Sewage crisis is another example of the government's inability to protect British citizens - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Tony McCobb, Kirk Ella.

Your editorial (March 28) regarding the record release of raw sewage into our rivers and seas is yet another example of this government’s inability to protect British citizens.

The deliberate underfunding of the Environment Agency under the guise of ‘cost-cutting’ exposes individuals to illness and disease, as well as damaging those tourist areas which depend on water activities.

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I always thought that a government’s primary duty was to protect its citizens and promote their welfare, but the casual indifference to our health is symptomatic of a wider political malaise.

A tanker pumps out excess sewage from a sewage pumping station. PIC: Andrew Matthews/PA WireA tanker pumps out excess sewage from a sewage pumping station. PIC: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A tanker pumps out excess sewage from a sewage pumping station. PIC: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The drive to “get Brexit done” without understanding how business and trade work has undermined the country’s economic growth, leaving us vulnerable to outside forces which have raised industrial and food prices.

This government’s inability to control the quality and price of imported food exposes us to dodgy products and dangerous food. The recently proposed off-site inspection scheme has been called ‘a gift for meat smugglers’.

The government’s desperation to ‘do a deal’ with Australia and New Zealand has undermined our farming industry. Farmers are crying out for a basic income to compensate for inadequate government funding since we left the European Union.

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The impending tariffs (up to £145 per shipment on imports of plant and animal products) from the EU will restrict choice and put up prices for British consumers. European producers may well decide not to bother with Britain at all, yet most of our fresh food is imported from Europe. How can such naïve, impractical trade barriers make us healthier, safer and more productive?

Leaving the EU was supposed to deliver extra money for the NHS, but the government’s refusal to talk sensibly to our doctors and nurses has inflicted on us the longest waiting lists for surgery, tests and GP appointments in our history. Is that a good way to defend British citizens, or is the money being sucked out of the national health system in order to privatise it?

On leaving the EU we were promised “freedom” but nobody explained who would be free to do what, nor what we would be free from. It was just a slogan. We now see the depressing queues at Dover at holiday times restricting our liberty of movement.

The City of London, our great financial hub, was going to be liberated and make us more prosperous, yet lots of city institutions and firms are leaving for Paris and Frankfurt. Many of our firms had to set up sister companies in Europe in order to continue to trade more easily and efficiently.

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Far from making us free, this vast exodus of British resources has made us more vulnerable. Our ability to travel, work or study in Europe has obviously been seriously restricted.

Our freedoms have also been restricted on a political level. The right to vote has been limited in the Tories favour by the introduction of unnecessary rules about photo identification, rules which Rees-Mogg himself called a form of gerrymandering.

Our freedom to protest peacefully or make valid criticism of the government has been severely limited and criminalised. Big Brother surveillance has been extended, including by a preposterously named Online Safety Bill. The constant attack on the European Court of Human Rights, the brainchild of Winston Churchill, deliberately undermines our diminishing rights.

Boris Johnson promised that Brexit would ‘Unleash Britain’s Potential’. The leash gets shorter and tighter by the day.

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