Readers' letters - August 29
Theresa May's Flying Circus
The Government’s approach to the Brexit negotiations are increasingly becoming akin to a surreal Monty Python sketch.
Initially, Cameron only offered the country a referendum vote under the conceited assumption that he couldn’t lose.
Consequently, there was
no plan B and after all this time, the Government still doesn’t seem to have a viable plan or realistic vision for Brexit.
The signals coming out of Number 10 still largely amount to a confused and contradictory wish list, containing simplistic notions of ‘cherry-picking’ the bits the Government knows are vital to sustaining Britain’s economy, while ditching the bits that the general public (and many Tory supporters) are vocally opposed to.
While it absolutely right that the Government tries to get the best exit deal possible for Britain, and this indeed can only be done by negotiation, there seems little more to current Government strategy except short-sightedness.
From day one, the EU completely dismissed the notion that Britain could be offered a special, bespoke deal that works better than the agreements currently offered to both EU and EEA paying members.
No matter how ‘desperate’ the French or Germans are to sell their cars here in the UK, it would be nonsense to suggest that the EU would even consider tearing itself apart in this way.
The referendum vote was simply one of IN or OUT.
You can be sure that the EU will also be working from this perspective.
Rather than wishful thinking, the Government therefore needs to be working seriously on the plan B that David Cameron thought was totally unnecessary for European Exit.
Assessment for the over-70s
As a 70 year old, I agree that I am not past my best. However, I see many older (or even younger) drivers who should not be allowed anywhere near the driving seat.
I do agree that, to renew your licence at 70, you should have to take some sort of assessment, but not the full-blown driving test. I would have been more than happy for a qualified tester to sit with me for an hour or so while I drove him/her around.
On the subject of using mobile phones while driving, many older drivers are either not tech-savvy or they are not addicted to the phone.
I am tech-savvy, having worked in a technical occupation all my working life, so I use Bluetooth when driving but do not engage in protracted conversation or send text.
On the subject of using indicators, I was taught to drive by, at the time, the senior advanced driving instructor of the Lancashire Fire Brigade.
When I passed my test, he said, “Right Mick, I’ve taught you to pass your test. Now I’m going to give you an hour for free and I’ll teach you how to drive. If anyone may benefit from a signal, then signal. If not, don’t signal. It’s a waste of time.”
Finally, something I’ve always though to be pointless is the question, “What is the stopping distance from x mph?” For instance, the stopping distance from 30mph is quoted as 23 metres (75 feet). How many, if asked, could say how far away is 23 metres and would be able to point out how far that was?
TV a reflection on society
Game of Thrones, Westworld, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks...
Have we ever been blessed with such high-production television in the history of mankind? Probably not.
However, I can’t help but feel a little bit sad about it as many of us will not get to enjoy these programmes as they are hidden behind pay walls at various sources like Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV.
I can’t shake the feeling that this is a reflection on the direction in which our society is moving, whether it be for health, education, or leisure.
If you can afford to pay for it, great. But, if not, you’ll be missing out. Where has our public-spirited ethos gone? Those who have should be doing more to help those who have not.