Readers' letters - October 2
If you go back far enough, you’ll remember when you’d sit on a bus/train talking to your friends or even strangers when there would be this horrible music followed by somebody shouting at the top of their voice “I am on the bus/train”.
They would soon find themselves at the mercy of their fellow passengers.
Somehow it always went very quiet.
The cause of this trouble for those of you who have never experienced this were called mobile phones.
Sadly, these disappeared many years ago.
Ironically many of those who did the threatening would say, “You’d have to pay me to have one”.
As the years go by, there are few who have kept their word.
The replacements to the mobile phones are nothing short of unbelievable.
Most people will see them not so much as “must-haves” as “I cannot survive without one”.
These handheld boxes have become almost replacement brains.
The effect they have had has come at a terrible cost, not just financially but in the way people now live their lives.
Many dare not leave their homes or even go to bed without them.
The reason for this is they are mini-computers.
People nowadays have become increasingly more ignorant.
When was the last time anyone said hello to you on a train?
In my experience, they just sit down, get out one of those infernal contraptions and cover the table.
This is only to be expected as people simply do not speak to each other anymore, they would rather text.
Many years ago, Gary Numan wrote a song called “Are your friends electric?”
He could never have known it, but there are indeed more people who have electric friends whom they never actually see or ever speak to.
This is of course due to the internet (Facebook).
I live in hope (although not in hatred) that one day all this will end and we will get back human beings and not the androids many have become.
Reduce nuclear posturing
I write in reply to Col Barry Clayton’s letter on nuclear weapons (LP Letters, September 27) that states that, although they represent mutually assured destruction, we have to live with them to protect ourselves.
While a few people hang on to this view, it is the case that the world is running out of diplomatic levers, as demonstrated in the escalating crisis between North Korea and the US.
The world is in the hands of unstable countries and unpredictable leaders. Tensions between these two nuclear powers illustrate the dangers of nuclear weapons.
In contrast to negative thinking, scientific evidence is indisputable. Any use of these weapons would have serious impacts on the world’s populations.
Studies show that even a limited exchange of nuclear weapons would lead to major crop failures around the world – a ‘nuclear famine’ scenario resulting in mass starvation, potentially affecting as many as two billion people.
On September 20, countries commenced signing the comprehensive treaty banning nuclear weapons adopted on July 7, 2017 at the UN. The treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, agreed by 122 nations, finally gives these lethal weapons a similar legal status to biological and chemical weapons.
The UK Government, alongside other nuclear-armed states, boycotted the negotiations, despite claims to support multilateral disarmament and despite polling indicating that 75 per cent of the UK population supported UK government participation. It is better to reject any more complacency, as our possession of these weapons undermines any leadership role for our country to adopt policies to enhance security and stability in the world. We should be calling upon the British government to begin the process of joining the treaty. Reducing all threatening nuclear posturing, must surely diminish the risk of nuclear war.
The debate of Lancashire County Council as to whether meat from animals killed without pre-stunning should be offered in schools is more than welcome.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has slammed the surge in the numbers of animals so killed as a “major animal welfare issue”. The National Farmers Union, the RSPCA and all animal welfare organisations have condemned this practice.
The BVA president, Ms Gudrun, is quoted as saying that, “the supply of meat from animals which have not been stunned massively outstrips the demand for the communities for which it is intended and is entering the mainstream market unlabelled”.
The BVA blames the introduction and UK adoption of European Law, but Denmark and Sweden have both banned the practice altogether, and so have Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.
We must recognise that only a small proportion of meat sold as halal is not pre-stunned. So, according to BVA and NFU, as a minimal requirement, all meat from non-pre-stunned animals should be clearly labelled. I believe we ought to put pressure on Lancashire County Council not to use public money to buy such meat.
For the moment, we all ought to check that our suppliers are only marketing pre-stunned products. This is easier with supermarkets than with restaurants and retail butchers, but, if in doubt, do as the NFU suggest, and look for the Red Tractor mark. This is your guarantee that the highest standards of humane rearing, transport and slaughter have been observed throughout.
‘The real benefit scroungers’
So now we all know who the real benefit cheats are. It’s not the out-of-work chap who does a bit of work for cash to supplement his benefits, nor the single mum who moonlights down the pub.
No, it’s the unelected Lords who turn up every day, claim their £300 House of Lords attendance allowance and then retire to fill their faces at the subsidised restaurant, have a sleep in leather armchairs, then wake up to make judgment and tell us how we should live our lives.
When can I start?