Recorder letters: General election, KMT panto, alcohol free, prostate cancer and chip cats

PUBLISHED: 14:07 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 18 December 2019

Brexit played a large part in Boris Johnson's election manifesto. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/PA.

Brexit played a large part in Boris Johnson's election manifesto. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

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

Beware of fifth column in waiting

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

This election was even more about Brexit than 2017's was. The referendum kicked open the door to independence. The voters have now pushed back against all the attempts to slam it shut.

In 2017 both parties claimed that they would implement our majority democratic decision, but this time only one party did so, and that party reaped the benefit.

The Labour Party had pledged, in its 2017 election manifesto, to respect the referendum result, and then broke its word by trying to annul the British people's decision.

In this election, it called for a referendum in which it was clear that it would campaign to Remain. As a result, it did even worse than in 2017.

The pro-EU camp has indeed suffered another defeat, but it is not dead.

Most Conservative MPs backed Remain in 2016 and despite the 2017 and 2019 elections, that majority remains - a fifth column in waiting. It will seize any chink in the armour to come back. We must be on high alert.

Great panto treat for all the family

Ken Gaunt, Greenslade Road, Barking, writes:

One again panto season started at the Kenneth More Theatre, this year put on by Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure.

Well it certainly had its moments. Kerry Katona brilliantly playing the evil Carabosse had every body booing her, Dame Dolly played by pianist and actor Bobby Crush showed us all that as well as a brilliant pianist he is a good actor.

One of the high spots was Bobby playing the piano and everyone popping along with his playing.

Krishana Parker as Fairy Starlight with her magic made it all possible for Lauren Platt ( Princess Aurora) to get her shining Prince, Prince Percy (Darren Hart) so as panto goes they lived happily ever after as the story is told.

Also Arif Javid (King Stefan) as Princess Aurora's father and Karl Greenwood as Wally were also brilliantly played.

As for the 12 days of Christmas scene - that has to be seen.

I also like to say a big round of applause to the rest of the cast and not forgetting last but not least Owen Smith as director.

So go along folks and catch one of the shows on until Sunday, January 12, give the family or neighbours a great Christmas treat, also later on look out for the terrific shows going up the KMT.

You may also want to watch:

You can have fun without alcohol

Dr Richard Piper - CEO of Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, writes:

It can be difficult to say no to a drink, especially during the festive season.

In fact, our new research shows that almost four in five (78 per cent) Brits drink more than they want or intend to. Over one in five (23pc) feel pressured to drink more than they want to by people they know: most often by friends and colleagues.

These findings show that lots of us are drinking in ways that we don't feel comfortable with, but it can be tricky to know how to make a change. Signing up for Dry January is a brilliant place to start.

Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us we don't need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or socialise. Strong evidence tells us that Dry January helps people - even heavy drinkers - to drink more healthily all year round. People who take on Dry January get a whole host of benefits, from losing weight to more money in their pockets and healthier insides. That's why an amazing one in 10 drinkers will be taking up the challenge in 2020.

So if you're up for resetting your relationship with alcohol and improving your health, sign up for Dry January at or download the free app for Dry January and beyond, Try Dry. People who sign-up are twice as likely to go the whole month without drinking compared who those who try to do it alone.

Marching for prostate cancer

Jeff Stelling, sports presenter and ambassador, Prostate Cancer UK, writes:

"Unbelievable Jeff". That was the message from everyone who joined me during my brilliant March for Men event for Prostate Cancer UK in September. But in truth everyone who joined me this year, and in previous years, are the amazing ones.

News reaches me that the fundraising for my epic four-nation marathon march across Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and London has soared to a whopping £373,000, which is a terrific effort in the fight against prostate cancer.

I may have been the figurehead for the event, but this was the ultimate team effort.

It was such an emotional feeling to cross the line back in September when Tottenham Hotspur kindly opened their amazing new stadium for the finale. But I was happy too, and incredibly proud to walk side by side with so many inspirational people, men affected by what is the most common cancer in men, some with an uncertain future, some who have lost loved ones, some who remain beacons of hope.

The money raised is making a huge difference,

To have raised £1m through my three March for Men events alongside 1,253 walkers has been incredible. So to everyone who have supported and continue to support Prostate Cancer UK, I say thank you.

Microchipping for cats campaign

Jacqui Cuff, head of Advocacy and Government Relations, Cats Protection, writes:

As the UK's largest cat charity, Cats Protection has been campaigning for microchipping to become compulsory for owned cats, as it already is for dogs. This would greatly improve feline welfare in the UK, helping lost cats to be returned home swiftly and ensuring owners can be notified if their cat is injured or killed on the roads.

Before the general election, the government announced a call for evidence on cat microchipping in England, giving the public the chance to have their say on compulsory microchipping. This call for evidence is in addition to a pledge in the Conservative manifesto to "bring forward cat microchipping".

With the call for evidence open until January 4, 2020, the public now only have three weeks left to respond on this important cat welfare issue.

To support Cats Protection's campaign and send an e-letter to the government about why microchipping cats is important, please visit before January 4, 2020.

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