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RE: War with Iraq

I think that if a country disobeys the self-styled UN council, it should be blown to bits. It's much more fun than taking the weapons out by lorry, and makes the 'defense' industry a fortune. Colin. As another side benefit you get to control another country, wipe out hundreds of thousands of gentiles and look at all that lovely oil. Western interests aren't spread around the world by accident, it requires hard work, dedication and an unswerving commitment to lying, cheating and killing.
Graham, Cambridge


Re: Asylum seekers

I come from Glasgow and I think it is a disgrace that ayslum seekers have taken over Glasgow and why should they come into our country and get house and money most of the people have travelled across europe to get here..why is that? because Britian is too soft. it is time it stopped before people do take the law into their own hands.
David , Scotland


Re: War threat


Why don't the peolpe of this country wake up! We are going to war. The warships have been sent, the soldiers are being sent, the aircrafts are being sent, just for the fun of it. Mr blair and Mr Bush are intent on war. They do not care about the ordinary person, they are as bad as the First World War generals sending the troops over the top of the trenches to be slaughtered! Every war that has taken place has ended with people sitting around a table and discussing peace terms, why don't we do this before people get killed.It will not be Mr Blair or Mr Bush that go to war but our young men and women who have their whole lives ahead of them. If Mr Blair and Mr Bush want to fight let them be in the front line, but that will never happen. How dare mr Blair declare war on anyone without a mandate from parliament, he does not have my vote and he never will. How dare he say he speaks for Britain when only 25% voted for him and I am sure most of those people are regreting that now. Stop this insanity before it starts, it is people lives you are dealing with not statistics
Roland Fry, Ramsey Merside UK


I think you've missed the point on Cambridge car parking charges. If Cambridge want to deter motorists that's fine although I should have thought the Chamber of Commerce should wake up and also they should lower charges for disabled drivers. The really iniquitous charge is in the evening and is sheer greed at 2. There is no congestion in the evening and it must adversely affect the Arts theatre and other entertainments. The Council spokesmann said it has no effect on shops closing. Where has he been for the last 20 years as all the good shops have gone! Personally we shop in Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Burt St Edmunds and Peterborough. whenever possible Jerry Hathorn
Mr G.(Jerry) S.Hathorn, Sawston

Much of the 3.2 has been wasted by installing traffic lights and pelican crossings close to roundabouts all over the city. Roundabouts are meant and indeed do keep traffic flowing at junctions. Placing pelican crossings on the roads adjacent to the roundabouts clogs up the roundabout and defeats the object. I am sure the City Council bought up a " job lot " of traffic lights about a year ago and have been erecting them all over the city without thought regarding the consequences. How many traffic lights are there on East Road between the Newmarket Road Junction and the Catholic Church on Hills Road ? Think of the polution with all that traffic continually stopping and starting. Think of the fire appliances leaving Parkside and trying to negotiate this kind of dense, near stationary traffic. Oh, one other waste of money which occurs to me. The pedestrian crossing installed at the bottom end of Barnwell Road about 5 months ago. As I use this road several times every day, I was amazed to actually see a man wheeling his bike across it yesterday. A FIRST !
K G Steere, Cambridge


AMP Pearl job cuts

It's just one lot of redundencies after another at the moment. Are we heading for a recession in this country? I would hate to l9ose my job just before christmas.
Geoff, Peterborough

RE: Firemans Strike

My uncle is a fireman. he is given a house by the firestation for which he pays reduced rent. he works four days and 3 nights a week. During the nights because he lives in the firemans complex around the firestation he can go home and sleep with a bleeper. If he wants to he can stay at home all day and just go in when the alert sounds. if he wanted 2 he could get another job such as a painter or decorator, and many of his friends do. he was the only fireman in derbyshire not to go on strike so all his friends took the mick out of him and sent him to coventry. he sent all the money he earned during the strikes 2 charity, but all his old friends refuse 2 speak to him for being strong and doing the right thing. I think it takes far more courage to stand up to your and be ridiculed by your friends than it takes to go into a building, which he has been trained 2 do and he says he hardly ever has to do: its all cutting people out of cars on the M1. Far more travelling salesmen get killed on the M25 every year than a fireman gets killed in 10 years.
Laura, Colchester

