Gazette letters: Sunshine at work, Brexit and Windrush anniversary

'Try not to remember the deep blue of the dragonfly you saw skimming the water in Woodberry Downs.'

'Try not to remember the deep blue of the dragonfly you saw skimming the water in Woodberry Downs.' The East Reservoir, Woodberry Wetlands, Stoke Newington. Picture: Peter O'Connor/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Don’t speak of hot summer days in the morning when I am office-bound, dreading sitting surrounded by brick walls and clunky fans, impatient to lie outside as summer unfurls, writes Will McCallum, NewingtonGreen.

Don’t let your eyes linger on the jasmine blossom bursting in the morning haze, nor the wren anxiously gorging beyond the window next to my desk.

Don’t inhale too deeply and be distracted by the headiness of weeds and shrubs in the undergrowth along the New River Path.

Don’t dream of plunging headfirst into the Lido or the ponds on the heath to forget about the day, nor imagine running up the Lea dodging hoverflies and cyclists – be patient until evening when the summer is yours again to enjoy.

Try not to remember the deep blue of the dragonfly you saw skimming the water in Woodberry Downs, nor attempt to identify online the small cabbage white butterfly that came to perch on the pages of my book as I read outside on the weekend.

You have to focus on your work – but it’s so hard when summer calls constantly throughout the day asking you to come and play in its company all afternoon. Shut your mind off to the colours and smells of summer and focus instead, if needs be, on the waxy leaves of the office plants – it is only for a few hours, after all; and then summer is yours again to enjoy.

Now the EEC Withdrawal Bill is law, everyone, including Brussels, must accept that Britain is leaving the European Union on March 29 and must work together to ensure Britain gets the advantages of leaving whilst minimising the disadvantages, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

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Unfortunately, The European Commission, whilst understandably regretting the decision, often appears to be behaving like spoilt children, like over the Galileo project and the sharing of anti-terrorist information.

Britain has been so keen to show that we will remain friends, as every sensible person wants, that we have already conceded too much and the time has come to stand up to Brussels and insist that we leave the customs union and single market so that we can trade freely with the rest of the world.

The reason for the transition agreement is to ensure that there is a short time to deal with any unexpected problems.

Both sides must now accept the inevitable and work together to reduce any practical problems that may arise.

The European Commission must stop being obstructive – otherwise there is a real danger that the public will start retaliating by refusing to buy French and German wine or German cars, or going on holiday in the European Union. This will hurt individual countries and hopefully will persuade individual electors to put pressure on their governments to make the Commission be reasonable.

If the European Union starts putting tariffs on British goods we should not respond in kind as that is just being childish and everyone will be the loser.

Incidentally everyone including the European Commission is making the idiot called Trump worse to everybody’s disadvantage including American workers.

To sum up: we should stop making concessions to Brussels and if as a result there is no deal ensure that everyone blames the European Commission.

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the docking of the MV Windrush at Tilbury, and the disembarking of 492 Caribbean men and women to start a new life in the UK, writes Jennette Arnold OBE AM.

The next 23 years saw a generation of Commonwealth citizens take the leap and decide to settle here, with many becoming an integral and invaluable part of our community in Hackney.

So, at a time when we should be celebrating the huge contribution that the Windrush generation has made to our society, there has instead been widespread outrage over their horrendous treatment at the hands of the Home Office, under its “hostile environment” policy.

The government’s mishandling of immigration paperwork has led to shocking cases of deportations and Londoners left suddenly and unaccountably destitute. It was only after a series of chilling personal testimonies were made public that the government finally decided to apologise for their actions.

It has always been the case that our strength as a city is derived from our diversity. During these anniversary celebrations, we must stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends and neighbours of the Windrush generation, and pay tribute to how they have enriched our local community.