Letters published in the media (47)

The Independent

Friday, 26 August 2011

LETTERS

PM back from holiday again

Over the past month or so I have often heard and read that David Cameron has “cut short his holiday to return to return to Downing Street”. Given that he has taken four holidays in the past five months, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that Mr Cameron has “‘cut short his work to return to holiday”?

Henry Page, Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-perspectives-on-the-memory-of-riots-2343971.html

 

Site Logo

Politicians with a criminal record might not be a bad thing…

Monday 6th June 2011

EX-TORY peer, Lord Taylor of Warwick, was jailed recently for 12 months for falsely claiming £11,277 in Parliamentary expenses.

Giving an interview about Lord Taylor’s possible return to the House of Lords when released from prison later this year, Lord Oakeshott expressed strong opposition to this notion saying, “If you break the law, you shouldn’t then be able to make the law”.

I think it would be a shame if anyone was debarred from the Houses of Parliament, unless there is evidence they pose a risk to good governance.

As with the current exclusion of a vote for prisoners, we should be looking at inclusiveness in the political and electoral system, not locking people out.

Those who have done their time should be free to move in the political framework of our country. They will have a new perspective that those without a criminal record won’t have.

Henry Page, Newhaven

The Independent

Saturday, 4 June 2011

LETTERS

Care providers – must we rescue private homes?

It is a sad indictment of the greed of the money markets that British taxpayers may have to rescue more than 30,000 pensioners at Southern Cross, Britain’s largest care provider (letters, 2 June). The bailout would likely cost hundreds of millions of pounds after ruthless City venture capitalists left Southern Cross Healthcare in a potentially insolvent situation.

US private equity company Blackstone acquired Southern Cross for £160m in 2004 and allegedly quadrupled its investment when it sold it three years later.

It achieved this by selling off the company’s property portfolio, depriving Southern Cross of its capital and forcing it to lease the properties back from the company the homes had been sold to.

This is yet another example of why “free market forces” do not work in social care and health organisations.

As the BBC’s Business Editor, Robert Peston, said, “At what point (if ever) would the private sector’s clout within the NHS be so great that private providers would be able to hold to ransom taxpayers who finance them (pay us more, or else), eroding the productivity gains?

“As we’ve seen with the financial crisis at the care home provider Southern Cross, the threat of an interruption of a vital service is quite a bargaining chip for a health provider.”

Competition in the NHS is not the answer to the improvement of healthcare provision.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-care-providers-2292842.html

Logo: London Daily Mail

Daily Mail (London) Publish date:June 2, 2011

SHARON SHOESMITH’S department failed a toddler so monumentally that he died with around 50 injuries sustained over eight months, though he was seen no less than 60 times by social workers. Is Ms Shoesmith really trying to tell us she doesn’t deserve the sack for her department’s grossly negligent failure?

HENRY PAGE,

Newhaven, East Sussex.

The Argus

Friday 27th May 2011

Slow worm site

10:58am Friday 27th May 2011

I WOULD like to comment on the closure of a travellers’ site in Brighton and Hove that was due to be developed, but then had to be closed earlier than expected because slow worms and reptiles could only be moved in spring (The Argus, May 21). I would also like to refer to coverage on the BBC news website on May 22.

Joseph Jones, from the Gypsy Council secretariat, said there was a lack of sites across the South East, with more than a thousand pitches needed. “The idea of slow worms taking priority over people – it is amazing really to think animals take priority over people” He said  “But gypsies and travellers are the lowest on anyone’s welfare agenda. They have the lowest health and education outcomes and have the most problems in achieving standards of human rights.” He said the travellers should have been offered an alternative site before they were evicted. My sympathies, however, lie with the reptiles. They have no choice concerning their habitat, but travellers do.

Moreover, in the face of what must be enormous costs, local authorities continue to provide more living space for travellers while the rest of us face hefty cut- backs, resulting in diluted services from central and local government.

I notice Mr Jones made no reference to this detail.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/yourargus/letters/9052958.print/

The Argus

Tuesday 10th May 2011

THE UK has voted to reject the AV system in favour of retaining first-past-the-post.

