November 14, 2015 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith column published in the Littlehampton Gazette November 5th. 2015
SO the news is that the bobby on the beat is to be no more. In these days of austerity it seems we simply cannot afford them. Now those ‘politicians’ who justify the massive cuts in the policing budget leap to justify these drastic cuts and tell you out of one side of their mouths that minor crimes are likely not to be attended and from the other side that, with greater communications skills at their disposal, they will respond swiftly to incidents where appropriate. It is the word ‘respond’ that troubles me, it means arriving after the event, no more proactive appearances in the town centre for instance, a deterrent to any wrong doer, with the possible exception of trick cyclists, and a very much needed presence. Big mistake and an unjustifiable one in the eyes of most local folk who like the reassuring sight of a copper walking the beat.
REMEMBRANCE Sunday is not just about wearing a poppy, it is simple enough to pin on a poppy and pat yourself on the back for having done your bit, it is more about remembering, the clue is in the title. Every year I go along to the war memorial in Beach Road meet old friends and enjoy the usual blessing of the sunshine and the raucous gulls but I do bow my head and try so very hard in those brief moments at the playing of the Last Post and that long silent minute to think of what our fighting men and woman died for and I promise myself to try to honour their sacrifice and strive for a decent, tolerant, violence free and caring world and that to me is what wearing the poppy is all about.
AN amendment to request that the government open negotiations with the EU to remove the 5% tax from women’s sanitary products currently ridiculously considered to be luxury items, the so called ‘tampon tax’, was narrowly defeated last week. In case you are interested Nick Gibb our local MP voted against the amendment, well he does not have to pay tax on his razor blades so why should he worry, then again, perhaps he uses an electric shaver. Point is, if the government cannot take on the EU on such a sensible, just and righteous cause what chance do they have on any other major renegotiation?