I belive that this whole animal testing topic has some merit. It is true that there are test out there that are extremly cruel and have no real purpouse, (LD50) but there are some that can have extreme value. Take stem cell cloning. they take rats with broken backs and test new ways in wich they can grow back the severd nerve. This has already shown movment in the rats hind limbs. Don't you think that it is okay for the rat to be tested on, So some people may walk again some day? Any one who says that a humans life isn't as valuable as an animals is insaine. God made us like we are. Any one who says animals should have the same rights as human, should ask themselves this, Doesn't animal equality imply that human should undergo the same tests? Anyone who says yes, should be first in line when the sign up list is posted. So seriously, I belive that the goverment shold crack down on this, find a sulution, And then start doing somthing more productive, like helping the needy.
Call me fred, Alaska. USA

RE: Firemans Strike

It is clear that Mr Gilchrist is now showing his true colours and his true agenda. The firefighters are just being used as pawns. Shame on you Mr Gilchrist
Jan Ertner, Cambs (and Denmark!)

Why does everyone keep going on about the dangers of being a fireman, after all is it not this aspect of the job which attracts them in the first place? Research has shown that out of the top 30 most dangerous jobs, firemen come in at 23rd.
Joe, Cambridge

I was told at a very early age you either do a job you love or a job that pays well only a very few can have both. Perhaps the firemen ought to think about a career change. Can anyone explain how 20K a year works out at 6 an hour for a 48 hour week.?
Gary, Huntingdon

re: Firefighters Strike. Would people care to look at the Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue web site.ref vacancies/firefighter job description
peter, Manea

Just a short note re the Fire-fighters, why not pay them "Danger-Money" as a rise, would'nt that settle it. I'm behind them a 100%
Pat Hewitt, Pitsea Essex

Re Firemans strike: Isnt it a sad reflection that men are paid 30,40,50,000 per week to kick a ball around a pitch and yet we only pay 20,000 to men prepared to risk it all? Maybe some of these premiership footie sides should sponser our firefighters!!
sonia, hardwick

I am afraid that the fireman think that all of those car hoots are for them but in reality its the great British public who are fed up with this goverment and are simply through the firemans action applauding someone who is giving the present govt grief. But good luck anyway but please keep your feet on the ground and be realistic about how much you can expect to get. I have striked in the past myself and somehow never recovered all that I lost and that includes pensionable sevice, did you know that every day that you strike is knocked of your sevice, it may not matter know if you are young but later on it will. Good luck John Taylor
John Taylor, Lancing England

The fire service should all be sacked. Their posts should then be advertised in the local press. There all lazy good for nothing part time painter and decorators.

RE: firemans strike i think the fireman should get more money ive read all these people saying they have greast working conditoins and everythin but they dont sou call a chemical spill a great working enviroment how about a factorey fire or a airplane fire they are great working inviroments are they how about a RTA they see some people die everyday if they can save them they risk their lives to save you and if u dont support them what gives u the right to sdya they dont need no more money will you be saying that when your house is on fire and they save or if you are in road trafic accident will u then be saying i dont think they need anymore money when you see what they have to basically i think they deserve their pay rise for risking their lives everyday to keep you safe and if u dotn well you are all bloddy mad
alexander Barnett , Gloucestershire

Re the fire strike how can the firemen say they are only on 6 pound an hour when they get 21500 a year yet im on 8 pound an hour and work a 45 hour week and still only manage to earn 17000 before tax something does not add up
James, Royston

I don't support the firefighter's strike. I'm sorry yeah they probably deserve more money but doesn't every one. Peter from Manea you say try spending 24 hours on a busy fire station. Well my dad is a psychiatric nurse who is on call for one week every month without getting paid any extra and the phone goes at home every night and wakes my whole family. My dad works double shifts nearly every day and my mum has a day job and also does about 3 nights a week as a bank nurse. With all this I can assure you they are both earning less than fire fighters. My parents work hard to support me and my sister and they would like more money too but they're not putting people's lives at risk by striking. Firefighters jobs are nowhere near the most dangerous in the world. My grandad worked a builder for 20 years and fell from scalfolding and broke many bones a few times and my friends dad broke his neck while working in the building! trade. Builders jobs are much more dangerous than that of a firefighters and just like alll jobs they do a valuble job for society. But do they get paid anywhere near that of fire fighters? I don't think so!! There are plenty of people who want jobs as fire fighters. In fact for every job there are on average 20 applicants and with only 16 weeks initial training like my dad said 'I'd love to have only done 16 weeks initial training and get paid what they are paid. If the fire fighters won't do there jobs for what they're paid then I'm sure their are plenty of others who are willing to do it.
Mya, england