So, we will continue to see candidates who did not even achieve a majority of the votes in an individual constituency winning the parliamentary seat. We will continue to see governments elected that were similarly brought to office with a minority share of the national vote.

The British people deserve the poor governance meted out to them.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/archive/2011/05/10/Letters+to+the+Editor/9018264.Two_views_on_the_AV_result/

The Independent

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

LETTERS

An odd view of the future rents

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions told the BBC that theGovernment does not expect to see many landlords leaving the housing benefit market. “The feedback we have received from many local authorities suggests that landlords will reduce their rents,” he added.

Now Barclays Bank has forecast that interest rates will rise over 18 months, hitting 3.5 per cent in 2012 and 6.5 per cent by 2015. So how will landlords be able to reduce rents? I asked my landlord to meet me halfway with my looming £90 monthly benefit cut, more than 10 per cent of my rent, and he has told me he is more likely to increase my rent.

HENRY PAGE

NEWHAVEN, EAST SUSSEX

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-goldstone-report-2263422.html

The Independent

Saturday, 26 February 2011

LETTERS

With each passing day, the uprising in Libya has become more shocking, and with each new twist and turn the appearances of Gaddafi himself have become ever-increasingly surreal.

When the protests began in Tripoli on Tuesday evening, Gaddafi made a weird appearance that seemed to be based on Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, sitting in what looked like a cross between an old-fashioned Renault 4 and a Robin Reliant, while holding up an umbrella and wearing what appeared to be a Davy Crockett hat and a leather jacket.

“I’m in Tripoli,” he declared. It must have been met with some disbelief by most of those watching that Gaddafi knew where in the world he was.

His next speech a day later, from an even more embattled Tripoli, saw him ranting, in what appeared to be a half-finished home-improvement extension, that he would devolve even more powers to the masses, despite having ostensibly devolved all such powers long ago when he wrote his Green Book, which he brandished relentlessly during his speech.

He then compared himself with the Queen, saying “no one criticised her for invading Iraq” (surely she would have left that to Prince Phillip?) and asserted that Bin Laden was to blame and that the protesters were all on powerful mind-bending drugs.

I was beginning to wonder if it wasn’t Gaddafi who had been slipped some mind-bending mickey finn.

Gaddafi appears a cross between Basil Fawlty and Adolf Hitler, dispensing faux largesse by proposing to devolve powers already devolved, while calling on his supporters to kill the “cockroaches” on his streets. Are crazy despots fans of John Cleese?

Henry Page

n.b. Sadly edited but the full version is included on the main page of the blog

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-expats-and-tax-2226103.html

Monday 21 February 2011

LETTERS

SIR – How’s this for an example of waste and gobbledegook from Brighton and Hove city council?

A cycle lane that it built in 2008 at a cost of £500,000 is now to be removed at a cost of £1.1 million. A council spokesman has defended the cost by saying: “The proposal to remove existing cycle lanes is in response to local demand for this action and uses one-off money, so it would only defer the implementation of savings – not replace them.”

What it appears to be saying is: well, that’s £1.1 million we won’t be able to save this year, but next year, because we won’t have to remove it again, we will save the cost.

Henry Page
Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/8336787/Local-authorities-have-been-wasteful-with-taxpayers-money-for-decades.html

The Argus

Thursday 16th December 2010

Tory cuts show how the Lib-Dems have been conned

Alex Knutsen of Unison recently said: “The Educational Maintenance Allowance is… enabling working-class young people to have opportunities for university and skilled employment. If the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats get away with this cut, then it is simply a piece of political vandalism”.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said that the decision to phase out the Independent Living Fund was “bemusing [because] the fund is comparatively small and designed to support disabled people to live at home rather than in care homes. It’s hard to see how phasing out this fund will do anything but narrow down options and push people towards greater dependence on the state.”

Meanwhile transport minister Norman Baker was trying to justify voting for the trebling of university tuition fees by telling us through The Argus that he had to vote with the coalition or risk the Government being defeated and triggering another General Election, “which by the way the Tories might have won outright” (The Argus, December 10).

Is the threat of a Tory government supposed to worry us? What we have now is a Tory government propped up by the Lib-Dems. If scrapping the Educational Maintenance Allowance and the Independent Living Fund and trebling university fees aren’t the hallmark of a Tory government, then what are they?

