Recorder letters: Extinction Rebellion, local politics, lamp columsn, KMT, homelessness and EU military

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 October 2019

City Airport was targeted by Extinction Rebellion. Picture: JON KING

City Airport was targeted by Extinction Rebellion. Picture: JON KING


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Not all politicians are useless

Cllr Paul Donovan, Wanstead Village ward, writes:

Extinction Rebellion are totally justified with their protests demanding radical change to save the planet. However, what the movement must not do is become anti-politics. We too often hear the cry that they are all the same, the politicians are not listening. This is wrong.

Maybe, PM Boris Johnson panders to that stereotype, dismissing the protesters as "crusties", whilst his pro-fracking, emission exporting government does little to address the challenges.

But what of others? The Labour Party has a bold Green Deal in line with most the ER's demands. The Greens too and the SNP in Scotland have progressive ideas.

Many councils across the land have declared climate emergencies and are radically changing the way things are done. Whilst progress may not be as rapid as some may hope, the impetus is there.

ER and others need to keep up the pressure for more rapid change but please don't lump all politicians together as useless.

They need to effect the changes to save the planet, after all, who else will - the CEOs of the oil, gas and coal industries? I think not.

As voters, we deserve better

Paul Oliver, Clayhall, writes:

Living in North Ilford for over 40 years, I cannot remember a time when the good people of Ilford have been as poorly represented by politicians as now.

Mike Gapes, because of his dislike of his leader, has left the Labour Party and joined Change UK, whatever that is. Therefore leaving those who voted for him in the lurch.

Seeking to replace him as the Labour candidate in the forthcoming election, the Leader of Redbridge Council has suddenly been suspended with no further information. You could not make it up !

Then we have Wes Streeting. The Ilford North constituency voted in the 2016 referendum by a majority to leave the EU. Wes decided to vote Remain as being an ex-President of the National Union of Students, he knew more about economics and business than all the local businessmen in the borough who voted to leave! He and many other Labour MPs went against their constituents wishes and voted Remain, no doubt to further their own careers.

But what of the Conservative Party? Is there one in Ilford? They are invisible. Who is standing for the local Conservatives in the general election, to be held probably next month?

Will they make their annual pilgrimage a week before the general election is held down my road? Probably.

As voters we deserve better and whatever our political views, we will have a chance to vote to say what we think about their actions over the last three years that has lead to the mess this country is in currently.

Mystery of three light columns

Cllrs Linda Hawthorn, Ron Ower and Chris Wilkins, Upminster and Cranham Residents Association, write:

We were asked recently why three light columns had the lamps taken out and were taped up in Upminster:

You may also want to watch:

Please see reply from the council. "Thank you for your enquiry concerning lighting in The Shrubbery and Meadow Way,Upminster

I have been informed by Highways, Traffic and Parking that three columns were cut down, as they were structurally un-safe. Orders have been raised to replace them and it is anticipated that these works will be completed before November 9, 2019."

In fact the lights were working last week .

Our thanks must go to the council.

Wishing Vision the best of luck

Ken Gaunt, Greenslade Road, Barking, writes:

I was pleased to read that Vision, the new management at the KMT, has advertised in last week's Recorder their star studded panto Sleeping Beauty. Starring Bobby Crush (pianist and entertainer) playing Dame Dolly and Kerry Katona as the wicked witch Carabose, playing Princess Aurora is X Factor and CBBC presenter Lauren Platt and Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf actor Karl Greenwood is Wally.

I wish Vision all the success for their first panto at the KMT and hope for many more in the future.

In addition Vision has some great shows lined up to follow with some of the old KMT theatre companies coming back to perform as well as some new companies. Plus, hopefully many of the original KMT volunteers will be their to meet and greet you all yet again.

So come on patrons old and new let's show support to the KMT and Vision and show the council what they are missing.

Homelessness problem ignored

Mark Johnson, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Ilford North, writes:

It was disappointing to hear no mention whatsoever of housing or homelessness in the Queen's Speech earlier this week, despite the housing crisis that ensues across London.

Figures released last year by Shelter found Redbridge to be in the top 10 boroughs when it comes to homelessness numbers, with thousands on the waiting list for council-provided social housing.

The desperation of this problem was spelled out in last week's Ilford Recorder which reported that Redbridge is well above the national average when it comes to the mortality rate for homeless people.

While this Queen's Speech has provided us with advanced sight of the Conservative Party manifesto it seems the government remain out of touch when it comes to one of the biggest problems so many Londoners face.

EU military strength growing

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

There are currently six military EU Common Security and Defence Policy operations and 10 civilian missions, involving some 5,000 forces deployed internationally.

Josep Borrell, the newly appointed (not elected) high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has just set the goal of expanding this to an EU-flagged force of 60,000. He recently told MEPs, "We have the instruments to play power politics. The EU has to learn to use the language of power."

The EU's military capabilities are slowly but inexorably growing, its intent is clear, its direction is, as ever, towards a single federal EU state.

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