River Wissey Lovell Fuller

August Editorial

August 2003

It's all a matter of priorities

Hello again,

It is all a question of priorities; at least that is what those in Authority seem to say in answer to all our queries. Now we have a new set of priorities whether they are to do with dualling the A47, the setting up of Foundation hospitals or the way in which you save for your Pensions!

For example, if you are a disabled asylum seeker in this country you can jump ahead of English people in the housing queue, according to a decision this week by a leading judge. Indeed, a disabled asylum seeker will even be given preference over a disabled local person! This obvious anomaly results from the ability of asylum seekers to invoke old legislation passed before the recent massive in flux of refugees to Britain.

And, Britain could be opened up to irradiated meat and farm produce following a United Nations ruling! The world body's food standards agency recently decided that irradiated products are safe and do not contain radioactive traces, so the new priority is to permit such food to be freely available. The technology's commercial backers in the US boast that irradiated products are safe and do not contain radioactive traces! British critics, on the other hand, say that irradiation is part of a failed "Atoms for Peace" campaign of the 1950's. And, incidentally, they also cite a risk of cancer. I wonder who paid for the UN research?

And finally (you'll love this), the European Union has decided that it is necessary to conduct tests to determine whether the salt and vinegar we sprinkle on our fish and chips are safe! Britain's favourite seasonings will be tested on animals, at a cost of several thousands of pounds, to ensure they are safe for human health and the environment. Now, whose priority is this? Does our government have no ability to stand up to the EU? I wonder what the French government's response would be to a study into whether or not it was humane to force feed geese to make pate de fois gras?

Is it not time we said to our elected leaders "Enough is enough?"

On a new subject, those of you who are observant will note that in October we achieve the 25th anniversary of our beloved Village Pump. I have asked the original editor to provide the editorial for that edition and, thanks to Brian Harrison, we will have a unique front cover sponsored by local firms and advertisers. All this will be at no extra cost to you our esteemed reader. But now comes the pay back! I think it would be of tremendous interest to all our current readers if we could hand over a fair chunk of the Pump to you older subscribers to recall your favourite moments in our 25-year life. So come on, don't be shy. As I have said since I took over this job, just give me your scribbles and I will do the rest.

And finally.... Over recent months I have been receiving a number of anonymous letters. That I can live with, but it is important that all correspondence has a genuine name and address supplied even if the originator asks that these details be withheld. An item from pseudonyms and no address opens me to all sort of legal problems if a reader challenges me. So please, in future provide a name and address and tell me if you want one or both withheld.

Ray Thompson

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