The Lib-Dems have been conned by the Conservatives and will be lucky if they end up with a quarter of their existing MPs come the next General Election.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/yourargus/letters/8743344.Tory_cuts_show_how_the_Lib_Dems_have_been_conned/


Logo: London Daily Mail

17 December 2010

Should Vince Cable be on strictly Come Dancing? Wouldn’t this Lib Dem apologist for the Tories be better placed on Strictly Dancing To someone Else’s Tune?

(No URL)

Monday 13 December 2010

LETTERS

SIR – Channel 4’s dismissal of any question of Frankie Boyle’s “joke” about Katie Price’s disabled son being offensive has led to her making a comparison between disabled and gay subjects by observing: “They are saying it is OK to ridicule people – even children – for disability in a way they would not dare over race or sexual orientation.”

Yet I wrote and complained to the BBC about Jonathan Ross 18 months ago. He had made a homophobic “joke” when talking about competition prizes on Radio 2 by saying “If your son asks for a Hannah Montana MP3 player, you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings his … erm … partner home.”

I complained bitterly to the BBC about this, re-writing the “joke” to one of a racial tone thus: “If your son asks for a Mel B MP3 player, you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings his, erm, black partner home.” I then asked them to consider how funny my re-writing was.

Their response? They commented: “These off-the-cuff remarks were made purely in jest and were not intended to be offensive. Jonathan is not homophobic in any sense and never meant for his comments to be taken seriously.”

I’m sorry to say it is really only racial issues that are taken seriously. For what it is worth, I find Frankie Boyle’s attempt at humour equally offensive.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/8197523/Since-firearms-are-useless-to-protect-royalty-in-a-mob-the-police-must-completely-review-their-riot-tactics.html

The Independent

ON SUNDAY

12 December 2010

LETTERS

Nick Clegg says, “I really do think it is quite a liberal government and has got a very strong liberal flavour” (“No apologies. No regrets. No shame”, 5 December).

So it is liberal to financially disadvantage the poorest above all others? I refer to the swingeing cuts in housing benefit that will soon arrive, forcing tens of thousands of working and unemployed families to move home.

Is it liberal to treble the fees of English undergraduates while Welsh and Scots students will not suffer any increase? Is it liberal to withdraw child benefit from families while people such as Sir Philip Green’s wife Tina benefit from loopholes in UK law to get £1.2bn of share dividends paid to her tax-free?

Sorry, Mr Clegg, but to the poorer voter you are as naked as the emperor in his new clothes, and the naked truth is that your coalition is brazenly Tory.

http://newsindi.com/ios-letters-emails-online-postings-12-december-2010/

Logo: London Daily Mail

10 December 2010

LETTERS

The indignation with which the WikiLeaks revelations have been received by politicians is offensive, not because of what they say but because of what they’re not saying.

Downing street says: ‘We unequivocally condemn the unauthorised release of classified information.’ What they don’t mention is the Wiki-Leaks release of a classified U.s. military video showing the slaughter of a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff in Baghdad. Reuters has been trying to obtain this video through the Freedom of information Act, without success.

it was given to WikiLeaks by a member of U.s. military intelligence who felt it was an unconscionable act for the truth to be concealed in this way.

i supported the iraq and Afghanistan invasions, but people are now being made aware that they’re being fed a diet of lies by the U.s. government — and how it is so desperate to bring down the shutters on our view of its criminal activity.

HENRY PAGE, Newhaven, E. Sussex.


The Independent

Thursday, 2 December 2010

LETTERS

In the light of the fact that thousands of pages of sensitive, classified data from US embassies have been put up for public display on Wikileaks, by what reasoning can we be asked to entrust our most sensitive, private data to the IT sector. If even the US government cannot protect itself from this scandalous example of a security leak, what chance do we have?

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

(No URL)

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-on-student-fees-the-lib-dems-are-the-party-of-principle-2148649.html

Logo: London Daily Mail

28 October 2010

LETTERS

There was a really funny joke on radio 4’s today programme this morning when it was claimed David Cameron would focus on economic growth and job creation. only the day before, Nobel prize-winning economist professor Christopher pissarides claimed the spending review increases the risk of recession. he said: ‘the cuts are projected to add another half to one million people to the dole. “This will make it a lot more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs. It is [in] situations like these that welfare benefits play their most valuable role.” he said. It seems blatantly obvious that this Government is gambling with the economy in an ideological strategy to decimate the welfare state.

