The Village Soapbox
Ron looks at recent events with a jaundices eye
In the past I have voiced my opinion that the attack on Iraq was wrong, I still hold that view. We do not know what was in the minds of those young men when they decided to carry out their fiendish act but there can be no justification whatsoever for exploding bombs in public places as they did. To choose underground trains as their target displayed a wickedness beyond comprehension. It may be true that in a legal definition those men were British but they clearly were not 'British' in the true sense and I wish people would stop saying that they were.
So we beat the French. We won the contest to stage the 2012 Olympics. The euphoria that accompanied this success left me puzzled, however. I can only assume it was primarily because we beat the French at something. But is the prize worth winning?
The figures presented by the British Olympics committee show that making the necessary preparations is going to cost every man woman and child £200. With the usual escalation of public funded projects we can assume that this figure will prove to be a significant underestimate. Is it really the best way to spend upwards of £12 billion of tax payers money?
Of course it can be claimed that it will bring money into the country and no doubt it will but it is very doubtful that it will go very far to compensate for the expenditure. I doubt you and I will see much of our £200 back. The evidence from most other countries that have staged the Olympics in the last 30 years or more is that it has been a financial disaster. Apart from the cost it will cause many disruptions to the normal life of the nation and be a nightmare for our security forces.
Eastenders may be delighted that that part of London is going to be tidied up at last but, since we are paying anyway, why is the reconstruction of that area dependent upon the Olympics and, if we are going to spend that amount of money in that area, is an Olympic village the best use of that money in the long term?
When I see how pleased most people appear to be that we are going to stage these games in 2012 I realise that I must be missing something. I just wish they would explain to me why they are so delighted so that I could join in the euphoria.
In the March issue of the Pump I expressed my concerns over the ever increasing world population and the consequences this will have. Unhappily I find the more I reflect on this topic the more concerned I become for our children and our grandchildren. The most alarming aspect is the fact that the world's politicians appear to be unconcerned. It appears that the G8 conference discussed world poverty and environmental pollution without mentioning the exponential population growth, which is the root cause of these problems.
Within our islands we have had a fairly stable population that has grown only slowly during the last hundred years, even here, however, things are changing. Figures published in June indicate an increase in our population last year of 300,000. At present rates that means a further 125,000 new homes and 150,000 extra vehicles in just one year. Estimates are that within the next 25 years our population will have increased by almost 6 million, yet some areas in England already have the highest population density of any western nation. The implication that this increase in population has for housing, road congestion, pollution,, doctors, schools, transport and public services such as hospitals, are very worrying. But still we are being told that we need more immigrants. Yeah right!
Latest world population predictions are for an increase of almost 3 billion by the middle of this century, that is almost the entire world population of 1950. It is time our politicians were talking otherwise, as has been said before, the world will face major problems of wars, famine and environmental degradation.
Concern has been expressed in the Pump on more than one occasion recently at the road accident toll in this region. Many of you will have seen the x-ray photographs of Matthew Hunt's fractured spine, miraculously and incredibly his spinal chord was not broken and a team of surgeons in Norwich managed to put his spine back together by building a frame around the damaged area. Matthew is 25 and is extremely lucky. The 'accident' that resulted in this damage occurred in May when he lost control of his car when no other vehicle was involved. The severity of the damage to himself arose because he was not wearing a seat belt (his comment was that he never wore a seat belt). The man was an idiot on two counts.
Recently Paul Turland 22, drove at 100mph on the A140 in a car with worn tyres, he lost control of his car and spun across the road colliding with another car going in the opposite direction, both drivers were killed instantly.
Many people in the 18 to 25 age group drive too fast and many do not wear seat belts, they are responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths on our roads, and a disproportionate burden on our hospital A&E units, often the victims are innocent of any wrongdoing. These drivers are a menace to society, their recklessness is evidence of their extreme selfishness.