Hereford Times has much less readers letters space on the printed edition than the Camden New Journal has, and sometimes Hereford Times publishes, online, letters of mine that are over 250 words long. The search link
letters "alan wheatley"
helps to highlight some of those published letters, while also flagging up a few 'false positives'.
My Hereford Times published letter re armaments industry and climate changeVeteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent recently presented the Millichap Peace Lecture at Hereford Friends Meeting House, in a lecture entitled 'War No More'. The occasion celebrated Bruce's 90th year and the 20th anniversary of the Millichap Peace lectures and this letter focuses on matters relevant to Herefordshire and more recent publication of a UN report into poverty in the UK.
Bruce showed his pocket sized copy of the UN Charter — a document that few of the audience had ever seen. It seems that governments that are keen on promoting militarism and robotic obedience in schools don't like promoting public awareness of government responsibilities or of citizens' rights that are enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Emphasising this point, the concluding and highly critical UN report on poverty in the UK by Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty published on May 22nd stated:
"Although the [UK] is the world's fifth largest economy, [1/5] of its population (14 million people) live in poverty, and 1.5 million of them experienced destitution in 2017"and described Universal Credit as
"a digital and sanitised version of the 19th Century workhouse, made infamous by Charles Dickens rather than seeking to respond creatively and compassionately to the needs of thos facing widespread economic insecurity in an age of deepa nd rapid transformation...."The UK Government has denounced this report as "barely believable," and based on too brief a visit rather than painstaking research (with hundred of submissions received by November 2018), before, during and after his visit. Rapporteur Alston says, "The UK is happy to use human rights to criticise other countries, but it must also reckon with its on human rights problems."
The Climate Emergency movement, said Bruce, has yet to tackle the huge impact that production and retention of nuclear weapons, and also the sale and deployment of armaments, has on climate change. Nuclear weapons and also nuclear energy production are also incredibly wasteful of public money, producing fewer jobs than socially useful production, while the current government has savaged funding of public services [and councils and told local authorites to leave housing policy to the private sector].
Former US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara admitted years after stepping down that incredible luck and good fortune rather than nuclear deterrence had prevented world war. Bruce Kent pointed out that a considerable element there was key personnel disobeying orders that had been based on false alarms.
Alston's report is not a false alarm, and the sooner those who describe it as "barely believable" remove their digital blinkers, the more secure planet Earth will be.
(Hereford & South Herefordshire Green Party)