Your letters to the Herts Ad...
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I am a 80-plus year-old woman I have looked back on my life and the generations before and I am proud to be British.
My mother told me how her parents, My grandmother being a Jewish refugee came from Portugal when her parents immigrated to England, and my grandfather being a German immigrant in Russia was also thrown out from Russia but Germany didn’t want him.
He came to England where he met my grandmother and they decided to make a new life which was a struggle. They reared eight children, some stayed in England some moved to Canada and America and one to
South Africa. They all had children my cousins and through social media many are still in touch.
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My mother struggled through the Second World War and we came out smiling, stronger and determined to make sure Britain remained great.
I brought up my six children to be hard-working, and you only got what you earned, it wasn’t easy in the ‘50s and ‘60s when money was short so you got a second and at one time three jobs making sure you were always there for your children.
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My children worked hard and are still supporting grown children, they wanted to give them a better life, but sad to say they didn’t teach them that the world does not owe them a living, and they cannot have everything they want.
I also have another generation growing up let’s make it good for them so they can be proud of their inheritance.
So now we older people who have lived our lives, and are not doddery. I always vote because women gave their lives for us to have freedom of speech and the vote.
Grow up the moaners make the best of life except that we are free to make our own lives and help to make Britian great and be proud.
If we have been born here or came to get a better life lets all pull together to achieve the best for future generations, and be proud to be British and make our country great.
I am surely not the only person in your readership to be nauseated by the amount of invective emanating from a small percentage of Remain voters against our MPs and Leave voters in general.
MPs, just like every other citizen, had one personal vote in the EU Referendum. That vote was never intended to represent anything other than their own considered view; no MP was voting as a representative of anyone else - as is shown by the number of MPs who were not in the majority within their constituency. It is therefore thoroughly anti-democratic to argue that Anne Main and Peter Lilley should resign because their personal view aligns with less than 50 per cent of their electorate; that amounts to their disenfranchisement as private citizens.
Also, the rather pathetic attempt to force their resignation by means of a petition and a vote by St Albans district council would, if it had been effective, been a disenfranchisement of the whole local electorate who recently voted them in. That issue will be decided by us all at the next general election, not by a small percentage of two and a half thousand. And we will remember that these MPs had the honesty and moral fibre to clearly declare their positions, whether or not they would turn out to be the majority view. So, to the small highly vocal group of Remain activists, please let us see an end to the spiteful and misguided attacks on our MPs.
And when the Parliamentary vote takes place, that too will properly be decided according to the national vote, not by internal constituency majorities.
According to various sources, the citizens who voted for the UK to regain its independence from the EU unelected oligarchy are “the less educated” (BBC TV), the poorer members of society or those in council houses, and the selfish who were not considering our children and future generations. It has even been suggested that older people should not have voted, and left the matter only to youngsters. Let it be clearly said that we all voted with the desire to achieve the best future for the UK and our children and future generations; that motive is not the monopoly of either side.
As for being less educated, the Bruges Group and Campaign for Independent Britain, amongst others, are highly intellectual and have published in-depth political and economic studies criticising the EU for the past 40 years, their only failing being to not sufficiently popularise their findings. And as to older people not using their years of experience to influence the outcome of the vote, consider that no-one under the age of 50 has any first-hand experience of life other than under the EU.
The gloom-and-doom lobby are still purveying the idea that advancement on such issues as environment, scientific progress and human rights can take place only within the EU dictatorship. Time will show those ideas to be untrue and just a continuation of the biased spin pushed out pre-referendum by government departments, at tax-payers’ expense. A thoroughly dishonest recent example is the implication by Lloyds Bank CEO, Antonio Horta-Osorio, that Brexit is to blame for the bank’s planned closure of another 200 branches, but then having to admit that it is due to a long-standing pre-Brexit slowdown among corporate customers and a 60 per cent switch to digital banking (Evening Standard July 28). Of course, some financial and trade issues do remain to be resolved, but there were always going to be adjustments whichever way the vote went.
A further downright lie thrown at Brexit supporters is that we are to blame for the disgraceful rise in xenophobic attacks. These incidents were increasing prior to the referendum vote, and I suspect they would have been worse after it than has been the case had the vote been to remain in the EU, out of a misguided sense of frustration. Such people represent only themselves, not the Brexit camp.
In 1975 the BBC televised a brilliant Oxford Union Debate dealing with the then-forthcoming vote about whether or not to fully join the EU, and it is well worth watching on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5ks5tmNwCY). If the aspirations of Prime Minister Edward Heath about a democratic international common market had come true, and the prophetic forebodings of Peter Shore about how this would be betrayed by undemocratic, unelected and non-removable politicians and bureaucrats had proved false, instead of the other way around, there would have been no Brexit. But now please let us stop the personal insults and undemocratic pressures from a few groups, particularly against our MPs, and work on our fresh start at the original pan-European democratic common market aspiration.
IAN M LARIVIÈRE
Park Street, St Albans
Three decades ago I had the privilege of being present at the unveiling of Paul Mason’s sculpture entitled Leaf Fields. I remember clearly, as the covering fell away revealing the work for the first time, it was met with stunned silence shortly followed by an embarrassed laugh from somewhere. Finally thee came the much delayed and half hearted applause. This response set the benchmark for much that has followed since.
