UKRAINE

Some questions.

Is Putin likely to follow Ukraine with other former USSR countries. Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia?

Would the public in the UK countenance sending troops to defend Ukraine?

Is Putin just being less subtle than the USA is in regard to Venezuela? Spheres of influence?

£896,681 SPAFFED

The cost to taxpayers of a study commissioned by Johnson into the the farcical idea of a bridge or tunnel to Northern Ireland. presumably the results were published on his staggeringly expensive wall paper?

Seriously why did it cost this much? Anyone with any knowledge of the Irish Sea knows about the trench with 1m tonnes of unexploded munitions – thus making the whole thing ridiculous to all but the deluded narcissist who thought of it in the first place. They even costed a tunnel at £209 billion and a bridge at £335bn. The investigation was led by the chair of Network Rail as he does not have enough to do.

MORE NEW HOUSES IN SANDFORD

Plans are being promoted for more new houses in Sandford. I am not a NIMBY and was vaguely supportive of new Strongvox estate. However there is a limit to growth. So the arguments are :-

Sandford is not ideally located for commuters – rather tortuous bus journeys to Bristol and W-s-M. No new job opportunities have developed in the village over the 20 years I have been here.

Whilst traffic is not a real problem at present, it soon will be if the Banwell By-pass goes ahead with eastern terminus at TowerHead. And the associated housing that will goo with it. It is not rocket science to suggest that each new property will create at least one commuter journey per day.

No new facilities have been created in Sandford other than a fenced off football pitch for the Primary School. I am aware that incompetence may have been behind the lack of a new village hall.

The village school I believe is at capacity and I would be interested to see how projections to include the new houses impact on the school. Churchill Academy will probably love it with their new facilities which is a positive.

A bit of geography! Sandford is a linear settlement at the foot of the northern slope of the Mendips. It has no focal point – the pub is at the western limit of the village, the church reasonably central/west, the shop and school central, and the ski slope to the east end. The swing park is tucked away to the south west. the council had an opportunity to create a cohesive village but have missed it. They should compulsory purchase land by the school to create a viable social hub which includes a new village hall – if needed? I am sure this will cause a few chokes! But is it financially viable? Would new facilities for the school be able to double up? Maybe a hall which is used by the school for gym, lunch and assemblies and the public the rest of the time?

The shop could also benefit from refurbishment?

CRISIS – OCEANS

Many people in the world have never seen the life blood of our planet. Out of sight, out of mind may apply to them, but the importance of our oceans is a rather neglected aspect of our global environment. CO2 content of the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect grab the headlines. But p17 of the Guardian reports the sixth consecutive year of hottest temperatures for oceans. Should be Front page of all papers as the Partygate thing will be forgotten by summer.

HISTORY

I was better at history at school and loved it until Mr Dear became my teacher in year 9 – basically he was a boring bully. And that that. Recently I have read several history books, some tomes and very academic, others verging on the comical. However what they all have in common is the writers interpretation of history. Neil Olivers ‘The story of the British Isles in 100 places’ is middle of the road history candy without too much sugar! But even here I find myself questioning his interpretations and I am only up to Ch17.

FARMING

I suspect that most farmers voted Brexit seeing the onerous task of form filling as too much. We are now more than 5 years since the referendum and yet have not come up with anything more than a wish list to replace CAP. CAP was perhaps the area of the EU that I personally thought needed most reform. £3 billion paid mainly to big farms (= rich farmers?). Many of the rules were eminently sensible regarding wildlife, but seem to have not made the majors impacts needed.

SOME FACTS

2017-18 more than 300 were dying daily from flu.

A&E waits are highest for 10 years.

Nurses per 1000 : UK =8.4, Germany =13.9, France =11.1

Doctors : UK=3, Germany =4.5, France =3.4, Italy =4.

Alaska had its highest ever recorded temperature of 19.4C in December, but temps this week are -29C!

Climate change deaths are over 150000 annually.

Earth is on track for an increase of 2.4C above pre-industrial levels.

There are 10967 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Warmer temperatures in Siberia release methane – a strong greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

National Grid: Live status (11.55am 08.01.2022) https://grid.iamkate.com. 30% gas, 33% renewables, 15% nuclear, 3% biomas -rest from other.