It is time to stop this ridiculous form of communication. The public are sick and tired of worthy volunteers and candidates stuffing pamphlets of all colours through letter boxes.
Let us hope this is the last election that this outdated form of communication is used. The airwaves, TV screens and social media are full of the same information, and candidates have access to local publications and 24 hour media. It is time to adopt 21st century technology.
There is an idea floating around that to assist the NHS in their battle to halt the steep rise in UK obesity, which has doubled since 1993, and support those with mental health issues, farmers should allow the public open access onto their land.
The belief is that those suffering with mental health and obesity problems would take exercise in the countryside, and perhaps find peace and fitness alongside nature.
Theoretically this is a good idea, but I suspect that the uptake will be limited and certainly not by the very people who should benefit. As they say, “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”!
Those who have come up with this idea believe that the NHS will pay landowners to provide this public service. At a time when the NHS is struggling to cope with running hospitals and services due to the pressure of an ever increasing population, and a public who block casualty departments, wards and GP waiting rooms with non-urgent minor ailments or drink and drug excesses, thus preventing the really sick receiving treatment, one can be certain they have no funds available to pay farmers.
I have a vision of local authorities insisting on laying ‘super highways’ across beautiful open countryside, for ‘health and safety reasons’. These pathways will be congested by the overweight driving buggies and demanding Burger Bars along the route!
Forgive me for being cynical but statistics show that most ‘disabled’ buggy drivers who charge along high-street pavements pushing pedestrians into the road, and running over ones toes in supermarket isles, are not genuinely old, disabled or fragile, just overweight.
Our towns and cities have some of the best parks and open spaces in the world. Today many are falling into disrepair, are unloved, neglected and unused. These should be the first point of call for attention. They belong to local communities, and gardeners and DIY experts should be encouraged to care for them.
Instead, if people attempt to plant the odd bulb or bedding plants, or cut back the undergrowth, they are in danger of being fined by overzealous council officials who consider such activities as highly dangerous!
Farming close to suburbia where footpaths are already overused by dog walkers, cyclists and random folk, it is even now a challenge to keep the public to the designated official routes as they stray onto growing crops, disturb wildlife and livestock, and some even complain if they encounter a bit of mud.
Should we really be encouraging even more people onto farmland? However sympathetic one is to these troubled individuals, I am not sure it is the responsibility of farmers to deal with societies damaged creatures.
I have been reliably informed that a team if mountain rescuers in Cumbria have lost regional funding due to not having rescued enough ethnic minorities. As few non-whites venture onto the Cumbrian hills, it is unsurprising that these volunteers are struggling to reach their ‘targets’!
Let us pray that we wake up on Friday 13th knowing Brexit is a certainty in the New Year.