search.noResults

search.searching

note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
downsmail.co.uk Facts, not opinion please


I HAVE only just read theAugust edition of Downs Mail, and Iwanted to thank you for mentioning the blatant bias of the BBC (Mail Marks). Since before Brexit, they appeared to be allowing their journalists and reporters to provide their own opinion rather than the facts, and this then seemed to stretch into what I considered to be almost brain washing. As far as Brexit is concerned, they are not


able to report a full bulletin, however positive it may be, without a negative to finish. Between the BBC and Mark Carney (Bank of England) they have demoralised the country entirely and appear desperate to talk us into a downward spiral, when they should perhaps be lifting us up. But most of all, they should stick to reporting the facts. I no longer have any faith in their reporting and have also turned to ITV in the hope of finding an unbiased report. I thought Iwas the only one who had noticed it! It's always good to read something that fits with our own view, especially when it's so RIGHT, so Iwanted to thank you for puing my concerns so clearly and succinctly into words. KimWest, Bearsted


Balance usually achieved


YOUR regular columnist Dennis Fowle makes a now-familiar charge of bias in the news reporting of the BBC. Yet the former chief political correspondent and current Radio 4 Today programme presenter, Nick Robinson,was once chairman of the Young Conservatives. Similarly, when hewas presenter of Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman admied that he considered himself to be a One Nation Conservative while his successor Evan Davis wrote neo-liberal papers advocating the privatisation of the NHS when hewas at Oxford University. Aren’t these strange appointments for a supposedly Marxist-inclined broadcaster? In their detailed and exhaustive analyses


of BBC news bulletins, the Glasgow University Media Research Group showed that, if anything, there is a pro- Establishment bias in BBC output. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere


between these two viewpoints and that the BBC usually aims at, and mostly achieves, some sort of impartiality. K Banks, Maidstone


Forced marriage fears


FOR most children, the summer holidays mean fun and time with their family. But for some young people, the long break


is when they are most at risk of being taken abroad and forced into a marriage. In 2016/17, Childline provided 205 counselling sessions to girls as young as 13 about forced marriage–a12per cent increase from 2015/16. The same year, there were 6,099 visits to the Childline forced marriage page. Children told counsellors theywere frightened of being taken out of the country for marriage and reported emotional abuse by their parents, because they believe resisting the marriage would bring shame and dishonour on their family. In some instances, children may have been


told that they are going on holiday and do not realise that they are heading to their wedding day with a complete stranger. Once they are abroad they may find themselves isolated and find it difficult to raise the alarm and halt the marriage. No child should be forced into marriage


andwe must be clear that, regardless of cultural expectations, this is a crime and an abuse of human rights. The secretive nature of forced marriage combined with feelings of loyalty to family and community can mean it is difficult to grasp the true scale of the problem. To help us break the cycle the NSPCC is


urging anyone – including potential victims – to speak up, so thatwe can step in and stop a child being bound into something that they would never ask for. Adults can call the NSPCC helpline, 0808


800 5000. Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 so they can be given support and measures can be taken to stop them from being forced into marriage. Colin Peak, NSPCC, regional head of service, London and South East


Cable work shoddy


THEAugust edition of the Downs Mail contained a report in the Thurnham Parish News section in relation to work instructed by Virgin Media. The report is timely, as it exactly echoes


our experience in Grove Green – disruption; surface finish to the trench deteriorating; surface finish not being level with adjoining pavement. Additionally, heavy equipment used by the contractors broke the road surface in one street, with the hole created


expanding alarmingly. I wrote twice to KCC Highways to point


out such shortcomings, without the courtesy of a reply. I then contacted Cllr Paul Carter, who did respond, and assured me that not only do the works have a two-year guarantee but, in addition, KCC personnelwere inspecting the works. Iwalk through Grove Green every day


and have to say I have never seen anyone reviewing or monitoring these works. To be even-handed they could, of course,


have undertaken this work at night. I hope the outcome from viewing the KCC monitoring logs can be shared with your readers. GraemeWyles, Grove Green


Slaughterhouse reforms


THE Green Party has been calling for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses for decades and the UK's membership of the EU has never prevented the introduction of the measure – France introduced it earlier this year. So while the Government's announcement


iswelcome, the pitching of the policy as a “post-Brexit reform” is cynical and opportunistic nonsense. As for the policy itself, the devil is in the


detail andwe've yet to see any. To help prevent the cruellest treatment of


UKfarm animals the Government needs, as a minimum, to ensure cameras are placed in any area of a slaughterhouse where animals are handled, held and killed. The footage must also be held for a reasonable length of time and made available for independent viewing and monitoring. At the same time, urgent steps are needed


to improve and monitor on farm animal welfare standards too. At the very least, the Government must urgently ensure existing EU safeguards are strengthened and maintained. The House of Lords EU commiee


warned only last month that leaving the European Union and rushing to sign Britain up to post-Brexit “free trade at all cost” deals will pose the biggest threat to farm animal welfare in the UK. Ultimately, it's also worth remembering


that no amount of legislation or regulation can ever make the slaughter business truly cruelty-free. Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East


The five editions of the Downs Mail are delivered to 90% of households in the Maidstone and Malling area, reaching over 190, 000 readers every month.


Maidstone North  Maidstone South  Maidstone East  Maidstone Weald  Malling


Current and archived editions are also free to read online at www.downsmail.co.uk


Contact our teams….


Editorial Editor: Simon Finlay


Simon.finlay@downsmail.co.uk 01622 734735


Assistant Editor: Diane Nicholls diane@downsmail.co.uk 01622 630330 ext. 232


Sales


Sales Manager: Bill Brett Bill.brett@downsmail.co.uk 01622 630330 ext. 221 Advertising Sales Enquiry: 01622 630330 option 1


Accounts Dept.


accounts@downsmail.co.uk 01622 630330 ext 229


Mail Publications Ltd Forge House


Bearsted Green Business Park Bearsted, Maidstone ME14 4DT


Malling September 2017 43


Comment


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48