. That is why there is a school of thought which says that this was not a potato famine but a mass starvation.

A national newspaper has published details of a survey commissioned by the Trussell Trust and undertaken, in the summer, by researchers from Oxford University.

The survey found that “80 per cent of food bank users suffer from severe and chronic food insecurity, leaving them vulnerable to malnutrition and nutritional deficiency”.

Unbelievably, today, the number of people dying of starvation in the UK is on the rise.

In 2015, 984 people died from malnutrition or dehydration – that is more than two people per day starving to death, here in our UK.

Is there a famine here? Is there a shortage of food? The answers are, no and no.

Some British people today are starving to death and the principle cause of that is Conservative Government policies. Let’s not mince our words. This is a starvation, no more no less. The indifference of the Government is astonishing and unpardonable. There is a moral imperative for the Government to adopt radically different policies.

Start valuing people as assets. Stop considering them as costs.

No delay... Act straight away.

Michael McLoughlin

Address supplied


Extreme right 
wing dream?

Theresa May has been crippled by her election failure and conference performance. So she has had to do a deal with Boris Johnson to prop up her ailing premiership.

Boris, of course, wants a clean break with the EU – which she now admits she is preparing for.

This is why we are now rushing headlong for the cliff edge which most industry experts fear.

This is likely to lead to mass impoverishment, followed by civil unrest. An easy way out of this mess would be to find scapegoats.

This is all going the right way for an extreme right wing dream to come true.

Paul Andrews

via email


We can’t yet know end result of EU talks

I become incredulous and then annoyed at the endless questions from politicians (and others) as to what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be.

These are negotiations and no one, on either side, can know what the outcome will be until an outcome is reached.

If I were a conservative MP, I would constantly be asking Mr Corbyn what the outcome will be from the talks surrounding the strikes over one-man-operated trains and from the talks surrounding the postal workers’ strikes.

Of course, he could not know. These too are negotiations which will only have known outcomes when they become outcomes. But it would make a point!

Neil Inkley

Address supplied


Residents have rights on issue

Sandcastle, a children’s care organisation, has an application for a certificate of lawfulness rather than a planning application to allow a house on Inner Promenade to become a home for disadvantaged children.

Because of the fear of the potential type of children, local residents are concerned.

A large number turned up at the council offices to attend a meeting, but understood that their concerns had no bearing on the issue. If a certificate is granted then the community has no chance to raise any points on the nature of that change of use.

Sandcastle argue that there is no effective change of use of the residential property, but this is a fine point. If the carers lived there as their effective residence, I would agree.

However, I understand they would work shifts which I believe is a different nature of care from a family type environment.

The actual care home proposal is not the real issue as one cannot foresee and should not prejudge the nature of the children.

The issue is the effective circumventing of residents’ rights by circumventing scrutiny of a planning proposal.

Alan Harding

Lytham St Annes


We have no credible alternative leader

Theresa May won the election and, in doing so, bought time and decimated the SNP.

The Prime Minister is effective, diligent and hard working.

There is no credible alternative leader.

If she had not called an election, she would have been condemned by those who criticise her now.

The British people voted for Brexit to extricate themselves from the EU bloc.

Mrs May has support from the rank and file of Conservatives.

Under her leadership, we have the best prospect of disengaging ourselves from the sorry mess that is the EU and whose representatives do not negotiate but simply obstruct.

Nick Yates

Via email


Let Amazon pay for better connections

If Amazon wishes to cash in on the rural market, it can only do that if there is connectivity.

Amazon should stump up the cost from its unpaid taxes.

James Taylor

Via email