Your letters from this week's Advertizer...

Why I haven’t written to MP

I SAW the detailed and excellent open letter from Helen Morgan, the Lib-Dem candidate in the December general election, to our North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson in your recent edition. I know many people locally and nationally have been inundating their MPs with such letters expressing anger and distress over the Dominic Cummings debacle.

This incident demonstrated monstrous arrogance and unforgivable lack of respect for all our sacrifices. I like everyone else was personally upset and angry about it. At time of writing he is still in post, that is shocking. It was a kick in the teeth for all those who have followed the lockdown, who have not had weddings, not attended funerals, not been by their loved ones side as they died. Who haven’t seen family and friends for weeks.

I have been asked on several occasions “have you written to Owen Paterson about Cummings?”.

I have had to think about why I have not. I realise it is about trust.

Having campaigned in the last three general elections against Owen Paterson as the Labour Party candidate I have seen at close hand a professional politician who happily denies climate change, who championed the brutal austerity policies that stripped our NHS of resources and locally led to a 60 per cent reduction in Shropshire Council Adult Social Care budgets including a £2 million cut in Shropshire’s crucial Public Health budget.

The last thing any of us need is to be patronised with clichés and misdirection of information. Boris Johnson and his cabinet of inexperienced yes men and yes women are not up to it. That is becoming clearer and clearer every day.

Trust has gone.

I worry that already blame of the public for being out in the sun “following their instincts” is being prepared.

They will blame the scientists and they will blame you and me.

The truth actually is that we are all in this together. This is why we have seen such amazing community spirit and support to vulnerable people. We have a sense of what we can be through VE Day 75-year anniversary celebrations celebrating the NHS and the Welfare State. Solidarity and hope, the Spirit of 1945. The new world will not, cannot, be like the old world.

Advertizer Keep Safe and thanks for keeping local news going during lockdown.

Graeme Currie,


School thanks

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at Lakelands academy for keeping my son Thomas Jones safe at school during the pandemic so that myself and my husband, both key-workers, have been able to continue to work.

They do a wonderful job.

MyDieu Jones,


Democratic assault

While I sincerely hope that the members of Owen Paterson’s family displaying Covid-19 symptoms make a good recovery, I find his “frustration” at not being able to vote in Parliament during his period of self-isolation somewhat disingenuous.

It should not go unnoticed that it is the Government he supports which has effectively disenfranchised him, and many other MPs, by terminating remote voting and online participation in debates.

It is not an exaggeration to claim that the restrictions placed on our elected representatives constitute an outrageous assault on our parliamentary democracy and, by extension, on the rights of us all.

Michael Gallacher,


Personal response

I BELIEVE it’s pretty obvious that we have all heard, seen, or read about Dominic Cummings’ excuses for what he did during lockdown. We do not need to be sent a link from our local MP or have his words repeated.

What I know I (and possibly many other constituents of Mr Paterson) seek is a reason why he personally supports or excuses Mr Cummings’ actions.

A reason why Mr Paterson personally believes Dominic Cummings was right to drive from London to Durham.

I want to know why Mr Paterson believes Mr Cummings was right to do this, where countless other individuals were in the same (or worse) situations regarding children or loved ones needing care.

What makes Mr Cummings different from all the other parents who stayed at home?

So, Mr Paterson, I am asking for your reasons, not a link, quote or soundbite from Cummings or the PM, for your actions in continuing to support this man and not condemn what he has done.

Can you provide your own answer to this?

Erin Hudson,

Llanforda Rise

Social contact

After more than two months of staying at home, many people in the West Midlands took full advantage of the nice weather last weekend, and are now permitted to meet up outdoors in small groups.

A huge number of people, however, especially those who are older and vulnerable, will have to continue to stay at home owing to health or mobility reasons, or because they’re worried about mixing with the general population again.

That’s why Independent Age, the older people’s charity, is calling on your readers not to forget those who need to continue self-isolating.

We urge them to stay in touch with friends, family and neighbours who need to remain at home, as well as those who live alone or have no family or friends, and those who feel lonely.

Independent Age’s recent polling found that 89 per cent of people aged 65 and over say their social contact has reduced significantly since the lockdown started.

Even before the pandemic, more than one million older people said they were always or often lonely.

Now that many of us have had a taste of how this feels, we must do all we can to help everyone stay connected.

Deborah Alsina MBE,

Chief Executive of Independent Age