Letters to the Editor

Marion Preston took this photograph in her garden in Huntingdon. 

Marion Preston took this photograph in her garden in Huntingdon. - Credit: Marion Preston

Community effort for delivery of festive meals 

We could not organise the annual St Ives Christmas Lunch at the Free Church this year, so instead the Volunteer Centre made up food parcels, with help from Waitrose, for the people who attended in 2019 and arranged to get them delivered.
Two weeks before Christmas we were contacted by members of the St Ives Hub, who offered to cook meals at the Seven Wives pub on Christmas Day, to ask if we could get the names of people who would welcome a hot lunch and if we could arrange delivery.
With the help of the town clerk, members of the St Ives Hub, staff at the Seven Wives, Rotarians from St Ives and Huntingdon and a number of other volunteers, more than 50 lunches were delivered despite flooded roads.
It was a wonderful example of the community in St Ives coming together to help out.
Mike Baker
St Ives Volunteer Centre

Trump is not the first to manipulate the media

President Trump has excelled in manipulation of social media channelling the cynical expertise of people like Steve Bannon. Just keep repeating the same old lies and there will be willing recipients especially on the political extremes.
We should all note history’s warnings. Joseph Goebbels understood the emotive potential of cinema to roll out the poison of Nazism. He also seized control of news media. Heaven only knows what he would have done with social media at his disposal. 
His boss, like Trump, was quick to recognise this power but was condemned to end his days in power ranting from a bunker. Sounds familiar?
I was surprised when in the USA last year how partisan the broadcast news media is. The BBC takes regular complaints of political bias which, like Trump’s assertions, frankly do not stand up to close inspection. Be grateful also that our print media while often favourable to its owners’ politics is on the whole balanced.
We should always beware of leaders who put themselves before the rights of their people whether through ego (yes we do have them here too) or in the hope of avoiding prosecution. And don’t forget pressure groups such as ‘anti-vax’ trotting out their dangerous propaganda.
Major world powers such as Russia and China clearly understand that targeted streams of disinformation are a powerful tool in undermining the democracies of the West.
Fortunately the UK, NATO and the EU have the technology and specialists to largely counter this silent invasion. But we must not ignore the fake news that will still get through so long as we value free speech.
Mike Humphrey
Main Street

New members welcome at Huntingdon Drama Club

The committee of Huntingdon Drama Club would like to wish our lovely members, audience and supporters a very happy and healthy new year. We would like to thank you for your support over the last year and we look forward to working on some new projects, with new people and audiences this year. 
During our recent committee meeting held on January 4, the acting chairman Brontë Beckett decided to step down.
 The committee would like to thank Brontë for her hard work, dedication and commitment she has shown to the Huntingdon Drama Club over the last few years and we wish her well for the future and hope to work with her again.
The committee voted for the position of chairman and the role was gladly accepted by Kerry MacCuaig who will now take over as acting chairman. This will be the case until we will be able to have some form of annual general meeting, which will be postponed until later in the year when our members are able to meet again.
We would like to take this time to ask if anyone would like to join our very welcoming committee which meets once a month. Anyone is welcome and if you are interested please send us a message via email to: chair@huntingdondramaclub.org