Your views on population increase, incinerators, the honours system, Gaywood St Faith's Church fundraiser and Liz Truss
Liz deserves a break
May I warmly congratulate Liz Truss for her courage in returning to politics, and her successful re-election as the Conservative candidate who will fight the next general election in South West Norfolk. This lady has real steel and backbone, and still has much to offer her country.
She is also one of the most experienced politicians in Britain. Her brave stand with Boris against Putin in the Ukraine War was vital, with Britain leading the way in supporting Zelensky and Ukraine. All British people should be proud of Boris and Liz for that, and we in West Norfolk should be the first to honour her for her part in it. As for Liz’s tragic resignation from her office as Prime Minister, I am convinced (like many others), that there was much dark skulduggery done in the market to sabotage her moves and to brutally get rid of her quickly. Her policies for economic growth and low tax were definitely the right ones for Britain, and still are.
So I was truly disgusted at Rob Colwell’s childish and disrespectful ridicule of Liz Truss in February 24’s Friday Lynn News front page announcement. Then there was the ridiculous attack by Jo Rust on the strong. Conservative support for Ukraine (Friday Politics, February 24), where she tries to play down Britain’s leading role. Finally, I want to praise the wonderful work of people like Julie Clark and Nick Sawyer, who have delivered much-needed humanitarian aid to the brave people of Ukraine.
Ukrainians will never forget the people of Britain for their genuine support. And they will be eternally grateful to Boris and Liz for their strong leadership in defeating Putin.
What do people feel about a national plan
A YouGov Poll appears to show that 74% of UK adults believe that the Government should have a national population strategy.
This is important because a larger population is often cited as a main contributory factor in our services (such as the NHS) finding it harder to cope. According to official figures, the UK population in 1950 was 50.1m. In the half-century to 2000, it increased by 18% to 58.9m. But in the 23 years of this century so far, there has been a huge jump of another 15% to 67.7m.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) attribute this leap to a number of ‘natural’ causes like the number of births and deaths. However, the over-riding factor is clearly net migration. They project that by 2041 (so still less than half of this century) the figure is likely to hit 73m.
This will impact on pretty much every aspect of our national life and therefore justifies a co-ordinated approach by Governments. Obviously it is essential that any policy is compassionate and meets moral and legal responsibilities for everyone.
It would be interesting to know what the feeling is in West Norfolk about the wisdom of a UK Population Plan.
We already have too many incinerators
Contrary to the suggestions in recent letters, I am averse to sending waste to landfill. My intent is to eliminate as much “residual waste” as possible. What we can’t avoid creating through better design, we should seek to reuse or recycle. Currently 44% of England’s waste is recycled. In fact, over half of what is treated as residual waste is also recyclable, if the right systems are set up. The government, to its credit, is in the process of changing the rules to persuade manufacturers to reduce and improve packaging, introduce deposit schemes on tins and plastic bottles and improve recycling collections across local authorities, including minimising the amount of organic waste (that which rots).
These initiatives will dramatically change the composition of the waste that is left over and it will be substantially less suitable for burning and more suitable for burying. I do, as it happens, prefer landfill to incineration.
Modern landfill sites are lined to contain leachate from decomposing waste and designed to capture and use methane generated as a consequence of the ever-diminishing organic fraction.
A tax of £98.60 per tonne is levied on any landfill, to discourage it, and landfill allows the flexibility to move rapidly towards better waste reduction, reuse and recycling.
Incineration, or as some prefer to call it “skyfill”, generates huge quantities of (carbon trading scheme exempt) carbon dioxide, and pollutants, some of which are continuously monitored, others, including heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, barely at all.
The operators will have it that the toxics are scrubbed and captured in bag filters, and by weight the majority are, but the smallest, most numerous and most dangerous particles escape along with copious quantities of undesirable gasses.
Where does all the ash created by incineration end up? In landfill, most of which attracts a levy of just £3.15 per tonne.
Even if you still believe incineration is the best solution for residual waste, please consider the following.
The most recent government figures tell us that 48% of waste arising is incinerated, that is more than is recycled. Government targets also say that recycling needs to reach 65% by 2035.
Incinerators, once built, run for around 40 years. As already mentioned, with all the changes in progress, there will be less waste created and its changing composition means that existing incinerators require more and more waste to generate the same amount of power.
So how are we going to satisfy our ambition if we already have too many waste incinerators and then continue to build even more and bigger? Well, we can’t.
Michael de Whalley
Not hard to understand the system
It’s not hard to understand the underlying purpose of the honours system today regardless of who are ultimately responsible for awarding them.
Honours are only awarded to those people whether professional (particularly in mainstream politics, media, armed services, acting etc) or to seemingly provide balance, genuinely commendable laypeople (like voluntary workers, long term care workers or helpful foot postmen/women etc) whose actions or attitudes however do not in any way challenge or threaten the underlying economic social neoliberal political system. This inevitably discourages many lay people and to believe that the current political status quo cannot be challenged or radically overhauled.
This indirectly reflects and addresses the question as to why the mass political media always seem to ask every time a new political story or revelation occurs whether it’s another chance for Boris Johnson to make a political comeback (as if he’s actually left!).
Obviously there are some who wish he’d return as Prime Minister. However, anyone would think there was a mass desperation amongst the UK population at large that he does which of course is debatable.
Fair will raise fund for St Faith’s
The nights are pulling out as we say in Norfolk - a sure sign that Spring is on its way.
And talking of Spring: what better time is there to have a de-clutter in your home?
All those items you keep meaning to get rid of but never quite get round to dealing with.
Well, now could be the time because St Faith’s Church at Gaywood is holding its annual Spring Fair on Saturday, March 18 in the Church Rooms, starting at 2pm.
We are looking for donations of good quality goods, in particular jigsaw puzzles, bric-a-brac and your unwanted Christmas gifts. With your help these items could find their way onto the various stalls at the Spring Fair.
All proceeds from the fair go towards the ever-increasing costs of running St Faith’s Church which is shared for worship and mission by Anglican and Methodist members.
If you have any items you would like to donate please call the church office on 01553 279687.
Thank you in advance for your donations.
The fair is open to everyone and admission is free. Do come along and enjoy browsing around the stalls and trying your luck at the games of chance stalls. There is always a friendly atmosphere and you can meet up with friends over a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of home-made cake in the refreshment area .
Chair of St Faith’s fundraising group