Our readers from across the county give their weekly take on the biggest issues impacting Kent and beyond.
Some letters refer to past correspondence which can be found by clicking here. Join the debate by emailing email@example.com
A blockage to flood defence?
Am I being obtuse, or is there some connection between the flooding of local roads during the recent downpours and the fact that, in the 17 years I have lived here, I have never seen council operatives unblocking the road drains?
Population growth is cause of many problems
Just about all of our problems, from traffic congestion and toxic air, to sewage disposal and lack of hospitals and GP surgeries, have the same underlying cause - over-population.
The population of Kent has risen enormously in recent years, and the damage is appalling. Ninety two percent of our once-lovely orchards have been lost, often to housing developments.
Surely it is time to say "no more" and as no political party seems prepared to do so, I suggest a new "stable population party".
This would only allow new housing for existing residents. Meanwhile, the best way to deal with destructive developments already planned is to call their bluff on ‘yimbyism’ and insert infill housing all around their luxury homes and spacious gardens. This should be council/social housing for those on local waiting lists. Yes, a more caring, sharing attitude on the part of those who are so keen to destroy farmland and the natural environment.
The new party would ditch the Locate in Kent horror scenario with its Liz Truss-style "growth" based on building everywhere with no regard for quality of life. "250k new jobs"? Who is going to get these jobs? Local residents, or a vast influx of new people?
Even the most imaginative merchants of dystopia can hardly deny that more people equals more sewage. No doubt they will come up with a fancy new disposal plan which is never intended to work and all the overflow will be dumped straight into rivers and sea.
With the new party in power, developers will be towed out to sea, and told to swim back through the sort of filth they hope to inflict on the rest of us.
Keep cars out of town centres
I was most interested in Mr Hudson's letter about cars, speed limits, congestion and such organisations as the World Economic Forum (WEF).
He mentions that the WEF wants to reduce car ownership by 75% before 2050 but I've seen photos of the WEF's Klaus Swab travelling in cars, so we're all safe for now.
So it's down to our national and local leaders to decide upon vehicle access, speeds and the rest of it. In-town pedestrianised precincts make great sense. A 20mph speed limit on all inner roads is also reasonable and that has to be consistent throughout that whole area rather than in just a few streets. Then roads leading out of our towns can increase to 30mph.
At this time E-vehicles are suffering from serious setbacks such as battery fires, limited ranges, re-charging points, resale values and more and so sensible speeds and more rigorous exhaust levels for internal combustion cars could help to save us from accidents, reduce pollution and keep us all travelling until cleaner vehicles can be developed.
Our government has put back an end to the production of Internal combustion cars by five years to 2035 and may need to extend that further.
As Mr Hudson wrote, car ownership is interwoven into our communities and those pedestrian neighbours who complain about them must remember that most of them get all their shopping and any other purchases delivered by vans and cars. But we do need to pedestrianise our town centres and arrange for 20mph limits on all inner-town roads, not just a few of these.
Any drivers who are angered by reduced speed limits in town must surely accept that on roads filled with parked cars or pedestrians, then the need to drive more slowly is essential? I live in a street where the speed limit of 20mph is actually too fast and most vehicles move at about 10mph or below; maybe Mr Hudson's own street is or should be in a 20mph zone?
It does make sense.
Tories have let us down on immigration
I have been a Tory voter for all of my life, simply because I was afraid of what Labour would do to our country.
When Tony Blair came to power, regrettably, he said he wanted to rub the noses of the Tories in diversity, meaning that he opened the gates to immigration.
That measure changed the social fabric of our country forever and we can now see the result of that every weekend with people campaigning in London and other cities. I can fully understand why people are moving out of London into the suburbs or emigrating.
What Tony Blair started, Rishi Sunak has finished, by allowing tens of thousands of immigrants to come into our country and doing nothing about it.
For me, this current government has ruined our country and it will never be the same again. For that, I will never give another vote to the Tories as long as I live.
We’re fed up with BBC bias
John Cooper is of course correct in mourning civilian deaths in the Middle East, but this will always be a feature of war, and unless a nation is prepared to just lay down in front of those who would destroy it, always will be.
Millions of innocents died in the Second World War, but would humanity be better off if the Nazis had not been forcibly opposed and allowed to triumph? Pacifism requires good people taking no action in the face of rampant evil, and itself results in the deaths of millions.
However, demands for a ceasefire in Gaza owe more to hatred of Israel, than to any concern for civilians. The BBC has reported that members of its staff were in tears, and suffering distress, over the coverage of the Middle East war by the organisation. However, this was, ludicrously, that it is supposedly anti-Palestinian.
That this should be the case shows just how far our national broadcaster has fallen since the days when it practised genuine neutrality. Clearly the staff involved are not fit to be employed by what claims to be an unbiased commentator, yet the likelihood is that they will receive support, rather than condemnation from senior management. The BBC has become nothing but a propagandist for anti-Western causes, and requires root and branch reform.
It is a disgrace that, while this organisation aligns itself with demonstrators who chant about killing every Jew, the ordinary taxpayer is obliged by law to pay a fee which enables anti Jewish propaganda to continue to be broadcast. If the BBC were forced to fund itself, in the same way commercial companies must, then it would soon find that aping the views only of the Corbynites of Islington would not be sufficient.
Palestinians have been brutalised for generations
While any death at the hands of terrorists is one too many, the fact remains that far more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed by terrorist acts since the creation of the State of Israel 75 years ago.
The question is, what country benefits most from these hideous Hamas atrocities? Israel does, as it now has the pretext to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, begun in 1948 with the Deir Yassin massacre.
Israeli politicians should think twice before levelling accusations at others, especially given that the Israeli state itself was largely the product of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, dispossessions, etc. Generations of Palestinians have been brutalised by a savage military occupation.
An Israeli minister says they are “fighting human animals”. If people are treated like animals – denied food, water, fuel, electricity and given 24 hours to get out of their homes – he should hardly be surprised if some of them act accordingly.
Why I’ve had enough of Halloween
There is one tradition that we could well do without, and that's Halloween.
I realise children love to dress up in frightening costumes and masks.
They also enjoy going from door to door, trick or treating so they can exude devilment in their macabre attire.
Even adults on some shows on TV and celebrities get on board by wearing clothes designed to embrace the scare factor.
I've seen some of the paraphernalia on offer in the run up to the occasion, from Hannibal Lecter masks to plastic executioner axes. Nothing's too gross when it comes to ringing up sales.
Perhaps I'm too old to understand or appreciate why there is so much interest in generating what is essentially a disturbing acceptance of anything that reeks of horror.
It only ingrains in youngsters the concept of fear and how to incorporate it as an element of fun.
Therein lies a culture that can poison the minds and the development of our children.
Sorry to be such a killjoy! But where's the joy in terror? Happy Post-Halloween.
Question over free speech quote
In seeking to lecture Colin Bullen about freedom of speech, L. Roger Numes makes the claim that Voltaire ‘did not envisage his quote to be used as a licence to abuse and denigrate others…’
Voltaire never made the quote attributed to him, let alone render an opinion on the circumstances in which he expected it to be used.
The alleged quote actually appears in a book by the biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall paraphrasing what she thought was Voltaire’s thinking on free speech issues, but in the ensuing years her opinion has never been verified.