Comment: Westwell of Ely

Fen Raft Spider

Fen Raft Spider - Credit: Archant

Can’t be bothered to be apathetic

In this day and age, our bureaucratically-ruled society could do with a shake up. I don’t mean anarchy, or anything like that, but it could certainly do with being challenged. Too many of us are too complacent to disrupt the status quo, even when we know something is not right or sensible. So often you hear people say ‘I’ll never make a difference, so I won’t bother’. I hate to hark on about planning, but Councillor Joshua Schumann has staunchly defended and explained East Cambridgeshire District Council’s role in accepting the plans for the new complex. He says the council has their hands tied, they have to obey the law and planning law apparently doesn’t give the council the right to decide everything that goes inside the complex. He says the council has dealt with the planning application in a ‘thorough and professional manner’ (although I’m not sure it’s for him to say - ‘self-praise’, after all, is no praise) but is this enough? If the law is insufficient, then why not seek to change the law? Until we all make an effort to challenge our entrenched systems, things will never improve.

Dragging on

The lethargy extends into the job market. Apparently Aldi are trying to set up in Chatteris but cannot find the staff. I thought there were lots of jobless people seeking work? So, what is happening? One wonders if some people simply don’t want to work. I know of one case where the person says he cannot work because he can’t get out of bed on time in the mornings; he needs his sleep (usually after playing video games all night). Then there are those who want to work, but not at that particular job, in that particular place, for that money or for those hours. Perhaps some people are being too fussy? It’s time they were more flexible and tried something different. I take my hat off to one person I know who had a top job and when redundancy came, age was against getting a similar occupation, so she agreed to retrain and work as a carer. This is a thankless job with little glamour, but carers are sorely needed – so good on her!

Slow crossing

At last a pedestrian crossing is going to be built on King’s Lynn Road, but why has it taken years of complaints and a petition to get it organised? Perhaps councillors should get out and walk a bit more and then it would become screamingly obvious that it’s a bit dangerous trying to dash across some of our most busy roads.

So, being a woman is a luxury huh?

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Now we’re having to petition against a tax on items only a woman needs: sanitary items - essential for dealing with a natural process. Ask any woman and I doubt many of them would consider mood swings, cramp and lots of other unpleasant things that happen once a month – ‘a luxury’. Yet, according to our taxman’s wise judgement, there are other things that are far more necessary and therefore tax exempt: like edible sugar flowers, alcoholic jellies and exotic meats like crocodile and kangaroo. Really?

What again?

Addenbrooke’s is in trouble again. You’d think after such a damning report and being put in special measures, the hospital would take extra care and protect its vulnerable patients from disease – but no, recently it was reported that two wards had to be closed because of norovirus. There might be some sympathy for the hospital because the bug is highly contagious, but there are ways of combating the most infectious of diseases, so maybe the hospital should just take a little more care?

We should be so lucky

Apparently the UK’s biggest spider, the fen raft spider, is on the increase. Houses throughout the country could be infested with the false widow spider which can give a very painful bite, but why the panic? They’re nothing like the killers found in other countries. We should appreciate how lucky we are that we don’t have to keep checking the grass for killer snakes, outbuildings for killer spiders and the seas for killer sharks as other countries do. (I speak from experience here.)