Let’s get these out of the way. Last month there was a serious error on page 4 in the articles about the EU referendum. We got our Stay and Leave headers mixed up in the paragraph Main Risks. Thanks to all those who contacted us to let us know and sorry for the confusion. Also thanks to all those who wrote and gave us their opinions on this vital question. It is good to know that our readers are so engaged with current politics.
Please excuse us also for the misinformation on the toilet map that was wrongly described as an app. We have been in touch with the authors who have explained that it is currently only a website.
On Death Row
I recently watched the excellent BBC drama “Undercover” which had as one of its main themes, the validity of the Death Penalty in America. This coincided with the withdrawal by pharmaceutical manufacturers of the lethal cocktail of drugs used to dispose of prisoners on death row.
In 1965 Great Britain abolished the penalty and Northern Ireland followed in 1973. No country can be admitted to the EU if it still has capital punishment and unless they actively campaign against executions.
To me, the appalling conditions in some of our prisons can be punishment enough for serious crimes, but do we have the right to take a life for a life in the case of murder?
Who wants to rule the world?
Megalomania is a common condition that seems to me to be infiltrating world governance. While we expect to have this at the head of North Korea, Kim Jung-il does not disappoint. He has just turned down the offer to meet the US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, who could well be another candidate for megalomaniac of the year.
How do we tell the difference between a charismatic leader and a potential dictator? Democracy should prevent another fascist regime but with hindsight this did not prevent the terrible world war in Europe 70 years ago.
Our green and pleasant land
I was so lucky to be on holiday the weekend that was probably our summer in the middle of last month. We stayed in a luxury caravan in Rhyl and took the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine in the amazing Bodnant Gardens. The National Trust have made this one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK, spanning some 80 acres and is situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping towards the west and looking across the valley towards the Snowdonia range. There is something so uplifting about such natural beauty and to have the sunshine smile on those of us who sauntered among the azaleas and magnolias; exchanging pleasantries with strangers was a joy.
Two little ducks
Much to the delight of my husband a pair of mallard ducks have taken up residence on the green opposite our house. He watches for them during the day and checks that they have settled at night. I have had to research their habits so that he can follow their behaviour.
Mallards and their nests are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird, or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young. Therefore, it is important not to chase away a duck that has started nesting, since she must be allowed access to her nest.
He is more engrossed in them than his usual diet of daytime television so perhaps membership of the RSPB would make a good gift for his birthday. Taking an interest in our natural surroundings is always to be advocated and we should be encouraged to appreciate our flora and fauna.