WEEKEND WEB: Spalding Guardian letters
Your views on Barbeque 67, Community Speedwatch and Brexit
Famous Spalding gig ‘really was a non-event’
I see the Barbeque 67 still gets regular press. I wrote a review years ago on this concert - I think I’d broken my leg and was laid up a while so passed the time writing reviews of every band I’d seen.
I wrote it off the cuff but stand by every word except the general opinion is that Cream didn’t play “I Feel Free”.
I reckon I have a pretty good memory. I’d moved position in the Bulb Auction to see Hendrix and was on the far left hand side of the stage quite close.
I can definitely say he did not set fire to his guitar. He was in a foul mood and played quite a short set then just walked off pushing over an amp stack on the way.
I travelled up to Spalding a couple years back to see the Swinging Blue Jeans and Sounds Force 5 again and met up with Rob Munton in the local pub the next day with a few other school friends including Doug Kendall.
But seriously, at the time we didn’t spend weeks afterwards talking about things. Apart from Doug and me I don’t offhand remember any other school friends going. It really was a non event.
It was a different world in those days. We all lived very insular lives – there was no cross talk between the generations. So when I went home my parents did not ask me anything – it was just another night.
But there’s me taking my son to see Black Sabbath when he was 10 and the whole family going up in a minibus to see AC/DC at NEC.
I feel sorry for both young and middlers people today. They no longer have their own world. We grabbed it in the sixties and have never let go, having enjoyed a free education, cheap housing, index linked pension and bus pass as a thank you at the end and left the next two generations a massive debt but still do nothing but moan.
Kids today are totally controlled – buy what we tell them, follow what the industry decides is “cool”.
Take school for example. In the sixties it was our classroom that teachers visited and then left while we did what we want and at the end could walk into any job we chose, including fully paid apprenticeships.
Nowadays we make kids run around schools every half an hour while teachers sit in their mini fiefdoms lining them up, lecturing them and then dismissing with no future security.
Robert ‘Charlie’ Goodhand
Is this elderly with too much time on their hands?
Being co-operative with the police is good citizenship, but doing their job for them is another matter entirely.
I feel rather uneasy that the Community Speedwatch scheme is to be rolled out in South Holland this spring, because far from freeing the police up for other duties it’s going to involve them with even more paperwork, not to mention those home visits if warnings go unheeded.
What’s more, the notion of being ‘snooped on’ and having hair dryers pointed at me by my fellow citizens in their high-viz jackets is rather disquieting.
I see from the press photograph that none of the volunteers are exactly spring chickens, and it’s the elderly with too much time on their hands who tend to be law-abiding to the point where, let’s say, they go ‘over the top’.
It’s inevitable that they will lack the judgement of a serving police officer, who knows when to put the book away and when to throw it at offenders.
Put it this way, if I thought a neighbour of mine had dobbed me in and cost me a hefty fine, he wouldn’t stay long on my Christmas card list...not that I ever exceed the speed limit, of course!
UK makes a thumping profit from EU workers
I really appreciate William Cook and Craig Jackson (Readers’ View, December 21) taking the time to respond to my earlier letter, in which I advocated a referendum on the terms of Brexit actually on offer to the UK.
First, I’m very sorry to hear that William Cook has been “subjected to a torrent of abuse from the remain side”. This is inexcusable. It’s important we debate issues rationally, and avoid personal insults. That said, it’s a little known fact that I personally received several threats to my life, family and property during the referendum campaign last year. As I’d never previously been active in politics, I didn’t think to report these threats to the Police, a mistake I won’t make again in future.
However, please trust me when I tell you that receiving online threats to yourself and your family is no laughing matter.
Obviously, two wrongs don’t cancel each other out. On the contrary, what these two wrongs tell us is that Brexit has become such a hugely divisive issue that we must now think creatively about how to bring our country back together again.
My own suggested solution is a referendum on the terms of Brexit actually on offer, where voters can look at the facts on both sides of the argument and then make an informed choice.
Personally, I would never have triggered Article 50 until I’d done the rigorous sectoral impact assessments and then worked out what I wanted the terms of Brexit to look like.
Meanwhile, Craig Jackson raises the spectre of “uncontrolled mass migration”, another classic Leave deception. The fact is that the UK has 16 lawful levers it can pull to control migration from other EU countries, none of which have, to date, been pulled by successive UK governments.
One of these levers is the ability to send migrant workers home if they’re not in paid employment within 3 months of arrival and the other is the ability to impose a seven-year ban on freedom of movement from new EU member countries. Other EU countries rigorously enforce these rules. So, why don’t we? Simplistic answer: because the UK makes a thumping profit from EU migrant workers.
If Brexiteers seriously believe that Brexit will be great for the UK, then they have absolutely nothing to fear from a referendum on the terms on offer, as this will definitively clarify ‘the will of the people’, on the basis of facts, rather than lies and assertions.
The ultimate irony is that, if we leave the EU, and, hence, crucify our economy, we’ll still be left with the same inept politicians and political system in Westminster that got us in this mess in the first place.
Thought For The Week
I love the time between Christmas and New Year. After the long build up, which seems to get longer every year, at last I can really enjoy the season of Christmas.
We will see family, enjoy some treats (we have set aside something special for each of the 12 days of Christmas) and feel thankful for all the blessings we have received.
How each of us celebrates Christmas is a reminder of what really matters to us.
I spent even more time than usual in church this year, but I have no complaints about that.
It was lovely to see so many people filling the church and to hear them singing praise to God for the birth of Jesus.
I know some people wonder after Boxing Day whether it was all worth it after all.
They hurry to pack away the tree and the decorations, and are ready to forget Christmas for another year.
For me, Christmas offers a glimpse of how I would like things to be always: where people feel positive and joyful, where they are kind and generous, where they have enough faith to believe in light in the darkness and the power of love to triumph over all adversity.
Rev John Bennett
Vicar of Spalding, St Mary and St Nicolas