Readers' letters - May 5

They're out to destroy NHS

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 4:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 6:25 pm
Wear animal-inspired fancy dress and help endangered species. Find out how in Ben Fogles letter below

There are Tory MPs who make no secret of their wish to destroy the NHS and Hunt’s confrontation with the so- called junior doctors is only the next step in that direction.

The increase in the number of in-hospital weekend deaths used to justify this confrontation has been discredited and, without the support of diagnostic departments, weekend doctors will be predictably less effective than their midweek colleagues.

The Government is not prepared to fund that support. In 1988 Oliver Letwin and John Redwood, whilst on attachment to the private bank NM Rothschild, published their proposals for the free market reform of the “untamed NHS”. In the same year, Letwin published his book Privatising the World and, in 2004, claimed the NHS would not exist within five years of a Tory Government. Letwin is now a minister for government policy with a special interest in healthcare. On current evidence he will be celebrating sometime within the next four years.

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AH Roberts,

Address supplied


Wear it Wild for wildlife

In response to recent news highlighting the plight of wild species and the destructive activity of poaching, as a WWF Ambassador, I am urging your readers to Wear it Wild this May and help protect threatened wildlife.

Sadly there are just 4,800 black rhinos in the wild today with, on average, three rhinos a day poached in South Africa. But it’s not just this armoured giant that’s at risk. In WWF’s Living Planet Report, we revealed the devastating loss of wild species – 52 per cent since 1970. Tigers, elephants, lions, polar bears, snow leopards and wild giant pandas are just some of the incredible species that could be at risk of extinction in our lifetime.

As a WWF ambassador, I’m determined to help change this trend and I know we can. But I need your help to do it.

On Friday, May 27, WWF is challenging the nation to Wear It Wild and don animal-inspired fancy dress. By taking part in our annual fundraising event, not only will you have fun, you’ll also be raising awareness and funds to help WWF’s work to protect these precious species. Simply visit:, dress up and donate. Don’t forget to share #WearItWild so we can see what you have planned.

Ben Fogle

WWF ambassador


Danger of quick fixes

Once upon a time – decades ago – I used pesticides, but after witnessing the effect on bees first hand, I have never use one since.

I prefer to use natural methods and this information can be found in books on companion gardening, where you can protect certain plants by planting other plants near them. For example, garlic or nasturtiums will discourage aphids on roses.

Bees are such wonderful creatures and essential to the ecosystem.

We need to move away from looking for quick fixes for our problems in life, as these can – oftener than not – be dangerous.

With patience to achieve solutions, compassion for the bees’ plight, and foresight into what sort of world we are creating, we should do much better. To this end we need to keep up the pressure on MPs to maintain the ban on pesticides and to prevent big business from making money out of what we don’t need and what will ultimately destroy the planet.

Elizabeth Goudge via email