Readers' letters - Tuesday, November 29

Stop repeats of Castro mantra

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:43 pm
Cubas former leader Fidel Castro, who died last week. See letter

I am a little sick of it: the mantra is repeated that Castro brought us to the edge of a nuclear war.


By, the mantra is repeated, planning to site nuclear weapons in Cuba – only 60 miles from the USA. (Let me remind that this so-called ‘land of freedom’ is a land that had been stolen from its original owners, the native Americans, and made rich not without the slave labour of black Africans].

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By the same measure, the United States was only 60 miles from the coast of Cuba, and already had enough nuclear weapons sited on its own territory to destroy not just Cuba but the world (and was in the process of deploying yet more in Italy and Turkey). Cuba was threatening because it was being threatened.

The USA still has nuclear weapons and Cuba does not.

I am not taking sides, though in a country –such as the UK – of increasing food kitchens and disparity between wealth and poverty, let us also remind ourselves that the Castro revolutionaries did lead the Cuban people out of the corrupt and repressive dictatorship of Batista, the American mafia, widescale violence, torture, public executions and poverty – I could go on – into something like education, health and a meal .

Mike Harwood

Address supplied


Get the class in order now

For 30 years I was a secondary school teacher and learned to read the signs that a teacher was losing control of his or her class. (I speak from experience – sometimes it was mine).

I see the same tell-tale signs now with Mrs May and her cabinet. There is a stridency and a tendency to over-assert the strength of their Brexit position. Phrases like “Brexit means Brexit” and “the people have spoken” are parroted as if that should end the debate. Just as the teacher who is losing control resorts to “Because I said so”.

It would be surprising if there were not growing desperation in cabinet ranks given the daily increase in evidence emerging that Brexit will do us harm and that the easy options that were paraded in the run in to the referendum are not on offer – and frankly never were.

The Commons held a meeting of the “Exiting the European Union Committee” where three expert witnesses (apologies that these people actually know about this stuff) provided chapter and verse as to just how things are already going wrong and will get worse in the future.

John Cole

Address supplied


Once gone, it’s gone

I have fond memories of potato picking from school.

Despite the movement away from the land in favour of an obsession with cars and the delights of civilisation, we are a nation fundamentally wedded to the land and our wonderful countryside.

Much of this is threatened with slow disappearance.

I remember when studying with Open University

being visited in our class by some German people who expressed envy at the number of neat and well cultivated gardens.

I am afraid many are now being concreted over

and we may live to regret covering the landscape with runways, railways and motorways.

To borrow an old

sales tag, ‘once it’s gone it’s gone’.

Don Burslam

via email