Rejoin the EU

Dear Editor,

We need a new referendum to rejoin the EU without delay: we can no longer ignore what’s happening. This isn’t the glorious transition to Brexit nirvana – this is the real Brexit that plunges the poorest into greater hardship, and turns misery into Tory profit.

This government sows dissent and ramps up Brexit’s nationalist fervour. Nothing serves the hard right better than a fake enemy. It gives cover for limitless, anti-democratic powers – peaceful protest risking 10 years imprisonment, power of the courts curbed, human rights threatened, whistleblowers gagged, the Press that is Brexit’s tool and victim, Trump-type rules to restrict electoral rights, politicising of charities, dying days of political opposition, a legion of dirty tricks to imperil democracy and the Law Society’s alarm at increasing “might of the State” is warranted.

Pandering to America (as Brexit necessitates), new legislation will mandate chemical water fluoridation without consent, despite this being a medical and ethical outrage opposed by millions of British people (and refused by 95 per cent of the world’s population, including Europe).

Andover has bitterly opposed fluoridation for decades. Add Brexit trade deals for hormone and antibiotic treated meat, gm food and chlorinated chicken, and we’ll have a sick population too poor to buy what little home-grown produce is left, after Brexit Britain dumps its farmers. The EU has choices. Brexitland agrees its rotten deals because it doesn’t.

Brexit, defended and upheld by lies, has severed us from the prosperity and security of the world’s biggest trading bloc. With neither friends nor allies, we’re alone and at the mercy of superpowers and super-corporations who owe us nothing, and over whom we have no control. We live in an interconnected world, but ‘Getting Brexit done’ has trapped us inside a Trump Wall. Brexit ideology is a dark, ultra-nationalistic force reminiscent of the 1930s. It boasts national glory but it sows destruction.

Tory in-fighting forced the EU referendum, it was never about the good of the country. Most politicians were Remainers. Like Thatcher, they understood the huge advantages of EU membership. Shamefully hijacked by far right Faragists and hostile external forces, Brexit claimed a phoney patriotism that’s left Britain in chaos. Where’s the legitimacy in a referendum requiring only a 50+1 vote on a monumental constitutional issue that risks the break-up of the United Kingdom and threatens Ireland? Where is democracy when the half of the country that voted against Brexit is forced to live with its dire consequences without any political representation offering a new, informed vote? We expect this in China and Russia, not here. But this isn’t only about a corrupt government, it’s about the betrayal of ALL parties denying the people a properly run, honest, new referendum. British politicians are killing democracy, and doing so in the arrogant belief that the people are too stupid to see it, and those who do are too powerless to stop it.

Justice and democracy require a new, fair referendum before the next election. Millions would vote for a party that offered it.

Jennifer Godschall Johnson, Upper Clatford

Thank you

Dear Editor,

Might I have some space to say thank you to the Andover Advertiser for the write up that you placed last week. Great job as always.

Might I also have some space to thank combined churches for a terrific harvest festival at St Peters church and a wonderful dinner afterwards.

I am saddened that there were not as many people that came to the dinner than is usual, but what an amazing spread was put on for us all, there was lots of food left over and I was informed that it will go to the crisis centre in Andover.

Well done all for those that helped put it together. Thank you to Andy Sullivan and his helpers. A special big thank you to superwoman Sue Turner who, after a hard day at our centre with the lunch, still made time to take our Sunday coffee pot and still did her ironing while speaking to us all.

God bless our queen and her family. God bless all of you

Josie Smith, Shipton Bellinger

Andover foodbank

Dear Editor,

The Andover foodbank needs your help to support those in need in our community this Christmas by donating Christmas giftboxes or Christmas hampers.

Last year the foodbank distributed over 1,000 Christmas gift boxes full of toys and gifts to care workers at agencies, including Children’s Services, Yellow Brick Road Projects and Andover Young Carers, to be given to local children in need. The demand for gift boxes was higher than in any previous year but thanks to the generosity of local individuals, companies, clubs and schools, and a fantastic team of volunteers all the requests from care workers were matched. A local headteacher said the gift boxes were very, very successful and brought great happiness to many of their children, and explained that they have many families that struggle on a daily basis with poverty and disadvantage and this was a little ray of sunshine that came with love and warmth. A social worker said the people who have donated gifts have given some of the most vulnerable children in Hampshire the gift of waking up to presents on Christmas Day.

If you would like to make up a giftbox box you can find information on the foodbank website. All items must be new and unused, sweets must have a use by date on each individual packet (loose sweets or packets from multipacks without a date cannot be distributed), and free items such as toys from restaurants and basic toiletries should not be included. The foodbank distributes basic toiletries separately. You can also donate to the project online or by texting GIFTBOX and the amount you want to donate to 70085 (eg GIFTBOX 15). Text GIFTBOXNOINFO and the amount you want to donate if you do not want us to be contacted in the future. Texts will cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message.

The foodbank also gives Christmas hampers to families and individuals who are struggling. These hampers make an enormous difference to the festive season, helping alleviate the many financial pressures and allowing people to celebrate the season rather than exist through it. You can donate through the 12 Days to Christmas scheme. There are 12 dates with 12 items starting on November 8 with a ‘bag for life’. You can follow 12 Days to Christmas on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram adding items on specific days at or do your shopping in one go. More information is available on the foodbank website.

Giftboxes must be delivered to the foodbank by Friday 5 November 2021. This guarantees that care workers have time to discreetly deliver the gift boxes to families in time for Christmas. Hampers must be delivered by Sunday 28 November 2021.

Jenny LeLean, Foodbank manager

Autumn and fuel

Dear Editor,

Autumn, how nature takes us towards our winter can be stunning. Fresh air, breezes or gusts, stunning leaves of bronze, gold, copper and even a touch of gold beckons.

Today, I sensed how fresh air can simply sweep away stress, winter feelings and raise more joy in our life.

Halloween beckons the children. My memories roll in of when our pumpkins became real faces, with the candle glowing to reveal their eyes and teeth beckoning in the dark nights.

Trick or Treat! A simple delight, for all to push away any tricks of mischief to receive an award. The treat reflecting to times when candy, gave the sugar and honey to preserve food, during the approaching winter.

October a month of joy originally the eighth month in Latin and now our tenth to take us into winter and Christmas. Making daisy and buttercup chains will all wait for us.

So, look out for the autumn walks, a great escape from petrol.

Linda Price, Fyfield