One of Sadiq Khan’s first acts as Mayor of London was to withdraw outgoing Mayor Boris Johnson’s objection to London City Airport’s application to expand. The irony of a Labour Mayor siding with a foreign owned corporation over his constituents. Now the Tory Government has rubber stamped the decision in a desperate attempt to show that investment in the UK economy isn’t being affected by the uncertainty over Brexit.
London City Airport’s location in a densely populated part of London makes it inappropriate for anything other than small quiet aircraft. With their implementation of a concentrated flight path, City Airport has already inflicted misery on thousands of Londoners. In Leyton, the City Airport flightpath is crossed at right angles by planes from Heathrow which, for some reason, are allowed to fly low and slow over east London. This means an almost constant bombardment of aircraft noise from as early as 4am to around 11pm.
How loud is it? Loud enough that you have to shut your windows to have an uninterrupted conversation inside. Outside you have to wait for gaps between planes to talk to your neighbours.
Those living closer to the airport have it even worse as they are subjected to noise and air pollution from the jets taxiing, taking off and landing. Some are being forced to live in sealed houses where they can’t open windows or use their balconies as the air is filtered when it comes into their homes.
Residents near Heathrow are given respite from the noise. There is no plan to give residents of East London any as it is considered adequate that we get ours randomly, when the wind blows from the east.
The regulatory bodies' remit is only to protect the interests of passengers and the profitability of the airports and airlines. No one represents the greater number of people who suffer the effects of air and noise pollution caused by low flying aircraft.
Politicians seem to be either unaware or uncaring about the growing despair and anger of the large number of Londoners affected. It is unbelievable the Tory Government and Mayor Sadiq Khan have so little regard for the people they claim to represent.
We should not negotiate taking control of our borders
A lot of Andy Grice’s article “Theresa May is already disagreeing with Liam Fox over Brexit” was right, but endorsement of Nick Clegg’s warning that the UK faces “a dramatic loss of sovereignty” was definitely not.
Like any other independent nation, the UK is entirely justified in taking total control over who comes to our country and there should be no negotiation at all about that. The only question is whether the EU wants a free trade agreement with us. They should, but if they do not, we should trade according to WTO rules. The extra duty we would have to pay would easily be compensated for by the drop in the pound already seen.
The referendum has brought prejudice to the surface
The referendum has indeed been a catalyst for bringing submerged feelings to the surface. In the week before the referendum, our local MP organised a debate between leavers and remainers. The thing that struck me was how many of the leavers speaking were angry, and indeed aggressive, whereas the remainers were generally calm and spoke carefully.
One of the latter spoke saying that there has to be a place in Britain for refugees and asylum-seekers. But a man sitting behind me (who turned out to be a farmer) said that there’s no place for compassion when dealing with “these people”.
I was quite shocked and wondered what was happening to my country for people to hold such views. But it would seem that these latent views have probably been held for a long time, but have now been legitimatised (or so some think) by the referendum.
Ian K Watson
The world has become a tragic theatre show
William Shakespeare wrote “All the world's a stage” more than 400 years ago.
And today, many people want a former reality-show star and businessman to be the most powerful man on earth. They say it is because career politicians are too “politically correct” when they speak.
But maybe it is also because these people are too jaded, bored and uninformed to care about the issues, and that combination can make them sitting ducks for people who can entertain them with a dazzling rhetoric.
Perhaps in the future we will learn to distinguish entertainment from politics, and avoid getting caught in this situation again. But for now, let us hope and pray that whoever wins the election will be the best leader for our country and for the entire world.
Church leaders need to address careless driving
Motorisation issues continue to be the largest area of modern life to be ignored by the Christian churches and it would seem that no senior church leader has as yet had anything to say about them.
Two recent examples can be given of road tragedies that ought to be considered by Christians. Both involved victims “left lying in a heap in a hedge” and “left on the side of the road”.
In the first, a motorist struck a jogger and then abandoned her. He was charged with “careless driving” and sentenced to six months in jail, which in practice means that he will probably be released after three.
In the second, a 90-year-old drove into and killed a woman on a zebra crossing. He too was charged with “careless driving” but given a suspended sentence, enabling him to walk free from the court despite the distress this caused for the dead woman’s family and friends.
The term “careless driving” has now become so commonplace that it has ceased to have any identifiable meaning, even within legal circles. It is a kind of sarcastic justice that focuses upon the culprit and not upon his or her victims. It is very different to Christian justice, which is about caring for our neighbours.
Nuclear hopes for the future
I know this is a silly question, but if we are such a Great nation, why are we not building our own nuclear power stations? Please tell me that in future, after Brexit, we will be.
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