Readers' letters - July 23

Party political broadcast from Boris (the badger!)
A correspondent appeals for a green manifestoA correspondent appeals for a green manifesto
A correspondent appeals for a green manifesto

President Trump has said that Boris Johnson would make a great Prime Minister. No comment! However, it made me wonder... what would it be like if Boris were to take over at number 10? No, not him, but Boris the badger... my good self!So this is a party political broadcast on behalf of ‘The Black and White Party’!Firstly, there should be as much greenery, flora and fauna as possible. Preserve woodlands and no tree felling (unless they’re dangerous). Out with unnecessary road building, concrete jungles and heavy traffic, which so many badgers fall foul of. There’ll be an end to badger culling, replacing it with vaccinations against Bovine TB, and there’ll be very heavy penalties for barbaric badger baiting. Fences will have to go unless there’s enough space underneath to allow access to my ample posterior. Hedges are so much better! There should be more bikes and even a return of horses and carts. Fox hunting should not be brought back either, given my respect for my fellow creatures.There should be plentiful support for wildlife and environmental organisations and conservation projects... oh, and a substantially greater production of peanuts and suet balls – us badgers just love them!Fireworks should be banned. I’ve had to scuttle off in terror and hide behind a tree on many occasions when a banger goes off!Last, but not least, there should be a ban on the really toxic pesticides and organophosphates! So, this is Boris’ manifesto for a greener, safer Britain. Move over Theresa May and apologies to the other Boris, but I think my premiership is in the bag, don’t you?Yours, Boris the Badger (with some help from my ‘owner’, CM Langan S8)

Wake up before we become zombies

Our homes have been invaded and taken over by devices. Homes are no longer refuges, sanctuaries or, in Jane Austen’s words, “a nest of comforts”.No longer is the home a place to retreat to after leaving work behind. Mentally, most of us are still at work. Everywhere a screen dominates. Soon Vesta will follow us around the home, awaiting our instructions. The internet has become like Twitter and Facebook, replacing conversation. Our sense of community is slowly becoming less and less. Real people says one leading expert, “are becoming tiresome”. Radio, then TV and smartphones and now Google’s Nest and Amazon’s Alexa dominate. They entertain but, also be aware, they collect personal data. Three weeks ago, a very senior scientist at Silicon Valley announced that over 87 per cent of employees had banned their children from having a smartphone in order to “preserve privacy and a sense of home”. No one knows better than they of the dangers posed by new technology. It is time we woke up and followed their example. Otherwise, a nation of zombies awaits. Dr Barry Clayton Address supplied

Vital public safety role

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Personally, I don’t support strikes, but having spoken to a family member whose father was a guard on passenger trains in the past, this is a vital public safety role, as well as involving collecting the right tickets and fees from the passengers.A driver-only train? This is not possible, as the driver has enough to do to keep the train running on time and safely. The same applies to bus drivers while on the move. The train driver simply does not have the time to see to a disabled person up a ramp, put it away and run along the platform or through a crowded train to get to his compartment, with folks stopping him or her to ask when might the next connection for their next train run.If somebody falls ill or there is a fight, a driver doesn’t have eyes in the back of their head.Jarvis BrowningAddress supplied

Theresa’s circus is now in town

Theresa May has narrowly survived a vote over an aspect of Brexit in Parliament last Tuesday evening, but May and her government’s problems roll on and on and on.She would be more at home in Fred Karno’s Circus than leading her party or the Brexit negotiations. And let’s not forget the two Lib Dem MPs, party leader Sir Vince Cable and his predecessor Tim Farron, who disgracefully failed to turn up for the close Brexit vote. John Appleyardvia email