Tom Fletcher’s Sept. 8 column drew response from readers all over B.C. Here is a sampling:
Re: Urban society slides into helplessness (B.C. Views, Sept. 8)
Thanks for the article on the way society cannot handle any small upsets to the status quo.
I remember the big windstorm of 2006, which incidentally was in December. I was a 60-plus senior at the time, and my power was out in a residential area of Colwood for 5 1/2 days, as our two-house power line was not a high priority in the queue. I watched the Hydro trucks go by day after day, waiting my turn for reconnection.
Fortunately I have a wood stove that can heat my house, boil water and cook food.
It does get tiresome living by candlelight but I had my disaster radio nearby to listen to the local station give updates on how Hydro was doing.
Anyone with common sense can understand that the repair crews work tirelessly to restore power as quickly as possible, and perhaps the media could help by reminding people that they need to fend for themselves for several days if the major earthquake ever occurs.
Calling 911 just clogs up the lines and can stop people from getting through with real emergencies.
Whatever will we do when the “big one” comes?
Many thanks for this column. I believe that the reliance by people on government combined with the emotional response and seeming helplessness by many citizens to even temporary inconveniences is worrying in the least and perhaps dangerous in the longer run.
Please write more about this issue.
I couldn’t agree more with your article on how we now need the government or some other entity to look out for us every day all day. I believe the term for it is “learned helplessness.”
Tom Fletcher’s latest confusing rant challenges your readers to be “competent” enough to plan for retirement using RRSP savings accounts without government assistance, tenuously suggests nationally subsidized child care is a form of incompetency and then rather ominously asks us if we are “ready for the day when the machine stops.”
One can only assume Mr. Fletcher somehow intends “the machine” metaphor to be a thinly-veiled reference to the federal government collapsing.
If so, I urge caution: RRSP savings accounts are registered with the federal government. Should that particular “machine” fail, your registered retirement savings plan would be rendered worthless, as it would be “registered” with no one in particular.
That spot under the mattress is beginning to look even more attractive as a place to plan for our retirements. Thanks for the advice, Mr. Fletcher.
Max Rundle Wilkie
On a more local note, a Comox Valley resident submitted this letter to The Record on Fletcher’s column in general:
Re: Tom Fletcher’s column‚ Politics. I was wondering if this is actual reporting or a paid advertising for Christy Clark and Stephen Harper disguised as a column?
Area C Farmer
Tom Fletcher is legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Twitter: @tomfletcherbc Email: firstname.lastname@example.org