Spalding Guardian letters
We need to do more that just remember
On Sunday we will remember World War I and the many earlier and later conflicts, from Hastings in 1066 to the current local wars.
As we rightly recall the horrors of WW1 and those who gave their lives for us and the people they left behind, its important to also acknowledge what caused the conflict.
Basically the vanity of world leaders, in the case of WW1, the German emperor, the politicians of the day and the murder of an Austrian Arch Duke by a Serbian nationalist. In the following conflict, the generals, usually far from the front line, were utterly inept, as were a significant number of other senior officers, who were careless of lives and spent them needlessly.
At first brave volunteers fought but as they died conscription was brought in.
Imagine a late teenager or 20 something suddenly torn from his home, family and friends and thrust, against his will, into the horror of the trenches, with little understanding of what awaited him. There was no way out, you were killed by the enemy or shot by your own side if you tried to escape. Those injured were often patched up and sent back to fight again.
Sadly sometimes war appears to be inevitable but it is never glorious, even for survivors.
Now, 100 years later, we still resolve disputes by armed conflict. The word can't manage to co-operate sufficiently to remove despots and other rogue world leaders or control rogue nations and it shames the whole human race but most of all it shames politicians everywhere.
We need to do more that just remember, we needs to learn from the sacrifice of so many millions and strive harder to avoid repeating our mistakes.
Scaremongering tactics are highly disturbing and not helpful at all
I welcome Mr Tippler’s rather late reply to my original letter dated July 17.
You mention you have spoken to several who have now changed their minds on voting out, but fail to add that several who voted remain have also now changed their minds and would like to just get on with it and leave.
Since Mr Cameron made it clear to the nation on national TV that ‘a vote to leave means a vote to leave the single market’ everyone, including Mr Tippler and the rest of the local anti-Brexit protesting club have had a copious amount of information out there ready to be looked at and digested, before making an informed decision based on what each individual wants from a Brexit or no Brexit.
Everyone had the same chance to do their revision, and everyone had their own minds to make that personal choice based on findings and beliefs. Let’s remember, these pieces of information are the same as they are today, merely what ‘could’ happen, and what ‘might’ happen. Speculation, not ‘facts’.
We are not seeing, as put by the local anti-Brexit protesters, that ‘more solid and correct information is now at hand’ as quite clearly it is still early days regarding any final deals and we are full of speculation only over what might happen. Scaremongering tactics are highly disturbing and not helpful at all.
The problem with the Brexit vote is simple, we have a vocal minority who are demanding a reply of a result which they didn’t like and now playing a game of ‘call my bluff’ by moving goalposts after we made our decision, and demanding a reply based solely on the unfounded claim of more information is now at hand. Nothing more, nothing less.
EDITOR: Mr Tippler's original reply was the victim of email gremlins and, although sent in July, only reached us in October!
Give Crowland a better deal
The recent front page article in the Spalding Guardian again highlighted the dangerous junctions on the A16 at Crowland with yet another pile up added this weekend.
Lincs County Council tell us that there are far more dangerous junctions in the county for them to prioritise. They admit the best solution for ‘Radar Corner’ is a roundabout but there is no money.
We are also told the junctions are not dangerous, it’s just bad driving. They may be Lincoln-centric opinions but they are not those of local residents. Neither is it the opinion locally that there is nothing wrong with James Road or the junction with Peterborough Road, and yes, we do want a speed limit between Postland Road and the junction with the A16 even if it does not strictly meet the criteria. It appears possible in other locations.
Since money seems to be topical at the moment, we should perhaps look at the balance sheet for Crowland. On the plus side we did get a new road to stop the slaughter on the old A1073.
Despite the Parish Council lobbying, for close on 20 years, we didn’t, however, get what they wanted, dual carriageway, roundabouts at all junctions and direct access from Peterborough Road to the roundabout to enable Crowland residents to get onto the A16 instead of queuing every morning to get out of town to go to work.
The secondary school has been taken away against the wishes of local people, resulting in a loss of social cohesion, the former primary school has been demolished, the site sold off with no financial benefit to Crowland.
The former primary school playing field is being sold with the proceeds scheduled to be used elsewhere in the county and no financial benefit to Crowland. Likewise, the original junior school has been sold off, again with no financial benefit to Crowland.
All in all, quite substantial sums being realised from assets within Crowland. Add to that the income being derived from the average speed cameras on the A16 and hefty sums are being syphoned away from Crowland as a result. Let’s have some of it spent at Crowland.
The A16 is the main artery into and out of southern Lincolnshire, particularly from south and east coast ports. Let us treat it with the importance it deserves in serving the local businesses, both retaining the ones we have as well as making it attractive for others to set up here, at the same time improvements could save lives.
Vast residential expansion of Holbeach will increase the commuter traffic using ‘Radar Junction’ and the A16, as will the vehicles from the 400 houses which are being built in Crease Drove, all of which will use the Peterborough Road/James Road junctions. Things will only get worse.
I will certainly take every opportunity to keep lobbying for at least a minimum of the A16 between Thorney Road and Queens Bank to be made dual carriageway with roundabouts at Thorney Road and ‘Radar Corner’ as well as for alterations on James Road. Such alterations would alleviate the frustration on the A16 as well as issues on James Road.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced substantial funding for potholes and road improvements. The Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership control a large budget for infrastructure. The average speed cameras raise substantial sums. Lincs County Council benefits from selling off assets. So, there is money available.
It is therefore opportune for the movers and shakers to get their heads together and get Crowland a better deal. In the very short term we want James Road sorted out to prevent it being used as a high-speed passing route, in the short/medium term the ‘Radar Corner’ junction sorted and please put in a roundabout that will accommodate dual carriageway and in the medium-term part at least of A16 made dual carriageway.
Parish & District Councillor
I am urging Christian leaders to make their voices heard on the case of Asia Bibi.
Last week, a court in Pakistan overturned the death sentence of Mrs Bibi, the Christian woman accused of insulting Muhammad in a row with neighbours. She has spent much of the past eight years on death row in solitary confinement.
It is only right and proper she has been freed and I call on the Government to offer her asylum in the United Kingdom on humanitarian grounds so her life could be protected from the hard liners who had already taken the lives of many people defending her rights.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Catholic Church and Pope must be more vocal in helping to ensure her safety.
We have to have more voices and more pressure from the Church and the whole international community – there must be turning point to help reverse religious intolerance in Pakistan and ensure the state respects the rights of the Christian minority in that country.
MEP for the East Midlands
The October Reader's Picture of the Month award goes to Juli Clapson for her picture of Stourhead House in Wiltshire, published on October 18.