Badger Cull a cruel waste of taxpayers’ money
On Saturday February 22nd Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party joined
other Greens and over a thousand other people in a march against the badger cull. The march
was held in central Birmingham where the National Farmers Union (NFU) are meeting - the NFU
having advocated the badger cull.
The supposed reason for the badger cull is to stop the spread of TB in cattle, but science tells us that the cull will be ineffective.
Even by its own criteria, the cull has been a complete failure.
With less two thousand badgers killed at an estimated cost of over £7 million, that’s a cost of over £4,000 per animal killed.
As over 80% of badgers are not thought to carry TB, this cruel cull would have a negligible effect in stopping TB in cattle.
Far more effective would be a vaccination programme as had been carried out in Wales – and far cheaper too, as the cost of vaccinating badgers is less than £700 per animal, a fifth of the cost of killing them. And real problem is factory farming which leads to more disease in animals as they are far less healthy being kept in poor conditions.
Culling badgers is very cruel but will also have a detrimental effect on the eco-system and the Government has – once again - shown itself to be ignorant of environmental issues.
“The Government sought to scapegoat badgers because it was too cowardly to tackle the real problem that is bad farming practices,” said Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party. “The cull has caused great suffering for no good reason and Defra Secretary Owen Paterson who oversaw this policy and who blamed the failure of the badger cull on the badgers for moving the goalposts should resign,” he added.
Boris breaks promise on tube ticket offices
The Mayor of London, who campaigned for election on the promise of keeping ticket offices
open, now plans to close them as part of the 12.5% cut in the budget of London Underground (LU)
announced on 21st November. This will, at a stroke, reduce safety, reduce service, cause
inconvenience to the travelling public and increase the cost of travelling cattle class. The
intention of London Underground is to create a self-service, supermarket model, and that means
all ticket offices are due to close by 2015.
The news of the savage cuts was given at the same time as announcing the 24 hour running of some tube lines; neatly hiding the cuts from all the headlines. The mainstream media has repeated London Underground’s assertion that the Railway Marine and Transport Union, the RMT, is striking action over the 24 hour running. They are not. They are having strike action over the cuts.
To support the closure of the ticket offices, London Underground states that only 3% of the tickets for the 1.2 billion journeys each year on London Underground are purchased at a ticket office. Oh dear, such lies, damn lies and statistics! That 3% is actually 36 million journeys a year, an average of nearly 100,000 journeys per day. However, these journeys are not neatly and evenly distributed between London Underground’s 270 stations: they are predominantly in the larger central London stations or transport hubs. I dare Boris to cycle up from the air conditioned comfort of City Hall to spend a day investigating local stations in Waltham Forest and Redbridge so that he can see with his own eyes just how well-used our ticket offices are. Remember your election promise to passengers, Boris?
An Open Letter to The Board of Barts Health NHS Trust
We are writing to express our deep concern at the recent sacking of Charlotte Monro.
Charlotte was an experienced Occupational Therapist and a Trade Union leader of 26 years’
experience serving at Whipps Cross and looking after the local community.
A respected and trusted member of staff should be able to challenge the running of the Trust and inform elected councillors of staff concerns. Proceedings were started against Ms Monro after she spoke out to a local authority health scrutiny panel about the threat of closure of the Stroke Unit at Whipps Cross. This illustrates how you view transparency and engagement with the local community. Where Trusts have tried to stop scrutiny and debate about proposed changes we have often seen poor practice and scandals follow, similar to events in Mid Staffordshire over the past few years.
Staff and patients did not ask to be saddled with the huge burden of the PFI at The Royal London, but the knock-on effect of this uneconomic building project is highly likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of care that patients receive: a reduction in staff skills and numbers, the debanding of staff, and now the fear of speaking out after seeing their trusted Union leader sacked.
We do not accept your ostensible reason for sacking Charlotte: that she failed to disclose prior criminal conviction from the 1970s before joining the trust. She did disclose these convictions in a criminal records check some months ago and the trust took no action against her; only taking action after she bravely spoke out against the threat of closure of services at Whipps Cross.
We believe that your recent decision to sack Charlotte Monro has demonstrated that you are not interested in debate, scrutiny or transparency. This sacking is nothing more than an attempt to close off discussion about plans for Whipps Cross and the Trust, showing a failure to engage with or care about the community that you serve.