River Wissey Lovell Fuller

February Editorial

February 2006

Ray looks in bewilderment at the strange decisions being taken by our leaders, whether national or local.

Where on earth can I start? We have furore over the lack of proper management by The Secretary of State for Education regarding the maintenance and control of the Sex Offender's Register. Then we have the proposed new laws pertaining to prostitution with the apparent creation of mini-brothels!. Add to this the even more shameful admission that our Government is unable to reveal the actual list of service personnel injured on active service on the basis that it may just breach patient - doctor impartiality. Well, I asks yer!

Then we have the proposals by Sir Michael Lyons, the former local government bureaucrat who has been asked to look at ways of boosting income for local authorities. He proposes "litter levies" on families and a "sales tax" on pubs, shops, hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues, plus "congestion charges" on motorists in a bid to increase income for local authorities! Or should that be as ways of preventing the government for meeting their obligations to local authorities?

Perhaps this explains the recent shameful decision by ministers to renege on the promised payment of £4.5M to the Norfolk County Council for the repair and modernisation of our schools and perhaps you come nearer to the truth. To whom is the government responsible? We the electorate or New Labour?

As an ex-serviceman , I am fully cognisant with Identity Cards. I carried one for my 34 years of service and for the following almost 20 years in industry. But my ID card merely identified me as a person by means of a small photograph and a simple statement of identification! At a guess, the cost of the ID card was about £10 per person. We now learn that the potential cost of the new national ID card could approach £500 per person and that it will contain so much biometric data about the holder that the database holding this information could become a prime target for criminal fraud; quite simply because the technology does not currently exist to make the database secure. Do we really want to go down this road?

But there is a bright side; we live in Norfolk where the air is "free" and the wildlife is already working up to Spring. I have daffodil bulbs already shooting up to 4 inches and the birds think that mating is already in vogue. And why not? Unless of course the government wishes to impose a sex "levy" on our wild life?

Happy St Valentine's Day to all our readers and especially all you lovely Norfolk gals.

Ray Thompson

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