Letters to the editor: 08/06/17

(08 June, 2017)

A kind note to the people of Southwark from Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Messinger, and readers have their say before the country goes to the polls

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Message from?the Borough Commander

This is a simple letter to say thank you very much for all the support following the tragic incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market on 3rd June 2017.

I will never cease to be amazed at the selflessness shown by members of the pubic when faced with such dangers. Nor the bravery of my colleagues and other emergency services. Saturday night witnessed real heroism and encapsulated a true community spirit, where all came together during and following the attack. Southwark is a fantastic place to live, visit and work. It has many iconic sites, a real depth of diversity and a wonderful community spirit that will not be broken by the few.

Thank you for all the messages of good will that have been received. Our officers are absolutely fantastic and remain resolute. I am truly blessed to work with such brilliant people. They will continue to work hard, keeping the communities of Southwark safe.

Also, thank you to all those who continue to support us at crime scene cordons. Your hospitality, encouragement and kindness are very much appreciated. Many of those officers are from other areas of London, but have remarked upon how well they have been cared for and the warm-heartedness of local residents, businesses and commuters.

This letter does not seem nearly enough to acknowledge your kindness, but it is heartfelt.

Simon Messinger, Detective Chief Superintendent, Southwark Borough Commander

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The grey vote

All the political parties should take heed of the ‘grey vote’ (pensioners), and incorporate their wishes into their mandates.

The following is a compilation of their wishes obtained recently from various pensioner organisations throughout Southwark, and their ‘Charter of Human Rights’:

  • The right for the elderly to be properly cared for.
  • The right to have a judiciary that understands that the purpose of upholding the law is to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.
  • The right to go into hospital and not die of an infection acquired there.
  • The right to expect our welfare state to look after only those truly in need, and not waste funds on those who will not help themselves.
  • Right to witness the NHS recover the full cost of treatment from health tourists.
  • The righto expect those who are allowed to settle in our country to live by our laws and customs.
  • Right to a bed in a single-sex ward.
  • The right to sit quietly in a public place without having other people’s mobile telephone conversations inflicted upon you.
  • The right to refuse to pay Human Rights lawyers out of public funds.
  • The right to expect honesty & transparency from our elected members of parliament.
  • The right to freedom of speech, even if it offends someone else.
  • The right to expect our police force to be properly led and to put our protection above all else.
  • The right of victims to be given treatment preferential to that enjoyed by the criminals who attack them.
  • The righ to go about your lawful business in a city without being physically assaulted.
  • The right to go out in the evening without the fear of being mugged, screamed at or vomited over.
  • The right to the decent pension towards which millions of the elderly have contributed to.
  • And finally, we wish any future government to confirm the ‘triple lock’, which guarantees to increase the state pension every year whatever is highest between inflation, average earnings or 2.5 per cent. At the moment, this works out at £3.05 a week.

Reg O’Donoghue, Walworth

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Environmental line on election day

Here we go again. Theresa May has called an early election, despite having a clear majority.

So, what are the key eco-issues facing Southwark & Lambeth? With half of the boroughs on the floodplain and the planet in danger of going over the 1.5C dangerous threshold temperature in the next decade, the climate crisis is THE top issue. The Tory manifesto is disastrous, promising to promote even more UK fossil fuels by reducing their taxes and regulations, whilst increasing them on renewable energies.

Labour are better, banning fracking and promising 60% renewables by 2030 but want to expand Heathrow and spend billions on new roads. Lib Dems also want 60% renewables by 2030 and ban fracking but oppose Heathrow Expansion. The Greens have the most ambitious climate policies.  They oppose fracking and Heathrow and will tackle fuel poverty by insulating all homes.

But Brexit is also a huge climate issue, as the Tories are threatening a bonfire of all the climate protections that we democratically agreed with our EU partners. Despite 70% of local voters supporting EU, Labour MPs voted in Parliament for May’s Brexit. Greens & Lib Dems however, believe voters have the right to decide when final Brexit details are known.

The other top Southwark eco-issue is transport pollution. Our parks, schools and streets are all lethally poisoned by vehicles and we have an adult and child inactivity/obesity crisis. The solution is to invest £3 billion a year in a national network of safe cycle-lanes. The Tories & Labour promised a tiny £40 million, Lib Dems £650 million and Greens £2 billion (funded by roads budget).

However, our electoral system is not an opinion poll for our favourite party, but rather a tactical voting system, which means voting for the candidate best placed to form the greenest government we can get. In Vauxhall, it would mean voting Lib Dem to unseat arch-Brexiteer and cycle-lane opponent Kate Hoey, Labour in Streatham, Lib Dem in Southwark & North Bermondsey and Green in both Camberwell & Peckham and Dulwich & West Norwood seats.

So that’s my advice – vote Labour (and Green! and Lib Dem!) depending on where you live.

Name and address supplied

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