COMMENT: Westwell of Ely

Ely Standard columnist Rosemary Westwell,

Ely Standard columnist Rosemary Westwell, - Credit: Archant

It has recently been reported that providing humanitarian aid to children starving in Calais has been banned.

This, I presume, is to make the problem disappear. Well if left for long enough I suppose some of the children will disappear by either dying or being trafficked.

This is no solution.

Something like the hub in the Lighthouse in Ely needs to be set up and some effort made to find food and shelter at the least, but even more, plans should be made for a real future, be it education, work, or whatever is needed.

While our government has millions to spare for undeveloped countries it does not seem impossible for some support to be given to these children.

These are the children that were originally rejected by the Home Office: Afghan, Eritrean and Ethiopian. While there may be cultural differences, this is not an excuse. As someone put it succinctly, there is only one race, the human race.

When my brother was in the Vietnam War, he said the most effective way of combatting the troubles was education and this still stands today.

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Also, another effect that seems to be creeping in is the notion that throwing money at something is all that governments need to do.

This is not enough. They need to see where the money goes and how it is used.

They need to take an interest in what is going on at the ground level and I do not mean one photo opportunity.

There are so many bureaucrats on the books, what a difference it would make if they stopped pen pushing, got out of their offices and made sure the differences they had made were actually working.

While there are many sincere staff members, there are many cases when checks have not been made, for example, builders have not quite followed specifications and have got away with it because they weren’t properly checked at the time.

So much time and money is wasted on delivering platitudes that do not address the problems spelled out by the locals.

I sent a letter with six questions to the powers that be about the medical hubs and where they would be. I received no answer other than a page of platitudes about how the government is throwing money at the health care problems we have.