re: firebrigade srike. I work for the Ambulance service as a Paramedic ihave done this job for 10 years my pay is just 19,800 i have to do over time. they talk about all the trauma of road traffic accidents and the stress. 9times out of 10 we the ambulance service are first on scene we deal with the patient support them,keep them alive takethem to hospital then straight on the next job could be go to a drunk with a broken bottle, a little old lady who has fallen and needs some help, but who are the ambulance service, the forgotten service that who what about a pay rise for us
dave , ely

Re Firefighters Strike. I served 21 years full time I went on strike in 1977 for a better wage now that wage has been eroded its time to bring the fire service up to date. Meals - firefighters do not get free meals - sleeping try sleeping with a bell ringing 2 or 3 times a night - pensions I paid 12% of my wages to the pension fund every month I retired at 55 because at that age one is to old to keep up with the difficult and strenuous job that has to be done. maybe Doug of Cambridge should spend 24 hours on a busy fire station.
Peter, manea

Hopefully when the firemans strike is settled and over the papers will continue to keep us informed as to our many people are dying each day as the result of fires,road accidents,and other incidents that require the assistance of the Fire and Rescue service. It seems to me to be a cheap way of playing with peoples feelings.
john, huntingdon

Firemen should look at what most average people earn then realise there not so bad off after all. They get a good wage a very good pension and great working conditions. Not to mention that only a small part of there working day is spent working. If they had to find another job then they would see how much normal people earn and have to live on. If they cant survive on 21500 then there very sad indeed. I say to all fire personel take a good look at what you get ie great pension retire after 30 years on site canteen payed meals on duty ect. Like many id love to be a firefighter and failed only because of my eyesight give real people who want to do the job a chance and if the rest are more intreasted in the money lets see how far they get in the real world. Firemen and women please look at what you have not what you want if its money you want go find a new job if its people ypu want to help then be gratfull your in a job you love. there are 40 people waiting to fill each firefighters job i say give them a chance and sack the rest lets see what they earn then. You all get more than most think about it when your next eating your free meal on duty and getting in your warm bunk for night whilst being paid. YOU WANT MORE MONEY THEN GO GET ANOTHER JOB AND GIVE THE PEOPLE WHO CARE A CHANCE. gIVE ME 21000 A YEAR THAT WOULD BE 9000 MORE THAN I GET NOW AND ID BE GREATFULL.
Doug, Cambridge

Firefighters Strike. Is anyone else wondering why it is not possible to postpone the strikes while talks are held? A few weeks delay won't make much difference and it would show that the firefighters are prepared to negotiate. Or could it be that Andy Gilchrist is too focussed upon making a name for himself as a great trade unionist? We've seen this before. Scargill. The man thought he was bigger than his cause. Firefighters have already lost my respect. All that can happen now is more deaths due to inadequate fire cover.
Jon King, Cambs

Stop paying the petty idiots in parliment, and start paying the people who add value to our country by providing a vital service.
Nick, UK

How do the dangers and risks of injury and death compare with other dangerous jobs like miners, fishermen, and agricultural workers? How does their training compare with other professions? If they get their 40% or a large increase where will the money come from? Will it mean less for education, social services and pensioners? I should add that I have great sympathy for the firemen.
don Bloom, cambridge

Eight pounds fifty an hour is all they are asking for! How much do you pay to have your car serviced! I know who deserves our support. Firefighters are putting their lives on the line every time they report for duty. It,s about time we supported them.
Laura, Peterborough

