Forget technology - use commonsense

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I LOVED John Beck’s reflection on our truly mad, modern life (Letters, December 10) for I too fear over-reliance on technology.

Yet, while our Rye MP calls for increased use of technology to communicate, ‘video conferences’ fly out the window as our ‘man-made climate change’ campaigning Battle MP jets off to a jolly in sunny Cancun, tropical Mexico, to debate the issue!

At least Amber Rudd admits ‘we cannot control the weather’ (nor can we control cyclical climate change) so that week, I accepted the inevitable, donned a woollen jumper, snow boots, cloth cap and exhaled CO2 to thaw the windscreen of my faithful, eco-friendly 50-year-old ‘4x4’ as it ploughed through the heaviest snows I recall since 1963 as I sought food and a copy of the ‘Rye Observer’ which, disgustingly, was a day late due to thick snow!

Our MPs demand HS2 high-speed pantograph trains on new lines (and new A21/A259 by-passes), destroying prime agricultural land, just to shave 20 minutes off a journey to ‘satisfy business demand’, but when cars and trains can’t run on snow and ice they lambast and threaten Railtrack, railway companies and highway authorities with loss of their operating licenses.

As observant MPs, rail passengers, car drivers and country-folk know, it often snows heavily, but briefly, in Kent and Sussex during the mild month of November! Take 1947, 1965, 1969, 1972, 1980, 1985... need I go on?

The solution is simple. MPs must force motorists to act responsibly by using winter tyres when there is an ‘r’ in the month (as on the continent), and railway companies adopt steam locomotives with snow-ploughs and steam ejectors ahead of the wheels together with a funicular, chain, or rack traction system to guarantee trains run in 12” of snow (or autumn leaves) and stop instantly on ice (or leaf) covered rails!

Such farsighted, fool-proof preparedness costs money - money which overtaxed car and rail users (other than MPs) will not countenance unless paid by those ‘other’ tax-payers who subsidise useless wind turbines which remained stationary in the deep winter calm!

So it is ironic that while MPs urge rail, road and local authorities to cut costs to their ‘customers’ (at the same time cutting road maintenance funding), they praise money thrown extravagantly at vote-catching social projects, such as “promoting Rye’s fishing heritage”!

Incredibly, “the project will set the record straight” as “few may understand” fishing boats catch fish and Rye, with its harbours on a tidal river, has a maritime history! What patronising twaddle!

This was elementary primary school stuff years before Mr Blair’s failed revolutionary crusade for ‘Education, education, education!’

Neither is this pioneering new research unavailable from observation, the Rye library, Ypres Museum nor even the Rye school children’s own, superb, ‘Rye Memories’ series!

So can someone please explain how on earth it can cost £49,800 (why not £50,000?) to write up and print a handful of display posters and photographs for a brief public exhibition, and to create a ‘heritage toolkit’?

It makes more economic sense to build a fishermen’s museum and support a working boatyard.

Bahh! Now, where are my humbugs, slippers and bottle of Christmas cheer?!

BARRY M JONES

Bixley Lane, Beckley