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Your letters on Downham Market housing, a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital for King's Lynn, school discipline, war in Ukraine and a cashless society

Discipline was so much more firm in my day

I read almost with disbelief the article relating to the High School protests re uniform and toilet breaks.

If only those pupils had been at school in the 60s and early 70s when I was.

The Lynn News front page from February 28 (62847609)
The Lynn News front page from February 28 (62847609)

During my seven years at Downham Grammar School we were forbidden jewellery except for religious purposes, Roman Catholic pupils could wear a crucifix, we had to kneel on the floor to have the length of our skirts measured to
ensure they were not too short (I could actually kneel on mine as it was bought to last so was told to stand up again straight away!), any uniform breaches tended to lead to being sent home to change and we were always expected to request permission if we needed to use the toilet during lessons.

Oddly I rarely remember anyone doing so as lessons didn’t last much beyond two hours before breaktimes.

This was considered normal practice and we didn’t protest but accepted it, albeit at times with the odd grumble, and got on with our lessons.

Maybe it does hark back to the fact that discipline at home as well as school was a lot firmer than it seems to be today but I know that, if I’d behaved like the pupils who protested and broke up school equipment, I’d have got punished when I got home, even at high school age. But I was brought up to respect property and to obey the rules whether I liked them or not, which it seems is not the case today.

Lynne Hubbard


Is Truss really the right person to help?

We’ve all seen graphic television pictures of the hundreds of metal supports holding-up the roof of the infamous Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn.

Which could be a realistic metaphor for the physical health of our cherished, yet ‘failing’
National Health Service.

We’ve heard the sincere and often repeated promises from numerous party politicians, ministers, secretaries of state for health.

The latest, of course, being the Right Honourable Steven Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire whose own children were born at this very same hospital.

Alas, zero response on the ground (bulldozers, workers in high viz jackets and hard-hats etc) from this moribund Conservative party establishment who have (thus far) failed to deliver for the good folk of North West Norfolk anything that resembles a new hospital - even though the UK is one of the G7’s wealthiest countries.

But wait, hope is on the horizon! The record breaking (44 days in office) former Prime Minister Mary, Elizabeth Truss has declared that she will ‘put her weight behind a ‘campaign’ (albeit late) to spearhead matters to achieve the unresolved new hospital for Lynn – with local conservative MP, James Wild.

Although many have already suggested, perhaps unfairly, because of her recent experience in wrecking the UK economy with her mini budget on September 15, such help from Ms Truss might not be appropriate.

Under the circumstance, her recent appalling record in government - when responsible for spending £billions of UK taxpayers’ money. Indeed, any such financial assistance from Ms Truss, at this time - might be regarded as somewhat counter-productive.

Jim Mitchell

via email

Recorded history is there for a reason

Steve Mackinder(Letters, February 17) called for a change in the political system; Jo Rust highlighted the fact that the UK had poured billions of pounds into Ukraine since 2014 and has always been able to find money for wars (at the expense of the population).

Defence Minister Tobias Elwood said in January that we are in a proxy war and “we need to face Russia directly rather than leave Ukraine to do the work”.

So, if we have been building up to this since 2014 one can hardly call the events of February 2022 “unprovoked”.

There seems to be a collective amnesia in Westminster about the events of the years in between.

We are told we live in a democracy but questioning the prescribed narrative is deemed unacceptable.

There are no creditable opposition parties in parliament and to my mind, we are living under an increasingly authoritarian system; witness the threat of the removal of the party whip to Labour MPs who wished to sign an anti war letter and the removal of the party whip to a Tory MP who repeated the concerns of a GP in his constituency.

It is easy to promote war from the safety of an office in Whitehall. It is easy to support war when one has never witnessed the effects of the weaponry now used.

The tragedy of Ukraine could have and should have been avoided in 2015. We need to learn more, recorded history is there for a reason.

Pamela Richardson


Having cash gives us more freedom

Cash withdrawals are appearing to be phased out in Downham as part of a wider picture.

Tesco has discontinued cashbacks and there now is only one cashpoint on the premises with the only other outlet at Lloyds Bank, but for how much longer with high street banks under threat?

In parts of West Norfolk some retailers will take payment by card only and further afield in London bus fares are by Oyster Cards.

In parts of America people have microchips on their wrists at supermarkets to pay for groceries, all through a central agency, which governance has access to, with an insidious global spread.

This is all part of an agenda of ultimate nanny state control of lives through money monitoring, as exemplified by Covid
restrictions on the nation during the pandemic by the Government, and Matt Hancock has some questions to answer.

The biggest losers will be those who are well remunerated on one side of the socio-economic mix, being susceptible to threats and takeovers of lives by the Government, with the vulnerable and elderly at the other end who cannot relate to technology on digital expenditure. Cash is freedom! Cashlessness is bondage and subservience to Big Brother!

David Fleming


Anyone actually looking at these clueless plans?

Is there anyone out there actually really looking at these pie-in-the-sky plans for housing development in West Norfolk? To suggest that the current plans for the latest developments of over 500 new homes in Downham represents ‘very little’ in relative terms clearly shows the planning inspectorate hasn’t a clue.

Sustainable transport train connections are something they refer to and it seems they imagine the residents living in these clumps of houses parked on green field farmland won’t drive, they’ll take trains and yet every single new house will be fitted with an electric charging point for their EV which (according to the inspectorate) they’ll not need as they’ll use public transport. It’s almost comedic!

Anyone who uses trains at Downham is already painfully aware of the costs and lack of parking capacity. The commuter train trip is misery for those shackled to it.

Downham is becoming unrecognisable as a market town and as I watched them yesterday cutting down hundreds of trees in readiness for more tarmac and another roundabout
access for another housing
estate I’d ask why we are destroying wildlife habitats, green biomass carbon sinks, hedgerows to lay tarmac and roundabouts for houses which supposedly won’t use cars for transport. It’s biocide, it’s preposterous and it’s a total ‘con’.

Steve Mackinder


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