HENRY PAGE, Newhaven, E. Sussex.

(No URL)

The Independent

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

LETTERS

There were ferocious clashes on Sunday provoked by far-right extremists at the first Gay Pride parade in Serbia since 2001 (report, 11 October). On that occasion the parade was abandoned because of fascist violence.

Armed police in the capital, Belgrade, used tear gas against the rioters, who threw petrol bombs and stones and tried to break through the security cordon. The protesters shouted “death to homosexuals” while trying to get close to those on the march.

Even in Europe, it seems, life is dangerous for we gay people. Serbians would do well to reflect on recent history there regarding minorities and how this is viewed by those in the developed world.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-using-the-term-gay-2104787.html

5 October, 2010

Government’s broken promise on child benefit recalls New Labour’s politics of spin

SIR – It would be better if David Cameron did not apologise for the change in child benefit not being in the Conservatives’ manifesto.

There was no manifesto for this coalition government, as those who voted did not vote for a coalition government.

I voted Lib Dem, but I didn’t want a Conservative administration.

Henry Page
Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/8046866/Governments-broken-promise-on-child-benefit-recalls-New-Labours-politics-of-spin.html

Logo: London Daily Mail

27 September 2010

LETTERS

THE Arctic doesn’t belong to Russia, Denmark, Canada, the U.S. or Norway. It belongs to the world — and that includes all of its mineral wealth.

A far fairer settlement would be for the UN to set up a trust to distribute exploited wealth to the poorest countries of the world, delivering the benefit to the genuinely needy.

Is none of our statesmen capable of getting this idea off the ground? Are our most powerful nations really so horribly greedy?

HENRY PAGE, Newhaven, E. Sussex.

(No URL)

Logo: London Daily Mail

23 September, 2010

Letters

NICK CLEGG says the Coalition government is ‘the right government for right now’. What he means is ‘the right government for the Right now’.

HENRY PAGE, Newhaven, E. Sussex.

(No URL)

The Independent

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

LETTERS

Nightmare for the Lib Dems

The Lib Dem leadership will be urged by party members to ensure that spending cuts do not disproportionately hit the poor, after Nick Clegg said planned cuts were the “only choice” for economic recovery.

The only choice? You mean there is no other way out of our economic woes other than to make the poor pay proportionately more than the rich? No way other than the slash-and-burn tactics of George Osborne, which will see homelessness double over the next five years?

The Lib Dems are locked into this Conservative ideological nightmare and, unlike the Conservatives, who are expected to be nasty, will be disproportionately affected by voters’ rejection of them at the next election.

http://www.independent.co.uk/…/letters-liberal-democrats-2085590.html

Logo: London Daily Mail

10 September, 2010

Letters

The truth is plain to see. The Government has £100 million to waste on electoral and boundary changes — ‘political skulduggery’ as labour called it — but makes such drastic budget cuts to affordable housing programmes that the social housing construction company connaught plc is to be placed in administration. in June, the company warned that public spending cuts would see its revenue fall by £80 million this year, and recently admitted that ‘measures in the Government’s budget would affect 31 of its social housing contracts’.

We’re moving nearer to the abyss of total housing crisis because of this Government’s policies. Cameron and Clegg will be guilty of crimes against humanity when the homelessness this will cause materialises.

HENRY PAGE, Newhaven, E. Sussex.

(No URL)

The Independent

8 September 2010

LETTERS

Housing cuts start to bite

In June the Government announced a cut of £230m from the budget of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the non-governmental organisation responsible for funding social housing programmes. The HCA was also warned of a further £610m in cuts from its budget. Now, only weeks later, Connaught plc, one of the leading social housing builders is falling into administration.

The Chancellor’s cut in the social housing budget has exacerbated Connaught’s difficulties, as the HCA directly funds social housing programmes, such as those built by Connaught.

