Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Letters & Opinions, February 22

To sponsor John Elson's cartoons in the Bury Free Press contact johnelsonartist@yahoo.com
To sponsor John Elson's cartoons in the Bury Free Press contact johnelsonartist@yahoo.com


Currently we seem to have two national obsessions – Brexit and football. For a change, in your columns, can I concentrate on the latter?

Last Saturday morning, I experienced the sheer joy of watching my five-year-old grandson play his first competitive five-a-side match representing Sebert Wood Primary School playing Hardwick Primary on the latter’s pitch.

They won 4–0, but that was not why it was so joyful. To see the young lads of five and six running their hearts out was so affirming, as was the great satisfaction of the winning team’s doughnuts! All of the team was rotated to give everyone a chance, and parents, coaches and referees all shared the great delight of the occasion.

I witnessed the true spirit of the game that morning. Contrast this with the sheer greed of the professional game – particularly at Premiership level. Jose Mourinho and his team of failed coaches at Manchester United receive £19.6 million as a pay-out for serving up dreary football and poor results.

The game is rife with greed and obscene rewards at the top level – largely now populated with foreign players, coaches, owners and agents. It is saddening that so much home-grown talent cannot now get to the very top. Much of the money sloshing around does not find its way down to the game at grass roots level. Is there any chance of sanity returning?!

Bob Jones

Bury St Edmunds


I must write and thank all staff for the wonderful treatment I have received at the West Suffolk Hospital. I am 75 years old and recently had two falls, one while visiting a neighbour and the other three days later in my home. I was taken by ambulance and admitted to ward F7.

The care and attention I was given was excellent, and the food was enjoyable. I was under the care of Mr Aswast and he and the nurses helped me tremendously. I was moved to ward F9 and the good care continued. I am diabetic and insulin-dependant and they managed to sort out my medication, and the swollen and angry feet I had improved considerably. I have been very wary of hospitals due to the criticisms often published in the news media. My three weeks in hospital could not have been better and, though I do not wish to return, I feel confident that West Suffolk Hospital and the amazing staff there would always look after me.

Laurence Montgomery Robertson

Bury St Edmunds

Red roses were a surprisingly thrifty Valentine's Day gesture from one Bury store
Red roses were a surprisingly thrifty Valentine's Day gesture from one Bury store


Last week’s “Battle of the roses” (Valentine’s Day) was without doubt won “hands down” in Bury St Edmunds by Aldi, the German store that is making huge inroads into the everyday shopping market. Not only was it possible to buy the traditional dozen red roses at an incredible £2, but also, a choice of other colours at the same price. If they can do it...

Tempted as I was, I decided not to buy more than one bunch of the red roses, leaving others to take advantage of this wonderful offer. Those pictured are shown nearly a week after purchase.

Brian Davies

Bury St Edmunds


I am not a member of a political party but I always vote according to my conscience. I am a British citizen with children whose future is being negotiated. I am bored of Brexit and I am angry that so many of our politicians have made this country’s democracy a laughing stock.

The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is now being negotiated not with Brussels, but by giving way to whichever faction of the sadly divided Conservative Party shouts loudest and longest in a shameful political poker game. It is not being scrutinised or opposed by the disfunctional and politically dishonest main Opposition party which is fighting its own internal battles and playing the long game in the hope of winning the next election if Brexit proves to be a disaster. It is Party ahead of country on all sides. Now, in her latest Brexit update our MP, Jo Churchill, no longer talks of a “good deal” or of respecting “the will of the people” but of “not a perfect deal” and “implementing the result of the referendum”. Most tellingly, she talks of returning “sovereignty in many areas”, no longer of taking back control in the way sold to us in the referendum. Our expectations are being managed. She talks of not being able to pick and choose in a democracy and yet she is picking and choosing which bits of the Leave referendum pledges she highlights as being delivered on.

What about those which are not being delivered in this deal? Is this what Leave supporters, whether of no deal, hard Brexit or soft Brexit, voted for? Who knows, because no one is asking us, the people who will live with the consequences of the deal. We are being treated like children – you asked for it and this is what “it” is, whether you like it or not. We all know what Remain voters think of the deal and they will have signed up for a vote but what about the whole spectrum of Leave voters? This is the biggest decision for a generation and we owe it to our children not to shrug our shoulders and give up. This disfunctional government and Parliament does not speak for me any longer.

A young person recently said to me that he felt he was living through history that will be an exam question in 2050. However bored we are of Brexit we should not ignore what is happening – our MP may be happy to keep compromising and backing a failed internal party negotiation but I have reached the conclusion that we must be asked to endorse whatever final deal is negotiated. At least that way we can each think and vote according to our conscience, unlike many MPs who are being whipped by their leaders for party political rather than national interest reasons. The Government has the chance of getting the deal through Parliament now, on condition that it is then endorsed by the country in a vote, but it seems the Government is not interested in this. What better evidence is there that the Government is acting to try to save the Conservative Party rather than promote the interests of the country? If the country supports the deal negotiated it will vote for it, if not, the deal does not represent the will of the people.

If I am asked in 2050 what I did to shape the future of the country during the greatest Parliamentary failure of our time I would like to say I tried my best to make my voice heard. The people of this constituency have now seen the deal and the reaction of local businesses and commentators on what the deal means for us here and will have formed their view on the deal. I hope Jo Churchill is prepared to listen and even now will see the justice and democracy of asking the people to endorse their future.

Name and address supplied


On Saturday, February 16, I went to the National Westminster Bank in Bury to transfer payment from my account to a tradesperson, which I have done many times previously.

There was a lengthy queue as there was only one cashier (as usual) at the desk, although there are four positions available.

After standing in line for several minutes, an employee came up and asked if she could be of help. I explained that I just wanted to transfer funds from my account to another local one. I was informed that I would have to be seen by someone else, as the counter was used only for withdrawing cash. I pointed out that I had used the system many times previously at the counter and each time it had taken roughly five minutes. The response was: “This is the way transfers are done now and if I can have your name, you will be seen by someone.” I gave my name and was told I was number five in the queue. The gentleman in front of me said: “ I have been standing in the queue for nearly 10 minutes and all I want to do is cancel a direct debit, which takes about two minutes” to which the reply again was: “I’m sorry, but it will have to be done by another person. If both you gentlemen would take a seat, you will be called as soon as possible.” Poor choice of words, as there were only eight seats, all of which were taken, and people were standing about waiting to be seen, as apparently there were only two people available to see customers.

After 38 minutes my name was called to go into a cubicle and I was asked: “How are you today?” When I said I was not very happy and explained why, the reply was: “This is the way things are done now.” When my transaction was completed, I said: “It took 42 minutes to complete a transaction of exactly four minutes, and with over 800 houses being built locally, with at least two people in each, what a very short-sighted way to encourage new customers.” The reply: “There are other banks who do things differently, but they don’t have the facilities we have.”

I walked out in disgust. I can only assume that the individual who thought up this brainwave must be about 25 to 30 years of age, with beads around his neck, wear sandals and have a university degree in cutting toenails.

R Holton

Bury St Edmunds