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Letters to the Editor


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The NHS doesn’t care if I lose my sight

Dear Kathy,

I have total empathy for the anonymous author of the article Don’t call the NHS and they won’t call you and completely agree with the closing statement about the NHS being full of leadswingers.

My own recent experience mirrors what has been described. When attending for my routine eye test, I notified the optician of experiencing pain most days in my right eye. Upon examination my optician noted that the eye pressure was significantly raised. Coupled with the fact that I am extremely short-sighted, this raised alarm bells that I should be referred to a specialist to check for the onset of glaucoma. Usually the optician would conduct a further test but the machine was broken and not due to be fixed any time soon.

I received the ‘choose and book’ letter from my GP within a week and subsequently booked an appointment at the hospital, with a five-month waiting time. About three weeks later I received a letter from the hospital informing me that the appointment was cancelled and I should speak to the GP. The reason for the cancellation was that the hospital wanted the optician to perform the additional test, despite the referral stating that this was not possible due to the equipment breakdown.

I spent the next three weeks constantly chasing my GP and optician to arrange the additional test and obtain a second referral.  At every stage I was fobbed off with ‘We’ve done our bit, so what more can we do?’ This was also the answer I got from the hospital when I complained about a poor overall service from the NHS.

I now have a new referral for the end of January 2023, unless the consultant cancels it again. If he does, I intend to find out if the same consultant does private clinics and make some inquiries before complaining again to the hospital. I don’t expect to get anywhere: they would rather let you go blind to avoid increasing the waiting lists.

Gerard Rodgers



A migrant’s life for me

Dear Editor

Can someone tell me how I can become an illegal immigrant in my own country? I ask, because with the ensuing hard times, energy crisis and inflation, I’d like to have an undefined length of stay in a Brighton 4 or 5 star hotel, plus a daily allowance from the British taxpayer.



What’s in a name?

Dear Editor

Why on earth would someone looking to make a career in politics choose to keep the surname Truss after her marriage?

Can you picture our new PM in her early days as a candidate – ‘Hello, I’m your Conservative candidate Liz Truss, can I count on your support?’ Maybe the vast majority of the electorate are just too thick to spot the joke!

Truss is also the latest in a long series of Prime Ministers to use a ‘false’ name. She was christened Mary Elizabeth, and her husband’s name is O’Leary, so she should really be known as Mary O’Leary. However she is in line with Alexander Johnson aka Boris, James Brown aka Gordon, Leonard Callaghan aka Jim and James Wilson aka Harold. Not to mention Edward ‘Ted’ Heath and Anthony ‘Tony’ Blair.

Politics: showbusiness for people with boring names.

Alan Potts


‘Climate change’ is not to blame for everything

Dear Editor,

We are told repeatedly by the media that the devastating floods afflicting Pakistan during the current torrential monsoon season are ‘unprecedented’. Although I am far from indifferent to this situation, I cannot help but reflect that this is a word that is increasingly and incorrectly being used to describe every imaginable weather extreme as well as species extinctions and environmental degradation by those who are determined to attribute them to a changing climate caused primarily by human-induced emissions.

A closer look at the situation in Pakistan reveals that on at least four occasions over the past 70 years the death toll and levels of human misery have matched or exceeded those of today. The exceptional rainfall has been primarily due to the unusual, though certainly not ‘unprecedented’, simultaneous combination of cyclical changes in two major naturally occurring but irregular drivers of the Earth’s sea surface temperature and climate system known as El Nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole. These have happened for millennia and while scientists have been unable to discover a trigger factor, many of them nevertheless appear eager to attribute their consequences to climate change.

What is unarguably unprecedented has been the wholesale destruction of Pakistan’s forest cover which has declined from 33 per cent in the 1950s to just 4.8 per cent today. Vast swaths of vitally protective watershed forests that would have impeded water run-off have vanished, leaving behind massive self-inflicted wounds of erosion, massive downstream sedimentation and a consequently heightened risk of flooding.

Since the last ‘unprecedented’ flooding in 2010, the population has leaped by 28 per cent to 230million with a concomitant increased demand for food, commodities and fuel (mainly wood) resulting in both environmental degradation and many new settlements being situated in vulnerable locations. Maintenance on river embankments has also been neglected due to a combination of administrative incompetence and widespread corruption. It therefore seems clear that to lay the blame for this disaster solely at the door of human induced climate change is far too convenient and simplistic.

Neil J Bryce



The absence of intelligent life on Earth

Dear Kathy,

Attached are 1,250+ peer reviewed reports on Covid vaccine adverse effects; a recent letter on your site referred to 42.

To recap, America has purchased 171million doses of a new vaccine tested on just eight mice, but at least it is based partially on the latest Omicron variant. In the UK we are opening 3,500 vaccine centres to vaccinate 26million people with a bivalent vaccine sequenced to Omicron BA 1 which disappeared 12 months ago, but at least we tested it on 437 human beings.

Why would anyone in authority advocate these vaccines knowing the possible risk of serious life-changing adverse events and at the same time not knowing what is causing excess deaths in highly vaccinated countries? Where is the risk/benefit analysis and whatever happened to informed opinion?

Having made these comments I am also very aware that many people are desperately keen to have this fourth vaccine and are badgering medical centres to get theirs as soon as possible, presumably on the basis that they genuinely believe it will protect them.

I feel like Buzz Lightyear: ‘I have landed on a strange planet, no sign of intelligent life anywhere.’

