Letters round up (Including ‘You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS’)

What do you think? Send us your views
What do you think? Send us your views

A selection of your opinions from this week’s Gazette.


You cannot trust Tories with NHS

Mike Penning’s intemperate outburst about Hemel hospital offers nothing new, positive, or practical to the debate about local health services.

I would contend that local people would really like to know exactly what Mr Penning has done for health services in his nine years as an MP and working in conjunction with his Tory Parliamentary colleagues in Watford, St Albans, South West Hertfordshire, and Aylesbury, to deliver practical health solutions for this sub region.

The simple fact is that Mr Penning is a member of a Tory-led government that overtly and covertly is privatising the NHS.

He cannot shirk his shared responsibility for this. The facts speak for themselves.

Under the Tories, the NHS has wasted billions on an abandoned IT project, which we are all still paying for; presided over a 50% increase in ambulance waiting times; imposed record rises in parking fees at hospitals for patients, visitors, and staff; and, to quote The Independent, created a situation whereby, “A and E Units are struggling under unsustainable workloads and lack of staff.”

How many staff would the wasted billions pay for?

Commenting on this obscene waste, Tory MP, Richard Bacon, informed the Public Accounts Committee: “We are witnessing the systemic failure in this government’s ability to contract.”

The outgoing CEO of the NHS, David Nicholson, stated in March 2014: “This government is overseeing the managed decline of the NHS.”

It would be good to raise the level of discussion on local health services, looking to the future rather than wallowing in the past and trying to secure cheap headlines. That discussion would be much easier with an MP who genuinely cares about the NHS. As we know from his record, Mr Penning fails to fit the bill.

Paul Eastwood

Address supplied
but not for publication

Town pride

With fame comes the responsibility

Not wishing to disappoint Mr Waller by not talking about him, (Letters, May 21), here goes.

Even I cannot believe you are as bad as you make out in your correspondence.

I hope I don’t detect a certain amount of umbrage at the mere suggestion of being called a few choice names?

After all you have had the temerity, (posh word), to label a large section of the “Berko” population a lot worse, and on a global platform.

Come on Mr Waller, in light of your new found fame on TV and in the press, it is time to step up to the plate, and be the true ambassador for this town, that I am sure you can be, representative of all sections of our community, rich or poor.

Remember, with stardom comes responsibility. From another ugly, fat, bald, but happy resident of Berkhamsted.

Richard Bowen



My idea for future of old police station

I think that the police station would make a great medical centre,where we could get X-rays,prescriptions and doctors all in one place.

That way it would also free up a few properties.

Pat Howe
By email


A big ‘thank you’ to marathon runners

I would like to thank the 145 runners who ran for The Children’s Trust in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in April and have so far helped raise over £265,000!

In particular, I would like to thank our celebrity runners - television and radio presenter Jenni Falconer, celebrity milliner Louis Mariette and Britain’s Got Talent impressionist Philip Green.

The Children’s Trust, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. The money raised from the marathon will help 
to enhance the lives of 
these children.

Bryony Eida

Children’s Trust


Dacorum health service disgrace

I don’t normally do this but I felt the need to write to your paper to say how disgusted I am at the Health Service in Dacorum.

The basics are I’ve got a double hernia and for the past seven months, I’ve been going to my doctor and hospital to see about getting an operation done on my hernia.

I went to Watford Hospital yesterday (May 21) for my pre-op assessment when i was told they would not operate as I am a smoker!

Why they couldn’t tell me this a few months ago I don’t know.

I have a friend who lives in the East End of London and he was able to have his operation even though he smokes (a lot more than me I might add).

They’ve told me to go back to my GP and go on a course. I’m 48 years old and have been paying National Insurance ever since I started working at 16.

Smoking is a disease and an addiction like drugs or drinking but like so many smokers out there we are looked down on.

Andy Daugherty


Driving standards

Water shocking display of driving

Would you like to remind those totally ignorant drivers and most probably residents of Berkhamsted who were driving down Kings Road around 2.15pm and 2.30pm on Thursday that 1. it is an offence to drive with undue care and attention on a very flooded road and 2. it is common courtesy to drive slowly through an excess of rainwater such that you do not soak passing pedestrians.

I realise this plea will be lost on most of the guilty drivers; they are too arrogant to even care, never mind notice. My daughter and I were both soaked.

Andrew Newland

Address supplied


Which side of the fence are you on?

The United States of Europe (USE) ...

I was listening to Any Questions on Radio 4 at dinner time and was struck by how everyone seems to want their cake and eat it.

The current ‘in people’ want the USE to adapt to having the UK as members.

The ‘out people’ want nothing to do with USE.

I’m not one for sitting on the fence, but I’m not sure the ‘in’ mob can have their cake and gobble it up.

Think about it. Either you have a place called Europe with a central government that controls all the parts of this unified county with each part acting like our existing county and borough councils with the ‘top and tails’ cast aside.

This means that both the Town/Parish and national Parliament can go, leaving our existing middle levels dealing with local matters and everything else dealt with at USE headquarters.

The ‘out’ brigade just returns to pre-1975 with all the advantages and disadvantages.

The USE election on Thursday is just part of the process, so remember which side of the fence you would like to end up on.

Norman Cutting



Why EU are better off being out than in

Andy Pearmain of the Watermelon Party – green on the outside and red on the inside – asked why some people were intending to vote for UKIP on May 22 (Letters May 14).

The answer is very simple. The election is about Britain’s future relationship with Europe, and UKIP wants Britain to leave the European Union.

UKIP has support from British citizens of all races. For example, UKIP’s candidate in the Croydon South Parliamentary by-election was Winston McKenzie, who is black. He is also a former professional boxer, so I suggest that Mr Pearmain goes to Croydon and calls him a racist.

UKIP’s opposition to uncontrolled immigration is on practical, not racial, grounds.

Britain cannot house or employ an additional 200,000 people every year.

Mr Pearmain suggested that UKIP supporters lack experience of European countries.

I have visited France five times; Germany, Austria, Sweden and Denmark twice each; Portugal, Spain, Poland, Finland and the Republic of Venice.

They are all fine countries, but significantly different from our own. Their politicians and unelected officials do not understand Britain and do not have the necessary experience of our country to impose laws on us.

In a letter which had “Arrogance” written all through it, rather like a stick of seaside rock, Mr Pearmain even claimed to know what the biggest issue of our century is.

Has he considered the possibility of a war, a famine, an epidemic or a major volcanic eruption?

Contrary to his assertions, UKIP has never denied climate change, which has always been with us and always will be 
with us.

UKIP has, however, cast doubt on the theory of human-influenced global warming, which is based on some rather dubious science and does not explain all the known facts.

For example, in 1998 the International Panel On Climate Change predicted that the world would warm up rapidly during the next 15 years.

This has not happened.

The facts suggest to me, as a science graduate, that the causes of climate change are complex and not fully understood.

Fortunately, not all issues are as complicated as climate change. Where the European Union is concerned, I believe that we would simply be better off out.

Ian Johnston

Address supplied
but not for publication

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