This government is on the brink of leading us into one of the biggest housing slumps in 40 years as the reduction of Housing Benefit next year will also see private landlords withdrawing their homes from the rental market, as benefit tenants fall behind with their rent. The reduction in the social housing programme, as a consequence of the Government’s budget cuts, will see even fewer affordable homes placed on the market to alleviate the housing shortage.

The future for housing for those on low incomes is starting to look very grim indeed.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-languages-2072911.html

The Independent

30 July 2010

LETTERS

US ignores the Bhopal disaster

The one salient factor about the US and its attempts to extract billions of pounds from BP in damages and the Senate calling for British politicians to submit to interrogation, can be summed up in one word: Bhopal.

The countless thousands of people who were maimed in 1984 by the world’s worst industrial catastrophe or whose loved ones were killed are still waiting for adequate compensation. With the US, as usual, it’s one law for them and precious little for anyone else.

Henry Page, Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-perspectives-on-global-warming-2039013.html

The Independent

15 June 2010

Letters

Coalition’s cuts fall on the poor

I would not wish to prejudge the Budget, but it would appear from the current wave of cost-cutting measures that this government intends to make the lowest paid bear the brunt of balancing the books.

The Child Trust Fund and Becta have already been axed, both of which had programmes heavily weighted to the advantage of the poorest and those with disabilities. Mr Cameron’s latest brainwave is the appointment of Frank Field. This new “poverty supremo” is considering axing child benefit once a child attains 13 years of age.

How is that going to help a poor, working family with three or four teenage children who are studying to attain qualifications? What about such families in areas where there is no work? Mr Field will penalise them by removing more than £50 a week from their income with this measure.

As Mr Cameron entered office with soothing promises to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, could I now ask him to tell me if he thinks he is succeeding in that aim?

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-wildlife-2000456.html

guardian.co.uk home

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Letters

Cameron’s first cuts hit the poorest

The government has now begun its cost-cutting measures in an attempt to save money (Spending cuts, 25 May). David Cameron said that he would protect the poorest in our society. However, the axe has fallen on the child trust fund and Becta, the information technology organisation that also administers the home access grant scheme. Becta, through the home access scheme, has benefited youngsters who find information and communication technology beyond their reach by providing laptops and broadband to over 200,000 of the poorest children. Becta is levelling the playing field between those who can afford ICT and those who cannot. Becta not only advantages poor children, but also benefits the Treasury, as its centralised procurement arrangements save schools and colleges many times more than Becta costs to run.

The child trust fund has helped children save since 2001, with £250 given on birth – double for children in the lowest income bands – and again when the child is aged seven. It pays even greater dividends to disabled children. It would have been simple to means-test the CTF in the way that the home access grant scheme means-tested eligibility for laptops.

This government has lied about protecting the poorest. Their words are a smoke screen for doing exactly the opposite. The Lib Dems should be ashamed about their part in this disgraceful realisation of this government’s hollow promise.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jun/02/camerons-cuts-hit-the-poorest

The Independent

26 May 2009

LETTERS

Those electors concerned over MPs’ expenses should realise that MPs are not paid as well as many other professional positions. A district judge in a county court earns around £75,000 per annum, and there are considerably fewer MPs than district judges. Most heads of district councils and health authorities earn in excess of £100,000 per annum. Wake up, some of you.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-european-elections-1690647.html

THE TIMES

May 17, 2010

LETTERS

Sir, We are continually entreated by various government spokesmen that the current coalition is what the electorate voted for. Let’s be clear: the electorate did not vote for this “blended” government.

I voted Lib Dem and have done so for the past three elections. However, I would not have voted Lib Dem had I known that this would bring the Conservatives into government. Where has my vote gone in all of this? I will never vote Lib Dem again.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7128129.ece

The Independent

17 May 2010

LETTERS

I prefer to think of the inner circle of this coalition government as a Pandora’s Box than a Cabinet. Two thirds of them are Oxbridge educated; only four are women; only two have previously held a Cabinet post and none is working to a manifesto endorsed by the electorate. The day of reckoning will come when hordes of Tory and Lib Dem voters ask, “Where is my vote in all of this?”

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-the-left-and-the-election-1975022.html

13 May 2010

Lib Dem and Conservative politicians should be wary of the pitfalls of coalition governments

SIR – Are David Cameron and Nick Clegg morphing into Ant and Dec?