Elizabeth Dewar


Government is closed to the public

Dear Editor

Just to say how much I enjoy most of the recent articles on TCW, including your own. There are some very perceptive writers indeed there. Your forwarded ‘form letter to GP surgeries‘ is a masterpiece
and I have sent that to mine (which is in a state of appalling near-dysfunction – almost impossible to get an appointment!).  Sadly I do not have time to participate in the ‘Disqus’ comments
section as it’s usually too much to read and some of the comments are way off topic and sometimes rather silly (the price of free speech, of course).

Your recent article on UK energy policy solutions was very encouraging,  but I note that the ‘BEIS’, to which I tried to quote it, now has put up shutters on all e-mail contact from citizens (as well as disabling postal contact for a time). This, along with its telephonic equivalent of reams of ‘menus’ to choose a path from, is a growing and deeply worrying trend of democratic isolation by our Government and its departments – and it deserves a TCW article or GB News item by itself as I see it as a sign of deliberate autocratic distancing from accountability to the taxpaying citizen electorate.

P A Rippingham


Time for diplomacy with the unions?

Dear Editor

With Liz Truss expected to clamp down on unions as they are in their most belligerent mood for decades, are we about to see a rerun of the 70s with chaos and mayhem on our streets, and another Winter of Discontent?

This really is no time for the government to open yet one more war-front in this country – there are far too many open wounds as it is. Now is the time for a touch of diplomacy and gentle persuasion.

It’s the same old story though. As soon as union members’ income is threatened the union bosses retaliate in the time honoured manner of demanding more money or else!

They know:
– how harmful this is to the country;
– it will make inflation worse;
– the economy is already broken;
– it will mean any increase in pay will quickly evaporate as prices rise.

At this time, they should be able to see how bad this all is and come up with a better approach. By all means protest and complain at the government’s extreme failures – the rest of us will stand with you. But let’s not make things worse by fuelling hyper-inflation with costly strikes and demands for more money.

It is said that all the big unions have vast strike funds. Well, they know what is coming, just like the rest of us do, with so many self-inflicted problems from HMG. Those union funds need to be used to help their members and others through the worst of the winter. Not frittered away on actions that will harm us all.

Time for a little of that British common sense we used to hear so much about to come into play. Now is the time to work things out with the skills and innovation we were once renown for. For the sake of sanity.

Bryan Harris


What did the Queen achieve?

Dear Editor

The Queen had been there throughout our lives, a solid and unchanging presence in a turbulent world. Her devotion to duty was exemplary and her passing leaves a void in national life that cannot be filled, as the experience of unsettling and traumatic loss does in countless families. 

However, I’m not sure that an extended period of official mourning is healthy for the country. Hagiography aside, there are hard questions to ask, too, for any assessment of her reign. A constitutional monarch is a mere figurehead who must abide by government edicts, regardless of any advice offered in private. Although she was personally firm of faith, the second Elizabethan age has seen the waning of Protestantism that was consolidated under Elizabeth I, along with radical social change, for good or ill. Much is being said at the moment about Elizabeth II ‘having done so much for us’. I’m at a loss to identify precisely what she accomplished, apart from nurturing the Commonwealth. She gave wise and comforting words in times of crisis, smiled, waved, avoided giving offence, her views unknown. She was generally a benign and dignified influence on public life. That’s it! By today’s coarse standards maybe it’s a lot. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this point.

Rhydwenna E Jones


We need to talk about Iran

Dear Editor

The cyberattacks on Nato member Albania and consequent expulsion of all Iranian diplomats from that country should remind us that Russia and China are not the only hostile states that threaten ourselves and other European countries.

 Last year Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi was convicted in Belgium of smuggling explosives for a plot to blow up an Iranian opposition gathering in Paris. Also last year, the US Department of Justice announced that it had disrupted an Iranian government plot to kidnap opponents in the US, Canada and the UK. Iran uses taking hostages, such as the notorious case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, as a means to get what it wants.

 In 2014 Albania accepted 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran as refugees. Had they instead been repatriated from Iraq to Iran they would have almost certainly have been secretly murdered as happened to many thousands of political prisoners in the 1988 prison massacres.

Much more worrying than any of this is that Iran has enriched uranium to 60 per cent. The regime, which has an extensive missile programme and is open about its genocidal intent to destroy Israel, is now not far from the 90 per cent enrichment necessary for nuclear weapons. Sadly, diplomacy and international norms do not work with this fanatical theocratic regime.

Otto Inglis



The deafening silence of doctors

Dear Editor

I sent your excellent letter to my local GP practice by email and had a response today requesting that I remove them from my email list. Why is the medical profession so incapable of acknowledging the fundamentals of medicine, which is first do no harm and why do they find it so difficult to accept that any medical intervention should be based on informed opinion and a sensible appraisal of risk versus benefit? Since Covid there seems to be a collective consciousness of obedience to the Government without any real concern for the benefit of the patient. I always thought doctors were well educated people capable of research and intelligent prognosis or have they become purely motivated by money? I sincerely hope that is not the case but in the presence of overwhelming evidence of vaccine risk their silence is deafening.

Peter Meacock


Beware of the doorbell

Dear Editor

Yesterday I passed a heating engineer outside a neighbour’s house. He said to the homeowner: ‘Sorry I had to ring you, sir, but we’re not allowed to touch doorbells.’ 

James R


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