Shivering at cold war idea
So, Boris Johnson has said “We must do something” (about Aleppo), hinting that ‘something’ might be attacking the Russians.
Perhaps he is not old enough to remember the worst of the Cold War. We cannot, dare not, do anything which would bring us back to the brink of nuclear war.
I can remember, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, walking my daughters, aged five and seven, to school and wondering whether we would be alive at the end of the day. Living in Newbury with the cruise missiles up the hill at Greenham Common, we felt particularly vulnerable, although we all knew that were a war to start, there would have been no escape for anyone. We will never be completely free of nuclear weapons because we cannot un-invent them. Either they or climate change could so easily destroy all life on earth.
At 83 I probably have not many more years to enjoy, but the thought of not only my own family, but the whole of human and animal life being obliterated by stupidity is almost too awful to contemplate. But we must contemplate to prevent it.
After millions of years of evolution we are the most intelligent beings. How could we not find a way to avoid catastrophe? The only hope for the people and structures of Aleppo is for everyone to back off. In a very complicated situation, adding more bombs or military interference is the worst thing to do.
Haven’t we learned yet that the urge to ‘do something’ can lead to disasters like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in which millions have been killed and countries destroyed?
If Boris Johnson wants to help people suffering indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, civilians, food factories and schools, then he should persuade this Government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia. We have sold over £3.3bn of arms to Saudi Arabia. As citizens of this country that makes us responsible, if we do nothing.
Banks vital part of towns
I listened to BBC Radio 4’s Money Box recently, which asked the question: Do we need high street banks?
More than half have closed over the past 25 years in the UK, with over 600 closing in 2015. Speakers from small businesses said dealing over the counter in the local bank is essential to them. Bank closures mean having to drive to the nearest one, finding a car park and carrying heavy money which could be a five to ten-minute walk.
Banks in town centres are vital and their closure affects the footfall of other businesses in the area. Post offices are closing down and the ones that are open only offer a limited range of services.
Critics say there is an increase in telephone and internet banking but a number of people, particularly the elderly, feel vulnerable to scammers and would prefer to speak to a human being where they can feel safe and secure.
The Money Box programme invited representatives from all the main banks to take part and answer questions: They all declined.
When I was a child I never climbed a tree. But I did, however, walk my dog in local woodland. I hear children are spending too much time on electrical gadgets. Nature deficit is unhealthy for our planet, its animal inhabitants, and our children’s mental and physical wellbeing.