Henry Page
Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/7715735/Lib-Dem-and-Conservative-politicians-should-be-wary-of-the-pitfalls-of-coalition-governments.html

THE TIMES

May 12, 2010

Lessons, past and present, that all party leaders need to learn

The present system of first-past-the-post is the very feature that makes the success of a coalition problematic

Sir, Some of the media are behaving little better than spurned lovers in the storm in a teacup over the Lib Dem negotiations with both parties. No wonder most politicians haven’t wanted proportional representation (PR) — the arrival of that system would require them to think things through, something they appear to fall woefully short of at the moment.

Henry Page
Newhaven, E Sussex

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7123155.ece

THE TIMES

May 10, 2010

That there is even talk of a coalition government taking power in precedence to a party with 50 or more seats shows the pressing need to reform the British constitution

Sir, I have voted Liberal Democrat for the past three general elections. For this I am now rewarded with Nick Clegg discussing the formation of a coalition government with the Conservatives. I am pro-European, ardently for scrapping Trident and totally against repealing the ban on hunting. So a warning to Mr Clegg: you are playing an extremely dangerous game. Sell my vote cheaply and I — and millions like me — will never vote Liberal Democrat again.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7121066.ece

SIR – I have voted Liberal Democrat for the past three general elections. For this, I am rewarded with Nick Clegg discussing the formation of a coalition government with the Conservatives.

I am pro-European, ardently for scrapping Trident, totally against repealing the ban on hunting and against so much more that the Tories clearly support.

If Mr Clegg sells my vote cheaply, I – and others like me – will never vote Liberal Democrat again.

Henry Page 
Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/7732749/Hung-parliaments-give-disproportionate-power-to-smaller-parties.html

The Independent

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

LETTERS

Every time I listen to the radio news I hear David Cameron saying that if he becomes leader and you are unemployed, you will not be able to refuse a job that you are able to do when offered it by the JobCentre.

I wasn’t aware that you are able to refuse it now, as existing rules preclude claimants refusing to accept employment that they are able to do.

Trust a multi-millionaire like Dave to focus on the poorest in our society. It must be in their genes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-election-issues-1962315.html

The Independent

26 April 2010

LETTERS

David Cameron says family is the most important thing in his life and also “the best welfare state”.

As he and his wife are reputedly worth in excess of £30m, can I ask for the equivalent wealth package from the state? No, I thought not. It ill behoves a rich politician to refer to his even wealthier wife in the same breath as mentioning the welfare state.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-election-polls-1954242.html

The Independent

17 April 2010

LETTERS

With the leaders of the major parties debating on television we have moved one step nearer to American-style politics. There have already been calls for elected police chiefs and televising criminal court proceedings. What’s next?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-uk-border-officials-1947244.html

The Independent

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

LETTERS

Chris Grayling’s comments that those of faith must be respected, even if it means discriminating against gay people, is a betrayal of equality. We are used to people in power – the Pope is a good example – who say everyone is equal with their fingers crossed. We expect better of our politicians, whom we vote into office.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-war-in-afghanistan-1936573.html

The Independent

26 February 2010

LETTERS

Karzai outrage

One of the biggest problems facing Gordon Brown is not the prattling over bullying at No 10 but the outrageous fait accompli served up by Hamid Karzai that he will henceforth appoint all members of the Electoral Complaints Commission. The last election was little more than a joke. We many of us know why our boys are there, but are they dying for a de facto dictator?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-oil-development-in-the-falkands-1911092.html

The Independent

22 February 2010

LETTERS

Not being renowned for innovation, the Tories are now planning their strategy should they win the coming general election. William Hague is bracing us for the inevitable “they got us into this mess” response from his party when the going gets tough by saying that current UK debt is a poisoned chalice to the Conservatives.

This is what the Thatcher government was saying when Mr Hague was but a schoolboy. Give it a rest, we’ve heard it before.

Henry Page

Newhaven

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-browns-honesty-1906510.html

The Independent

18 November 2009

LETTERS

Do those who cannot understand why our troops are fighting in Afghanistan imagine that if we leave al-Qa’ida will simply melt away, return to their homes and make ships in glass bottles?