The Green Goddess fire engines are too old for the work they have to do. Every one that I have seen on the news has had water dripping out of the back. The red engines need to be used, as the government is discussing. There is one question though, why have the goddesses not been replaced. The goivernment could have bought the old engines that the fire brigade have decommissioned over the years to replace the goddesses, at least they would have been better equiped, with a larger water tank and probably higher pressure hoses.
Neil

hi my dad isa firefighter and he puts he life at risk everyday for people he doesnt even know.He has a family wife,son and me and we appreciate what he does.he is a retained fireman,and he doesnt want to go on strike because they will put lives at risk. he was telling me about 1977 that his station didnt go on strike because of all the people dieing, and the station was called alsorts of names for saving lives!!! so he is stuck in the middle and if anything he will lose money from not going to work.people say get a different job but he LOVES his job but is thinking of giving it all up after 10 years.,but he has to ,to support hes team.only the full-time fireman get the 30,000 a year.My dad tryed to applie for a full-time about a year ago and you have to go through all sorts of things e.g. you have to pass your health and fittness,medicle and eye-sight (theres alot more but i dont know what)but my dad passed every! th! ing 101% except 1 thing his eyes sight by 1% (belive me he was very upset as that was his dream) so u can see what they have to do before they put their lives at risk.do you agree that that they should have extra money (im not saying 40%)?i hope you people agree with me.
fire-fighters daughter

RE: the firemans Strike. I live very close to a firestation and took the opportunity to go and talk to the firemen on the picket line. They are ordinary blokes who do a job that regularly put their lives in danger to save others. As a public servant myself I am earning a similar salary to the fireman to do nothing more dangerous that man a computer and manage a few staff. I have a policeman and a nurse in my family and along with the Firemen I think it is appalling how little their pay is in comparisom with other jobs, including my own. I have been a pay negotiator( Trade union) in my time and I know that both sides will be putting their own slant on the offer when talking to the press, but don't give these brave lads and lasses a hard time they have not taken this action lightly. It has probably cost more to cover the strike than the cost of offering more money to the FBU, I realise public sector pay comes out of tax ( local and national ), but is about time that the service that public sector workers offers was appreciated more, whether they have to be professionally qulaified or not. I hope that in the coming days the negotiations will make some progress and that the next strike will not be necessary.
Pippa Botley, Peterborough

Fireman's Strike, It is a shame that the firemen feel the need to strike The goverment have no idea what a fireman has to do if they did then there would be no strike in fact the firemen police and the nurse would be a lot more than they are now. The goverments are rubbish, and never listen to the people.
Clint Bradley, ELY

I am not a fireman, but hearing of comparisons of them, to police and nurses is rediculous.Whilst police and nurses are of immence importance to the community, a fire-fighter's job is far more dangerous. A wrong decision can put their colleague's lives on the line. Tony Blair has given himself and MPs enormous pay increases, and yet they blather on about keeping pay rises in common with such things as inflation! This country would be far better off with a government, (I don't know who), which did what the people of this country wanted, instead of shining other governments shoes! With all the billion of pounds wasted by this government, and those before them, decent wages could be paid for ALL our services that deserve them.
Peter Allchin, Stoke on Trent/England

The firemans strike rings 'familiar bells' of my time as a midwife with 20 years experience under my belt. We chose not to adopt strike action in the early 90's but were then subjected to the degrading and humiliating clinical grading exercise costing the government an absolute fortune. Those of us on higher grades were then bullied and intimidated into taking on larger case loads and larger areas, some unpaid, questionning the safety of the service we were able to offer. At meetings we were told if we didn't like the heat in the kitchen we knew what we could do as there were plenty of others waiting to jump into our shoes! Many of us had had enough and the intimidation and bullying affected work performance and personal lives very badly, so voted with our feet and left the profession completely. Yes, if you're not happy with pay and particularly working conditions get out but public don't be fooled. There are plenty of would be firemen waiting to jump into their shoes but it takes years of practice to accummulate experience.
Joan, Norwich, Norfolk England

firefighters should get more pay, like all of us!, but they are a public service and they are not being responsible lives are at stake.
mike, cambridge

Perhaps the firefighters do deserve a pay rise, however I wonder how the average soldiers pay compares to that of the firefighters? Perhaps as it is always the services whom we rely on THEY should have the 40% rise!!
Rob Beeston, Kettering Northants

My father was a Fireman he would not strike, although they put their lives on the line they are giving a service, which is why they joined in the first place. Do they realise that their are people in the working environment that also do worthwhile jobs who are not paid as well as they are. Take the 4 per cent and keep negotiating and strike and put peoples lives on the line.
Pat Johnson, Huntingdon

