💌Letters to the Editor

Kent Bylines - Europe, Environment, Health, Education, Farming, Democracy.

Delighted to discover Kent Bylines

How delighted I was to discover Kent Bylines – we really need such an initiative.

I have supported Byline right from the start (I first met Peter Jukes during the hacking scandal) and have contributed to Byline Times and spoken at all the Byline Festivals thus far.

I used to be a full-time freelance journalist, and now work part-time for sites like Inforrm, openDemocracy, Byline Times and so on. Apart from that, I now devote my time to writing and editing books, and editing the Journal of British Cinema and Television. I live in Littlebourne, between Canterbury and Sandwich. I’m extremely busy, but I’d really like to help in any way I can.

Best, Julian.

Julian Petley
Professor of Journalism
Brunel University London
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences,

Not happy with use of Kentish!

Dear Andy,

I have to tell you that I’m well impressed by the first issue of Kent Bylines. It’s as good as any of the other regionals, and even better than some. And that’s not just because I live in Kent.

However, since I live east of the Rainham Mark, the western boundary of the ancient Kingdom of Kent, I’m not happy with the use of the word “Kentish” in the navigation strip. “Kentish” refers properly to the land and people beyond the Mark.

[My interest was piqued by writing this, so I had to follow a hunch about the word “Mark” in this context. I wondered if it equated to the “welsh marches”, the borderlands between England and Wales. In the dictionary I discovered: “Old English mearc, … of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin margo ‘margin’.” ]

Please keep up the high quality. Love it!


Nicholas KERR

PS I’ve also just had a little giggle at your shot at Doodle Polls. I can’t comment on its accuracy, since I think that I’ve responded only once to such an invitation, but I was moved to search, in vain, for the [Like] button.

On consideration introducing a [Like] response would not be a good idea; after all, where would you put all the affirmation and adulation, without spoiling the beautifully clean lines of Kent Bylines?

Hi Nico. My indiscretion has been corrected! Ed.

Vaccination concerns in Dymchurch and Lydd

Are you aware that our local NHS commissioning group have declined to provide vaccinations in this locality – Dymchurch and local area. This has caused a great deal of concern for local residents.

Lydd Airport will finally start the vaccination programme on Wednesday. People who don’t have access to cars must use the bus service and the shuttle service from the nearest bus stop to the airport. I feel very sorry for anyone who has been isolating/shielding since March and are now expected to use public transport with other individuals. Damian Collins is aware of the situation.


Marian Tilford
(contact details supplied)

Thin trade deal feared

I set out below the text of my email of 21 December to Mackinlay [Member of Parliament for South Thanet. Conservative] and I attach his reply dated 30 December. His reply was probably drafted by Suella Braverman, the Attorney General. I imagine the Government asked for a legal letter justifying their deal with Brussels and this letter has probably been sent out by many MP’s.

” Dear Craig Mackinlay,

It seems to me that the best we can now hope for is a thin trade deal with the EU involving a hard Brexit and the worst is no trade deal with the EU, which would be far worse. If the latter happens it would poison our relations with the EU for years to come and weaken the UK enormously. I urge you to do all you can to persuade the Government that a trade deal with the EU is absolutely essential, particularly in the midst of this awful pandemic.

I think that the following points should be remembered:-.

  1. The Leave Campaign made many lies and misrepresentations.
  2. Only a minority of electors (37.5% of the electorate) voted in 2016 to leave the EU.
  3. At no stage has the electorate voted for the likely result of the Government’s present negotiations.
  4. A clear majority of the public, as shown by many recent opinion polls, regard Brexit as a mistake.

5.The Governor of the Bank of England and the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury (David Gauke) have said that the cost of Brexit to our economy will be even greater than the cost of the pandemic.

  1. The country should have been offered a Referendum on the final terms. The 2016 Referendum was only an advisory referendum, without any detail of the implications of leaving.
  2. The Government must be held to account for both its Brexit policy and its disastrous mishandling of its negotiations with the EU.

The Government are reported to have agreed a trade deal with the EU as to 98%. The only outstanding matter is said to be fishing, which accounts for less than 0.05% of our GDP. If the Government does not reach agreement with the EU it would be unforgivable. I urge you to do all you can to ensure that agreement with the EU is reached this week.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Beevor
(Former strong supporter of the Conservative Party, contact details supplied)

Can you help us reach more readers?