Letters to the editor

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Have something to say? Email us at letters@sussexbylines.co.uk

A journey through time

14 February 2021

Dear editor,

I’ve just read your fabulous article about the Newhaven RNLI Lifeboat and can confirm, as a Newhaven resident, that the lifeboat crew are some of our town’s true heroes! And following on from that, I wondered if you may be interested in a couple of items from ‘900 Years – A Journey Through Time’, a project created in conjunction with the 900th anniversary of St Michael’s Church (it is the oldest building in the town).

The project is a collection of new music and song, telling cherry-picked stories from Newhaven’s history. I mention this particularly, because two tracks on the album Brazen Souls and RNLI are about the loss of HMS Brazen and the lifeboat respectively. The first tells the story of the wreck as seen through the eyes of Louisa Hanson, the Captain’s young wife. The second empathises with the loved ones of those in the lifeboat’s crew, and how they feel when a ‘shout’ comes. We do plan on producing a live performance ‘musical’ of the project, initially planned for 2020, the actually 900th anniversary year, but that has been delayed of course, due to the pandemic. However, we did make an extremely well-received short film (funded by the Arts Council) based on Brazen Souls. I’ve set out some links below, in case you’d like to take a look.

Brazen Souls Short Film: https://youtu.be/Cjgq8JFt70o RNLI Lyric Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv3_7qAoYFA 900 Years – A Journey Through Time Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Newhaven900Years

Mike Flood, Newhaven

Covid-19 inquiry

24 January 2021

Dear editor,

I am not impressed by the government saying there will be a Covid-19 inquiry but now is not the time. They seem to expect praise for saying that but it is crazy to think they ignore the findings of the all-party group that shows what a scandalous mess the government has made.

In my opinion, that’s down to ideology of a decade of defunding the NHS, pushing EU people out, raiding taxes to give contracts to chums and blatant disregard of scientific evidence. And now – yet again – they’re being less than honest about vaccine supply and timing of 2nd jabs.

Daisy Cooke, Chichester

The ‘dead good deal’ that’s killing business

Dear editor,

Helen Gibbons’ experience of the effects of Brexit (Selling to Europe from Sussex, 22 January) is a taste of things to ceome.

The Centre for Economic Performance predicts exports to the EU will drop by more than a third over the next decade and total UK trade by 13%. At present, EU countries account for over half of our trade with the world.

Boris Johnson claims his trade deal opens up Britain to more opportunities on the world stage. However, the reality on the ground is lost jobs and lost opportunities that no amount trade deals with distant countries is going to make up for.

Rick Dillon, Hastings

Democracy or populism?

24 January 2021

Dear editor,

The constitution and the institutions of American democracy have held in the face of repeated attacks by Trump and his deluded supporters who remain convinced that the election was stolen. All who care for freedom celebrated with Joe Biden on Wednesday as he affirmed that democracy and prevailed in the United States and that if enough of us agree then that would be enough to carry us all forward to combat the rising tide of populism. But these events have shown us that democracy is fragile and in his words ‘the battle to save it is perennial and victory is never assured’.

So I suggest that we take this seriously with regard to the attacks on our own democratic institutions made by our own government. These include the attempt to prorogue parliament, the imposition of Covid restrictions and the postponing of elections without a vote, Ministers and special advisers above the law, PPE contracts given without competitive tender to supporters and cronies, or threatening to break International Law. Add to this the attacks on the BBC, the judiciary and the Civil Service, the pitiful amount of parliamentary time given to scrutinise the Brexit Deal and the proposals to remove power from local councils to decide on planning applications.

I could cite many more examples but urge all who value consensus and parliamentary government to stand up for our institutions and preserve what is left of our democracy.

Sophie Holman, Lewes

The truth about Covid-19?

23 January 2021

Dear editor,

I get the feeling we’re not getting the truth on Covid-19. Why is it that the Germans now insist everyone wears FFP2 masks outside and in public spaces to try and combat the infectious spread of the new variants?

The UK government is asleep on the job. German press conferences aren’t government-controlled, and the ministers and virologists get hard questions which they actually answer.

Test–trace–vaccinate and mask up as a public duty seems reasonable. 

Matt Bennett, Arundel

Curbing the spread of Covid-19 in Sussex

21 January 2021

Dear editor,

Are councillors across Sussex doing anything to try and curb the spread of Covid-19 in public and communal buildings where only limited airflow ventilation can be achieved? Stagnant and unvented conditions are known to allow the virus establish and spread. 

At the same time, the promenade in Brighton and Hove is understandably crowded with people wanting to walk or exercise. Shouldn’t runners be required to wear masks? Sage and the Zoe research shows that air is expelled at a rate similar to coughing  and sneezing when someone runs. Droplets and aerosols can float onto others a far greater distance than the accepted two metre passive transmission norm, especially wind assisted. 

These are two small steps where we should take the lead.

David Holden, Hove

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