COMMENT: Westwell of Ely by Rosemary Westwell

SEPTEMBER: Comet reporter Layth Yousif visited The Jungle in Calais in the wake of the refugee crisi

SEPTEMBER: Comet reporter Layth Yousif visited The Jungle in Calais in the wake of the refugee crisis. - Credit: Archant

Actions speak louder than words It’s all very well Corbyn going to the refugee camps near the Channel Tunnel in France and declaring that conditions are shameful.

Actions speak louder than words

It’s all very well Corbyn going to the refugee camps near the Channel Tunnel in France and declaring that conditions are shameful. We all know this – but, like all the other politicians that huff and puff without actually DOING anything, he seems only capable of calling on the government to take in more refugees.

Why isn’t he using his influence to fund support for the people NOW and arrange for doctors, dentists and teachers to go to the camp to help people immediately? All too often politicians and governments leave the population to its own devices hoping any problems will go away.

It is quite clear that this crisis will not just fade away. The time for action is NOW. Sir Bob Geldof where are you? We need you.


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Fish and chips

Once upon a time, ‘Fish and Chips’ was the meal for the poor people, for it was cheap, warm and tasty, wrapped up in newspaper and easily eaten on the move.

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However, this fine meal has gone up-market and there is a special award for the best contributor to the cause. Well done John Boutwood, managing director of the Isle of Ely Produce, for winning the prize for Outstanding Achievement at the National Fish and Chip Award.

All we need now is for posh restaurants not only to offer meals with fancy names like ‘Lemon and Rosemary Crusted Fish Fillets and Dauphinoise Potatoes’ but also offer with pride the simple, traditional ‘Fish and Chips’.

Schools licensed to ?

It seems that soon none of our schools in Cambridgeshire will be under local authority control for the last one standing is trying to become an ‘Academy’. There have been mixed reports about the success of these academies which are funded by the government but are free to teach what they like and spend their money on anything they want.

It sounds like a great idea, but it makes one feel uneasy if they are going to rely on the inspectors to check if a school has taken on weird ideas, not to mention weird staff. They won’t have enough inspectors to check every school thoroughly – for current cuts are reducing staff everywhere. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt if our inspectors will be immune from compulsory reduction.

What about curbing radical, terrorist ideas? One academy trust has decided to replace its school governing bodies (which contain parental representatives) with ‘academy ambassadorial advisory bodies’: another jargon-filled mouthful to disguise reality. Just who would be part of these advisory bodies I wonder? It sounds like an ideal opportunity for funding opinionated and ill-informed cronies to milk the system for self-driven cushy numbers.

Robots will be able to read our minds

So, you think you are safe thinking anything you like? No one knows what you are thinking? Whether you’re planning how to murder your boss, or having other unmentionable thoughts, it may be wise to start modifying your ideas for it is predicted that by 2030 smartphones, ipads and computers will be able to examine our brain activity and know what we are thinking.

No one will be able to stop them from doing this, for there are no laws against it. At first, scientists say, this ability will probably be used as a security password or ‘pass thought’. You think of a particular image or sing a particular ditty in your head and it can be used as your password.

However, even though we all think differently, and ‘sing’ different tunes in different ways in our head, there is nothing to stop someone mimicking what they have just heard us accidentally say or hum aloud. How often do you find you’ve actually said out loud something you believed you had only thought?

I’ve actually succeeding in getting other colleagues to pick up a tune and repeat it without thinking while they are working. So it will be all very well these electronic gadgets reading our minds, but the possible mountain of horrendous errors that could happen don’t bear thinking about, do they?

No need for excitement

Have you noticed how very proud parents are when their little toddler shows that he or she can count? Well, it seems there is no reason for such excitement, for it has now been shown that some plants, which have no brains at all, can also count. Apparently, the Venus Fly-trap and other carnivorous plants can count up to five. Where does that leave our toddlers, eh?

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