Our boys are there because that is the front line with al-Qa’ida, who would rejoice to see the infidel depart. Then the terrorist training grounds would begin again. That is why our boys are there. Be proud of them. Support them.

Henry Page

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-why-having-it-all-is-a-myth-1822431.html

7 August 2009

Proposal would have restored the tunnels

It will come as no surprise to those who live in or about Newhaven that the tunnels that comprise HMS Forward are deteriorating to the extent that the road surfaces over them are cracking. There was an ambitious but worthy attempt to restore the tunnels several years ago by making a proposal to open them to the public. Had that been successful funds, including a lottery grant, would likely have been available to carry out the necessary work.

Newhaven has a rich history in wartime architecture and HMS Forward would have been an asset worth having. One man, resident Paul Harris, objected to the proposal and, because of that, the project had to be abandoned. Mr Harris’s objection was one of safety and that he did not want people wandering about underneath his house. He was quoted as saying: “I don’t like the idea of people walking about under your house anyway.” It was said at the time that the project would have restored the structural integrity of the tunnels, but Mr Harris chose to ignore that advice.

However, on the BBC’s online news service this week, there is an article about the current state of the tunnels and the problems it is causing. The article includes a comment from the same Paul Harris complaining that his house has lost value and that the tunnels should be filled in. Quite right too. What are you waiting for Mr Harris? Don’t expect the taxpayer to foot the bill now that you have rejected the only sensible proposal and had the HMS Forward project abandoned. Dig in your pocket (excuse the pun) and fill them in, because no one else is going to. It was your objection that brought this problem about and now you will have to face the consequences.

Henry Page, Newhaven

http://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/community/your-letters/proposal_would_have_restored_the_tunnels_1_966832

The Independent

8 April 2008

LETTERS

Sir: How silly, how stupid was this massive attempt to protect the Olympic flame when people are dying in Tibet in their attempt to hold the flaming torch of democracy in their own hands?

I have heard enough of this rubbish about sport and politics. Fighting for the freedom of your country is not politics, it is called survival. Tibetans are dying for their country and Tessa Jowell and her tawdry sports personalities should be ashamed of themselves.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-closing-post-offices-805806.html

The Argus

25 May 2004

Letter

It’s their fault

While I agree with Bob Booth, a trustee of The Hillcrest Community Centre, that the youths responsible for breaking into the centre last week must have a low opinion of themselves, his assertion that such appalling behaviour stems from their being bored because “there is nothing for them to do in Newhaven” is a feeble attempt to excuse their anti-social behaviour.

Is there any evidence that shows a link between vandalism and a lack of municipal facilities?

There are numerous local clubs, good recreation ground facilities and the big city is only a short bus ride away.

What we have to ask is why certain youths seem bent on destroying our town?

If it was as simple as a lack of facilities, all of our teenagers would be running riot. But they are not. It is only a tiny minority of adolescents that blight the town, usually as a result of poor parenting.

Any parent can have a difficult child but it is the way you deal with that child that determines what happens next.

Please, Mr. Booth, don’t blame the community for not providing facilities to occupy these bored minds. They smash up the facilities that do exist, make our lives a misery and waste hundreds if not thousands of hours of police time. It is their fault they are doing this, not ours.

Henry Page, Newhaven

http://www.theargus.co.uk/archive/2004/05/25/Brighton+Hove+Archive/5093305.Letter__It_s_their_fault/

The Argus

16 February 2004

Letters

Get the criminals

Sussex Police are asking for an extra £10 million to help fund new “community wardens” (The Argus, February 11). This increase will result in an extra £8 per year on a band D property.

Sussex Police already receive a considerable sum from the Government for the new Community Support Officers and, with this in mind, rid their service of beat officers. The negative impact that this has had has been dramatic.

Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven are blighted by vandalism that is so orchestrated and significant that, in the past three months alone, about £500,000 of damage has been inflicted on these three towns.

Their residents are sick and tired of a police authority that allows the police to focus on traffic issues and a scaled-down police presence in the guise of Community Support Officers.

It is apparent to most townsfolk that the policing we are getting is simply not working.

Chief Constable Ken Jones says he cannot “put a bobby on every street corner”, but all we need is a return the beat policing we had in the 1990s.

