County referendum is just a charade

The North Northamptonshire EU Referendum is a charade, says Philip Evans
The North Northamptonshire EU Referendum is a charade, says Philip Evans

By now north Northamptonshire residents may have received an EU referendum ballot paper. What a bizarre document this is.

The three Conservative Party instigators confuse the need for a referendum with the specific issue on the ballot paper as to whether the UK should be a member of the EU or not.

This is a complex issue for which simple Yes/No answers based on the biased views of the referendum organisers can have no validity.

They ask those voting to invite other members of their household to indicate on the form how they would vote – it is unclear whether it is just the principal householder’s vote which will be included in their count, or those of the other residents as well.

They then ask the principal householders to provide personal details including telephone numbers and email addresses so that they can be informed of the result.

Surely publication of the results in the Telegraph would suffice?

They then ask the principal householder how they voted in the recent European elections and how they intend to vote in the next general election.

They also ask the latter question to other household members.

The principle of secrey being fundamental to voting in the UK is ignored.

There is no date given for the return of the ballot papers.

There is no indication as to who has funded this pointless charade and what it is costing.

The three misguided instigators would better serve their party if they supported the Prime Minister in his quest for EU reform.

North Northamptonshire residents should not be duped by this contrived intrusive information-gathering exercise by local Conservatives, but put the ballot papers in their recycling bins where at least they would be of some beneficial use.

PHILIP EVANS

by email

Love of money at the root of all evil

Epitaphs often make interesting epithets on human nature.

I rather like the one from Devon.

“Here I lie at the Chancel Door. Here I lie because I’m poor. The further in the more you pay. Here lie I as warm as they.”

There is always that side to us that believes that we get something better because we have paid more.

How divisive money can be.

We see it in health, in education, in possessions and even in railway carriages!

But as the Good Book says: “We brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out.”

It doesn’t matter what we have when we die, we leave everything because there are no pockets on a shroud.

Heaven has no need of retail therapy. Money is morally neutral but the love of money, as St Paul says, is the root of all evil.

As a society and as individuals we need to ponder that truth. Many of us can remember our childhood days where there was often very little money to spare and we envied those children who had a half penny because that was the price of five toffees.

We were taught to share and share alike and not to keep things to ourselves and be mean towards others.

When rationing was the norm we were even more careful with what little we had but I think we were also more caring.

There were many wise sayings that we were taught such as “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, “waste not, want not” and “be thrifty not shifty”.

Our expectations about possessions was not to give pride a place about what we had but about how we used them.

The little ditty often sung to us was “I’ve got sixpence, jolly, jolly sixpence I’ve got sixpence to last me all my life. I’ve got tuppence to spend and tuppence to lend and tuppence to take home to my wife.”

There is a wise lesson in economics here that people often choose to ignore. A little to spend to survive; a little to help others when their backs are against the wall and a little to maintain family life and responsibilities.

Perhaps this is too simplistic to swallow but it contains more joy in it than all the selfish pursuits for wealth creation that make life more of a struggle than a peaceful experience.

The Church’s latest venture for credit unions is very laudable but it is not unique. Far better to teach the gospel truth about love and generosity as images of God and the way we should be living. I rather like the sentiments in the little song we used to sing in school assemblies: “Love is something if you give it away, give away. Love is something if you give it away, you’ll end up having more. It’s just like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won’t have any. Lend it , spend it, and you’ll have so many, they’ll all roll over the floor.”

The pictures we often have of God match the way we live and move and have our being.

Sometimes I wonder if people have any pictures of God at all in they way they love all that will not survive the grave.

CANON GEORGE BURGON

By email

Alternatives for the town centre

With regard to endeavouring to improve Rushden High Street, I find the concrete balls placed in the centre of the High Street to try and stop parking a complete turn off.

Unattractive, to say the least, and totally ineffective.

As regards the traffic, would it not be better to direct all traffic via College Street to Duck Street to follow the one-way system?

This would leave the area traffic-free outside the chapel and much more people-friendly and more room for events, perhaps siting one or two bench seats.

A sign could be placed at the entrance of the area saying “deliveries and loading only” between specific times.

Regarding the northern end of the High Street, access could be gained Rectory Road and Queen Street.

A suggestion for the concrete balls is that they are removed perhaps to somewhere like Hall Park to be placed to form a feature incorporating sculptures and modern art.

JACQUI TOMLIN

Rushden

Key questions on wind power

I read your article on the nine new turbines at Burton Wold and have a couple of comments/questions.

I notice that every article on alternative energy supplies always suggests that the output from this will serve so many local houses with “green” electricity, but surely, you and I know that electricity from this source goes to the National Grid which serves the whole of the UK, and indeed that the electricity supplied is somewhat more expensive than that supplied by the more conventional sources, such as coal, gas and nuclear.

I’m not against developing alternative sources of power, indeed I live in the shadow of the first Burton Wold Wind Farm, but I do feel the media should stop pretending that these new sources of electricity can be directed specifically to somehow benefit local people.

When I see any articles on alternative power supplies I’m always intrigued by the apparent need to equate the theoretical output at source to providing power to a number of local homes.

For example, in your article it states that the output from the nine new turbines will satisfy the electrical needs of 11,000 homes in Kettering.

I would be grateful if you could show me the equation which you or anybody else uses to make this calculation, bearing in mind that most people in this country, including politicians, do not know the difference between units of power (Watts) and units of energy (kw-hr), or the average electrical energy needs of a household (KW-Hrs/annum).

When the original Burton Wold Wind Farm was commissioned we were told that each turbine was going to be capable of producing two megawatts and that the whole site would be equivalent to a 20 megawatt power station, but this would only have been the case if there was continuous wind speed throughout the year.

While a conventional power station is capable of continuous delivery at its designated output, so comparing maximum for one with continuous with the other is misleading.

This is also the case with solar farms whose output varies with time of day and seasons.

I remember reading that David Cameron had installed a 1kw wind turbine on his house, presumably after learning that his electricity consumption averaged out at around 0.5kw over the whole year, which drew a comment from me to our local MP that even in the strongest wind, he would not have been able to make a cup of tea using a 3kw electric kettle!

Electricity usage by consumers varies enormously minute to minute and the National Grid has to be capable of coping with huge surges in demand, which alternative sources of electric power such as wind, solar or tidal could never do on their own.

Going back to the original Burton Wold Farm, it has now been running for several years and it would be very informative if you could dig out actual figures for electricity supplied to the grid (in KW-hours), which would give a realistic idea of what to expect from wind farms.

TONY KELLY

Burton Latimer

We won’t turn backs on British

As readers are no doubt aware, it was my first day in the European Parliament on July 2, and my first chance to stand up for the British people.

This is why I joined my fellow UKIP MEPs in turning my back when the so-called “European anthem” was played.

I am there to represent the views of the people of the East Midlands, not to “honour” the EU flag or anthem.

The EU elite must be challenged and made to realise the British people – and many others across Europe – want out of this wretched organisation.

It’s just a shame the Tory MEPs who claim to share the concerns of the Great British public did not follow the UKIP lead.

MARGOT PARKER

UKIP MEP for the East Midlands

Uniform is so cringeworthy

If the cringeworthy uniform to be worn by Scots competitors at the Commonwealth Games is an example of Scottish decision making, it will do much to swell the “No” vote in the Independence Referendum.

Frankly, one would not do this to a sofa!

JOHN EOIN DOUGLAS

By email