Isn't it time people stopped taking the public sector for granted. Alot of the things that make the UK what it is are things that run on the good will of those in the jobs. Yes, the public sector have shift patterns, But if we all walked out exactly on time what would happen to the fire out of control, the patient on the bedpan, the young child who hasn,t been collected from school. Isn,t it time to start appreciating those things which we take for granted? I support the public sector in there cry for a pay settlement which reflects their dedication, and leads to a professional stanard of living!!!
hedgehogkay2, cambridge, uk

From your programme this morning I was dismayed to hear that the Military are being 'prevented' from using the civilian fire equipment. Why is this. There must be military crews able to use this kit, every airfield and airport in the country has a fire crew. Why should we be held to ransom. I do not agree with strikes - you should never give in to bullies.
Colin. PS - as an ex Civil Servant I never went on strike-I crossed picket lines to get to work.

An open letter to the firefighters
I am sympathetic to your pay situation but you should go back to work. There are three resolutions to this strike. 1. Negotiation and agreement. 2. A sufficient number of people die that the government yield to your demands. 3. A sufficient number of people die that you go back to work. Which do you want? Public opinion is against you. The BBC news site shows a survey of 55000 people with 65% against a strike. BBC1's Look East did a phone survey: 60% against the strike. You cannot win if you don't have public opinion. In fact, you can't win at all. All you can do is trade lives for money and try to live with yourselves. Remember, Fire fighters are not 9 to 5 workers who graft to make their employers richer. Fire fighters are professionals who provide an essential service. The clock is ticking and it won't be too long before a child dies and the press leap upon the event. Can you live in your community after that?
jon king, Cambs

I agree that firefighters should get a good wage, but not the figures they are asking 11% over two years is more than most will receive. As key public servants they should not be allowed by law to strike and their engines should be made available to the armed forces. It is the public afterall who have paid for them NOT the firemen!
Jules Evans, Cambridge

If the firemen are not satisfied with a realistic wage surely they should be looking for another job with a higher salary. I am sure there lots of others to take their place.
Pat, Cambridge

Please remember that Firefighters put their lives on the line more so than any other branch of the emergency or caring services. No other service will enter a burning building in danger of collapse to rescue someone. Firefighters ARE qualified and have to undertake rigerous training. 30,000 hardly seems enough for what they do. (I am not a firefighter and have never had to be rescued by them but I am grateful every day that they are there if I ever need them!)
Rob Baldwin, Cambs

Why shouldn't the firefighters get a payrise? These men and women do put their lives on the line everyday of the week. Some people seem to think that they spend all their time sleeping and damping down. Another comment made was that they don't need any training. If this is the case then why is everyone complaining about them going on strike. The Armed Forces have no training, they are capable of sleeping and any fool can pour a bit of water onto a smouldering plank so therefore the Armed Forces should be able to do just as good a job as the firemen. If only that were true. Perhaps if some of these people that make these stupid comments were put into a position where they had to go into a burning building to rescue a person then after the experience perhaps they would realise just how dangerous a job these firefighters have. I have been into a building to rescue someone and I would not like to have to do it again. These people are doing it everyday of the week and I say good luck to them. Striking is a heavy way to go about getting what you want but what alternative. I am sure that if a compromise could be reached then the firefighters of this country would take it rather than go on strike. These people are dedicated proffesionals and should be treated and payed as such.
Gary Simms, Cambridge

What do "firefighters" actually do? ........All they seem to do is "damp down" and sleep on night shift. Discuss.
Joe Bloggs

Firefighters deserve more pay but not 30,000. Firefighters are not qualified and do not need to go to college like nurses. Nurses have to go to University for 3 years to qualify and at the end of it they get paid 14,500 per annum. Do you think this is just and fair?
Geoffrey Bain(student nurse)


Ex London firefighter Mr Greens letter to the Cambridge Evening News should send a warning to us ALL about the seriousness of the Firefighters strike. Do firefighters themselves have mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons and daughters? Do they live in homes that could catch fire or travel on our congested roads? As an ex firefighter himself, Mr Green's own daughter had to be rescued only two weeks ago by these valued and brave emergency services.Who do the striking firefighters think will come and cut out THEIR loved ones from road traffic accidents or do they think they will call on a few mates on strike to do them a special favour? I call on you good people who are firefighters to get your representatives to SORT IT!
Lizzie, UK

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