He’s lending money we need ourselves

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OUR Chancellor, George Osborne, has agreed to lend the International Monetary Fund a further £10 billion to prop up the failing member states of Europe, even though it is widely recognised that countries like Greece will never survive in the eurozone in the long term and will be forced to default in the end.

There is no pot of money big enough to bail out all the European countries that are now in financial mayhem, and lending a further £10bn of the UK’s limited funds is simply chasing good money after bad.

It makes absolutely no sense.

The money should have been put to better use by helping those families now caught in the fuel poverty trap, while also facing further cutbacks in state welfare payments.

Dennis Grattan, via email

Some of us are not smirking

JUST when you think that it could not get any worse, the self-satisfied smirk on the face of radical cleric Abu Qatada, as he was released once again, just about said it all, and conveyed his utter contempt for the UK and satisfaction at confounding our legal system once again.

What makes it even worse is that his lawyers are enriching themselves by using taxpayers’ money to continue this abuse of due process.

Perish the thought, but if he is allowed to stay once again, because of a slip-up by the Home Office, it should send shivers down the spines of everyone in the country to think that our safety and interests are looked after by such an inept department.

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Wallaby blowed there’s two!

OUR keepers here at Blackpool Zoo thought they were seeing double when they spotted an extremely rare set of red-necked wallaby twins in their mother’s pouch.

In fact, multiple births are so infrequent that our Manimal Manager, Peter Dillingham, who is also the vice-chairman of the European Association of Zoos, has never personally witnessed twins sharing one pouch during his 39-year career.

The two tiny joeys belong to a three-year-old red-necked wallaby who came to the zoo’s specially designed walk-through area in May last year.

They will remain in the mother’s pouch for around 10 months, after which they will be officially recognised as being ‘born’.

Although Peter has heard of twins a couple of times since he started working with animals almost four decades ago, he has never actually seen any and they are thought to be the only ones in the UK and Europe at this time.

The duo are part of a huge baby boom in the zoo’s Wallaby Walkabout, which is a walk-through exhibit designed to let visitors get as close as possible to its residents.

There are nine red-necked wallaby males and 11 females at Blackpool Zoo, which celebrates its 40th anniversary on July 6.

Paula Holden, Blackpool Zoo