Furthermore, the magistrates who preside over the handful of cases that ever arrive in court fail to properly deal with the culprits.

Last November in Lewes Youth Court, Sussex Police applied for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) against a young offender. The magistrates decided this was inappropriate.

So why couldn’t an ASBO have been placed on this youth? Despite all the fanfare regarding ASBOs, magistrates have not used this effective criminal justice mechanism to the advantage of the townsfolk they serve.

Isn’t it time we had beat officers back and magistrates who reflect what the law-abiding citizen wants to see happen to those who commit such appalling social and criminal damage?

Henry Page, Newhaven

http://www.theargus.co.uk/archive/2004/02/16/Brighton+Hove+Archive/5096890.Get_the_criminals/

The Argus

16 October 2003

POLICE ARE WOEFULLY SHORT OF MANPOWER

From the archive, first published Thursday 16th Oct 2003.

Why, when the precept to Sussex Police Authority rose again by more than 30 per cent this year, does the service we receive from the police diminish year on year?

The new policy of “community support officers” demonstrates this admirably.

When I moved to Newhaven from Whitesmith in 1998, there were two community beat officers forNewhaven, who patrolled on foot and made valuable links with the community.

They liased with people on the street, found out what the local problems were and dealt with them speedily and effectively.

What have we got now? Two community support officers (CSOs) who patrol an area from Saltdean to Seaford!

I have been told the Seahaven police area often has just three police officers, all in patrol cars, to cover the duties required of Sussex Police.

Sussex Police state on their web site: “Increased opening hours at police stations mean you can now visit front counters later in the day.

“It all adds up to a reassuring police presence in each of Sussex’s neighbourhoods.”

But does it? When I was assaulted last week in Newhaven, where the chairman for the Sussex Police Authority lives, I phoned 999 and when I pressed the operator as to how long I would have to wait for police attendance, I was told: “How long is piece of string?”

It would appear from that comment that Sussex Police are woefully undermanned and hardly able to offer a “reassuring police presence” in this neighbourhood.

You could be forgiven for thinking this incident was isolated and only applied to me. If only that were the case.

The management of Somerfield, the supermarket in Newhaven town centre, feel they are under siege at times.

So bad has vandalism and harassment got that they are to have two security guards.

The manager of Woolworths is equally fed up with smashed windows and visible crime in his store.

Recently he had to close the store because a group of youths fought him on the shop floor.

My discussions with police officers also led to the inevitable statement that magistrates do not deal with offenders in a way which would prevent them from reoffending.

For example, a youth who has repeatedly broken his bail conditions will still be bailed again by the youth courts.

Why are they doing this? Invariably police officers tire of rounding up such offenders only for them to be back on the streets the next day committing more misdemeanours.

Surely it is time we got the police service we are paying for?

Henry Page, Newhaven

http://www.theargus.co.uk/archive/2003/10/16/Brighton+Hove+Archive/5102745.Police_are_woefully_short_of_manpower/

The Independent

Letter: To bomb or not to bomb in Serbia

HENRY PAGE

Sunday, 4 April 1999

I CAN hardly put into words the anger I feel at The Independent on Sunday’s opinion on the Nato action over Kosovo. The reason for the conflict is the same as Iraq; it is the same as Hitler’s Germany. All the while we appease these tyrants they are in a win-win situation. If we take no action they deteriorate the fabric of other races within their own borders and if action is taken against them they accelerate their ethnic cleansing. You are giving Milosevic and his kind the opportunity to put their ghastly blueprints into action because they know that, even if bombed, no effective military strategy – such as a ground war – will ever be accepted by the West. Tyrants such as these do not retire to a bungalow on the coast and take up carpentry – they fight to the bitter end, regardless of the human consequences and you, by your own statements, support them in that. A ground war and invasion of Serbia is the only answer, leading hopefully to the capture and trial of these war criminals. If not, when hundreds of thousands die, possibly millions, the blood will be on our hands because we sat back and allowed this to take place. Shame on you and all those who take this stance from their comfortable British firesides.

HENRY PAGE

Newhaven, East Sussex

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letter-to-bomb-or-not-to-bomb-in-serbia-1085180.html

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