The then-Member of Parliament for St Albans, Peter Lilley, quickly rushed to judgement. His comments were featured prominently in the columns of the local paper at the time. Whatever expertise the honourable member possessed, art criticism was not one of them. His comments were in every particular wanting. They were ill-judged, ill-informed and ill-mannered, a vicious attack on the integrity of the piece and its creator. I would have helped his case to some degree had he inspected the sculpture. Then he might have seen that it was not a ‘concrete’ construction. I responded in the letters page in defence of both artist and sculpture and my defence was duly printed. In doing so I think I was better qualified to give an informed opinion but by then the pearls had already been cast and the iconoclastic swine had dutifully responded.
The sculpture department of the St Albans School of Art and Design had mounted an outdoor exhibition of students’ work in the recently-built Maltings shopping centre. Three days after the Lilley article, on the eve of the opening, the exhibits were attacked and vandalised.
In later years Mason’s sculpture has suffered many indignities. Hidden behind a screen of shrubs it became a regular haunt for al fresco drinkers in urgent need.
It was gratifying to see it in these latter days relocated to where it could be viewed in full sunlight and sympathetic surrounds but sadly now it is once again being perceived in a harsher light and subjected to further vilification.
The plastic arts have been poorly served in this city. There is a fine bronze of a centurion installed at the foot of Holywell Hill which sits well with its surroundings and our cathedral, to its credit, has installed an impressive martyrs memorial series in polychrome stone, otherwise there is little or nothing to see. Regarding Leaf Fields Mason, like Moore and Hepworth, would use natural forms and found objects for inspiration, therefore the comparison with a turtle’s bottom I suspect may not have displeased him. He was one of the best exponents of his art in the twentieth century, a skilled technician and a consummate craftsman. I suggest that your readers take time to go and view the piece in natural light and to look at the textures and the play of light on the different planes andd surfaces. Try to look impartially and without prejudice. Take time to consider the effort and thought involved in the making and perhaps they might see this discarded pearl for what it is; a jewel and an ornament, a worthy adornment to this environment which we all share.
Sculptor in wood stone and bronze,
New England Street, St Albans
Regarding the Herts Ad news article on the stone sculpture named as Leaf Fields, currently displayed in front of what was the St Albans Museum, being viewed as something of an eyesore, I believe that its original siting at the front of the Alban Arena was not greeted with much enthusiasm at the time and is still refered to as Walkington’s Folly by those who thought it to be a white elephant at the time.
Langley Crescent, St Albans
Following the recent article regarding my retirement after many years from my plant stall opposite Marks & Spencer on St Albans Market, I would like to thank all my customers and friends who have supported me over the years and have wished me well in my retirement. It will not be the same not travelling down to St Albans every weekend and I will miss you all. I may be contacted via email.
PETER CUNNINGHTON SPALDING
It was lovely to see the runners, on a lovely sunny day, racing around the countryside on August 20. It was a shame that some of these runners were so weak that they could not run with their empty drinks cans or bottles until they came across a bin to deposit them in.
Instead they were thrown into the hedgerows or chucked by the roadside. I know this because the following Monday morning I picked up two bags of litter on just part of their route along Bull Lane, and Ferrers Lane to Ayres End Lane.
These cans and bottles weigh less then a feather and are not a burden. Do the runners think that after chucking them in the hedgerows they will then disappear into the ether?
I know the drinks stations try to pick up the empties, but why do they have to? It is the runners’ responsibility. Why are there not more designated litter bins for the empties? Marathon organisers please note.
The runners should be told that it is illegal to chuck litter. There is no need for it. You are making the countryside into a tip, which will be no fun to run around in future.
The Hill, Wheathampstead
I had seen it with my own eyes. One night I had parked up and continued listening to a radio programme that caught my attention. The lights were off and no one could see me in the car, then I saw him, a resident from a house nearby deposit some waste in the communal bins for the neighbouring flats. I always thought of him as respectable though here I was witnessing the respectable take advantage.
Previously I had seen another house resident throw waste into the same bins. I wasn’t as shocked as this individual, in my own stereotyping, was not as respectable as the former cuckoo. I call them cuckoos as they dump what they could bring to the local tip in the communal bins for the flats.
The bins did not belong to the flat complex in which I live so I didn’t say anything. I have seen tradespeople and those who rent out nearby garages dump their junk in our bins and when I have seen this I have rushed out and challenged them though on one occasion I received a barrage of abuse for daring to say something.
Recently the bins have been filling up quickly and when I looked inside I could see plumbing and heating material. What can you do? I tolerate it until the bins overflow and then I get angry.
That Thursday I got angry, as rubbish from a van had been strewn all around the bin area. I think the council contract workers have got fed up with it and just cast it off from the normal rubbish. Not far from the bins a radiator had been dumped still in its packaging along with other items.
The culprit, as least who I believe to be the culprit, doesn’t live in the flats complex though nearby.
I hear on the radio that a local council has stopped putting litter bins in a particular street because household and commercial waste is being put alongside the bins. I read regularly in this newspaper of flytippers. It has become a scourge of today and I am not sure what has caused the upsurge.
The council has been made aware of this recent incident although they are already aware of this ongoing problem yet what are they and residents to do? One nearby flats complex has installed CCTV in their bin area such is the problem.
I want to speak out in the hope that those who act like cuckoos realise the upset they are causing and build a nest of their own in which they can deposit their own rubbish.
Eskdale, London Colney