Dear Editor, Am I the only person who is a tad fed up with the media coverage of the sad story regarding Jade Goody’s terminal illness?
Everyone would be saddened to know that someone so young is dying of cancer, but the whole affair has turned into a voyeuristic media scrummage with even the main BBC news bulletins covering the story.
Her plight is being “managed” by the publicist Max Clifford and has cumulated in a “celebrity” wedding with all the usual behind doors goings on which will be published in one of the “celebrity” magazine which pays a handsome sum for such stories.
Last week at the Prime Minister’s Question Time we even had a Sun reporter asking what the PM’s views were on Goody’s plight! Has the world gone raving mad?
Ms Goody, or is it now Mrs Tweed, keeps being acclaimed as a leading celebrity. Well a leading celebrity she is not.
Her only claim to fame was being a not too bright racist on TV’s Big Brother’s banal programme which led to other TV appearances on further celebrity type programmes of equal banality.
The media has exploited her over the past years. She has been depicted by them as a pig and they have further described her as ignorant and unintelligent. They are now milking her terminal illness to increase their coffers.
I’m sure she will be making a lot of money out of this sad tale in her life and this much-needed cash will help provide for her two boys’ future, but the whole “event” all seems to me a vulgar exploitation by some of your media colleagues.
Will we next see an “exclusive” film of her dying moments released? I sincerely hope not.
Sadly there are many people dying of cervical cancer who do not have the services of Max Clifford and my only hope is that the plight of Goody will raise the awareness of this terrible disease.
Alan Last, Kings Norton
I hope this clears up the problem with garden waste collections
Dear Editor, It is difficult to know what to make of the letter from James Benton that you published on February 19 (Waste of time putting garden rubbish out).
Although he gives his address as Tyseley, he obviously knows nothing of arrangements in Birmingham, and shows no sign of having understood the issues to which I was drawing attention.
You published a letter of mine on February 16 in which I pointed out that Birmingham Corporation was guilty of leaving green rubbish bags uncollected for several days, and therefore was just as much at fault as people who get fined for putting their bags out on the wrong day.
On the following day, very bright and early, the offending bags were collected, despite Mr Benton’s assurance that the council does not collect garden waste until March.
They only collected the bags I mentioned, however, leaving my neighbours in the road behind us feeling badly neglected.
Fortunately, they did not have to grieve for long as theirs were collected on Thursday, February 19, which was the appointed day, according to the council’s published arrangements.
I hope that Mr Benton is now clear about the procedure so that we can now get on with other even more important matters.
Stanley A. Holland
scrap AWM and hand powers back to people who know solutions
Dear Editor, David Cameron has recently announced plans for a radical shake-up of local government, pledging to free local councils from central and regional control.
One major change announced by Mr Cameron is the removal of regional government. Labour’s creation of a regional tier of government has proven to be the most effective of anti-localist measures and it is not surprising that Cameron - if he becomes Prime Minister - promises to unpick this most costly and unnecessary layer of government ‘piece by piece’.
Regional Development Agencies have been particularly expensive and, despite the huge cost involved, have not done the job they were created to do.
Our own regional agency, Advantage West Midlands, is a good example of this, spending about £300 million of taxpayers’ money a year.
Under a Conservative government, AWM will be stripped of its planning and transport powers and these powers will be handed back to local councils. The money it receives will also be handed back to local councils to spend on helping local economies as they see fit.
As a result, councils will no longer be forced to work arbitrarily across geographical boundaries that do not make sense locally. Instead, councils will be given the power to establish their own local enterprise partnerships to take over development functions of the RDAs.
In short, the Conservatives are committed to stripping RDAs of their powers and for these powers and budgets to be exercised at the lowest levels possible.
As David Cameron makes convincingly clear, the best solutions come from local people. Left to themselves, local councils and communities, rather than faceless regional bureaucracies, have a proven track record of knowing how best to deal with the problems they face.
Prospective Conservative European Parliamentary Candidate for the West Midlands Region.