Readers' letters - May 17
Future should be plants not plastic
I have just received my National Trust magazine in the post, bearing the words “Plants not Plastic”.
A common enough comment these days, but lo and behold, someone has finally done something about it.
The plastic (that we’ve all come to expect) providing the envelope for the magazine and its other contents was in fact not plastic, but made from potato mash!
Boldly displayed was the advice to put the envelope in the compost!
Even if you don’t have a compost, this means that it will biodegrade when it hits the landfill.
Whoopee! Now at last I can put something into the black bin without feeling guilty.
All I can say is well done the National Trust.
We know they care for our national treasures, but now they’re caring about our planet, and us, to experiment with an alternative to what was once considered one of the “best things since sliced bread” items – the dreaded plastic wrapping.
Personally, I’ve started re-using those flimsy veg bags you get in supermarkets.
I know it’s only a small thing, but every journey starts with one step.
We can grow more potatoes for this replacement for plastic, we can grow more trees to provide more paper.
Is it just greed and lethargy that is taking us to a future where we will, all of us, actually be made of plastic, because that’s what we’ll all be eating?
Has public service become the exclusive domain of central government?
When an MP, valued by ministers in Westminster, resigns or sadly dies, tributes are paid by colleagues, often referring to their dedication to public service.
That we should have, in this country, ministers who are dedicated public servants should not be underestimated.
It is laudable.
One does wonder, however, why the same ministers who applaud public duty in Westminster have done nothing to protect the many talented and dedicated public servants in this country’s health service, education service, Social Services and local government, who, on the altar of austerity (the only way in which the current Government seems to be able to manage what it refers to as the Economy) have seen their tenure terminated. This includes the loss of doctors’ posts; nurses’ posts, therapists’ posts; support services’ posts and social workers’ posts. Local government funding has been slashed, year on year, such that even the issue of potholes has become a national talking point in 21st century Britain.
Ironically, when depleted public services creak and limp and do not manage expectation, their executioners do not extol their value as examples of people doing their public duty. Instead, they join the clamour of criticism in the hope of dodging difficult economic questions.
It is indeed encouraging to hear members of the Royal Family identify what are among the priceless treasures this country has created, with people and progress at their heart.
It is a travesty that many politicians, with financial motive at their heart, have dismissed them and treated those going over and above public duty with such disdain. There is an old Spanish proverb that springs to mind, the ass licks only itself. Clearly, we need to avoid asses, no matter how cuddly they look.
President Gump – or Trump?
Trump reminds me of Tom Hanks’ magnificent portrayal of Forrest Gump.
Here was a man with few brains and little sense, whose extraordinary and unpredictable actions succeeded in making him a millionaire.
Remember that wonderful scene where Gump had a go at running a fishing business?
He foolishly went out to sea in a raging hurricane when none of his competitors would have dared.
His boat survived, while all his competitors’ boats were smashed to pieces in harbour.
No doubt Kim Jong-un could happily defy and deceive responsible and predictable politicians like Obama, but what was he to do when faced with an idiotic and unpredictable man like Trump?
No wonder he backed down.
Perhaps sometimes it is an advantage to have a ‘buffoon’ in charge of foreign policy!
Royal wedding soap opera
In the ‘soap opera’ atmosphere of the impending Royal Wedding, has the Palace factored in, what so often happens on these occasions, the possibility of one of the participants doing a runner? Although I suppose the threat of a spell in the Tower of London could act as a deterrent?