Gazette letters: Festival of Nature, suicide bridge, Archway’s trees and general election

Welsh poppies in a front garden just off Essex Road. Picture: WILL McCALLUM

Welsh poppies in a front garden just off Essex Road. Picture: WILL McCALLUM - Credit: Archant

Mildmay Festival of Nature took place over the weekend, London’s “first dedicated festival of nature”, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

All credit to the organisers for putting on such a brilliant event, a full weekend of activities aimed at introducing people to the nature on their doorsteps.

Not to worry if you missed it, as there are so many fantastic ways to find out more about the environment we live in (beyond reading this column, of course). This week I sampled Tree ID, a new phone app to identify the trees in your backyard – download it and you can show off to (or rather, bore) your friends by naming all the trees on your street.

Spring highlights this week: although not unique to spring, I enjoyed the sight of two magpies furiously chasing a parakeet across the sky, whirling between rooftops.

Best of the week, however, were a couple of Welsh poppies, vivid orange petals springing up between the paving slabs in a front garden just off Essex Road.

Regarding your story “Anti-suicide fence could be installed at last” , writes Cllr Dave Poyser (Labour, Islington Council), Hillrise ward.

Great news that finally, after all the years of campaigning by local psychiatrists, concerned members of the community and church organisations, there will finally be anti-suicide measures on the Archway Bridge.

The recent co-operation between TfL, Islington and Haringey using CCTV cameras to spot potential harm on the bridge has been a great success showing the benefits of co-operation.

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Assuming the design does not detrimentally affect the look of the historic bridge unnecessarily, and the measures used are shown to be effective using expertise from similar places across the world, then we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief.

The beautiful Victorian Bridge is an iconic London landmark.

But the preservation of human life has to come first.

What are the new trees in Archway? writes Edna Reith.

Archway is looking very nice now. But what are the trees?

I don’t recognise half of them.

I’m writing in response to your article of April 21, writes Mark Dummett, full address supplied.

In it you quoted an unnamed Islington Labour official saying that they had “not spoken to a single human being switching from Labour to the Lib Dems” (“Brexit no threat to Labour in Islington, party insists – as Greens, Lib Dems prepare for fight”, Gazette website).

I’ve always voted Labour, and always respected Jeremy Corbyn as a fine local MP. But the party’s shambolic response to Brexit has changed everything for me, and last month I tore up my Labour Party membership card.

Under Corbyn’s leadership, Labour is failing to be the strong and competent opposition party Britain needs at this time. Unlike Labour, the Lib Dems have pledged to keep the UK in the single market. I strongly believe voting Lib Dem is the best way of telling Theresa May and Boris Johnson we don’t want a hard Brexit.

I also happen to think voting Lib Dem in Islington North will be doing Labour a favour in the long term. If we’re able to defeat Corbyn, then the party will be forced to find a new leader.

I know a lot of Labour voters will not forgive the Lib Dems for entering into coalition with the Tories, but that’s in the past and we all now need to focus on how to prevent a catastrophic Brexit.

This election is not about Brexit, nor should it be marketed as such writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

It’s about the way the country will be steered over the next few years – meaning whether you’re concerned about privatisation.

You do have a choice. You have Corbyn and co, who do have a totally different agenda blueprint for the country, instead of the usual business as normal, no matter who wins.

Perhaps it is a pity they fail to get their ideas across and, worse, can’t sell them to desperate people in dire need of some change [amid]debt, housing out of reach, education costs, cost of living, rising bills, fewer Old Bill, the NHS in full-blown meltdown.

If only Labour did not have such clown-type personalities embarrassing themselves for public annihilation they might have had a chance. One thing they have proven is they cannot sell their ideas, which is rather pathetic when you’re running in an election.

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