Picking up on errors

This Is Wiltshire:

9:20am Friday 12th February 2016

AFTER reading the Advertiser (Monday, February 8 08/02/16) I felt I had to write and congratulate you on your consistency – errors in spelling, grammar, additional words, missing words etc., my husband and I try to see who can find the most each day, but today’s issue surpassed itself when we read the page showing the issue from February 6, 06/02/ 1940. Top left of this page had us in stitches at the article for Claire Trevor and Joan Wayne in a new film “The First Rebel”, the two stars were last seen together in “Stage Coach”. Could this Joan Wayne be Aud(r)ie Murphy’s sister, we wondered?  Keep up the good work. CHRIS BAKER Royal Wootton Bassett

Listen to your mother

This Is Wiltshire:

9:17am Friday 12th February 2016

AS I awaited 53 years ago, as a 19-year-old youth, for the car to take me to church to marry my teenage bride my dad pulled me aside.  He said, “son, you will soon be a married man. I am going to give you two pieces of advice.  “If you ever have a family remember, when the money stops coming in the door, the love goes out the window.”  Fortunately, I always managed to provide for my family, and the love remained in the home. He then said, “in this life, we always at some time, hit financial troubles and difficult times. When you think everything, and everybody is going against you always remember your staunchest friend and ally is your mother, who will always support you through thick and thin.”  I have never met any man who did not agree with that. David Cameron’s mother, 81-year-old Mary, signed a petition in Oxford this week in protest, at the closure by the council of dozens of children’s centres.  Oxford Council blame this on government cuts. When asked in 2013 why her son was forcing through gay marriage and upsetting so many grassroots Tory members, she replied, “I know, David just won’t be told.”  Considering the head of the government is her son she clearly disagrees with some of the government’s political decisions. I think when you lose your mother’s support the writing’s on the wall.  He just won’t be told? Let’s show him at the referendum. He is our servant, not our master. BILL WILLIAMS Merlin Way Covingham, Swindon

Extend opening hours

This Is Wiltshire:

9:16am Friday 12th February 2016

JOHN Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary’s letter of February 6 expresses his concerns over plans to relax the Sunday trading laws for shops. In light of the immense threat to the high street from the internet, longer opening hours could be just what shops need.  Comet, Woolworths and Jessops, just to name three, may have benefited from the availability of longer opening hours. There are no time laws restricting internet sales and the only way shops can compete is to offer customers a better service than the internet offers.  At the end of the day, demand from customers dictates shop hours. And Mr Hannett should embrace the longer hours as a possible survival route for shops and the staff they employ.  Let’s not forget the millions of other people who work on a Sunday already. M COLLINS Cookham Road, Swindon

Help to save lives at sea

This Is Wiltshire:

9:15am Friday 12th February 2016

THE RNLI in Highworth raised £6084.37 in 2015, to do this a small but willing band of supporters arrange flag days, have stalls and raffles to help raise funds. For Highworth, which is 55 miles from the sea and some 72 miles from our nearest lifeboat station at Weston-super-Mare, the role of today’s RNLI must seem a long way from people’s minds.  But nothing should be further from the truth as most of us either visit the coastal towns or fly further afield and we are assured that in the unlikely event of mishap, these brave people will risk their lives to help us. What we can do is to help with the latest equipment to minimise this risk, and what you can do is help in any way you can.  All we ask is a little time to rattle a tin or help at one of our local events. Obviously, if you are better able to donate or help in a more substantial way then you could join our committee, we usually meet quarterly so we are not asking for a big commitment. I am from Swindon, but I am impressed by support that the people of Highworth give the RNLI. My small contribution to date is the website at www.highworthrnli.hostoi.com. Here there are ways to contact a member of the committee who will be able to help or answer any of your questions. The motto of the Highworth Branch of the RNLI is: “You don’t need to get your feet wet to save lives at sea.” If you can only spare two hours a year, we need you.  RON ROSE Secretary of Highworth branch of the RNLI Twickenham Close, Swindon

It's freedom of speech

This Is Wiltshire:

9:13am Friday 12th February 2016

DES Morgan is a fine letter writer to the Swindon Advertiser, with an immense amount of knowledge to back up his views but sadly Des, your knowledge let you down in your letter of February 4, difference of opinion. You suggest my words display an intolerant attitude to that of my own (pardon the pun Des but you are well off the mark) for people who are intolerant of another person’s views, look no further to the events in Dover of the weekend January 30 – 31 when people of opposite views clashed. I’m sure you’re aware Des, of what I’m referring to. If I was intolerant Des would I do the following? Write to the Swindon Advertiser and various other newspapers to take part/start debate? No.  Would I campaign for Amnesty International and among other subjects, campaign for freedom of speech? No.  Would I write to various oppressive regimes around the world asking them to rethink on their decisions to send people to jail because an individual has the guts to speak out? No. Was my name among the 500,000 plus who wanted to stop Donald Trump from entering the UK? Again, no.  Finally, on the meeting of the Anglican Church I quote the words of the Rev Canon, David Jennings of Leicester Cathedral, who wrote: “So the love of God in Christ is sacrificed on the altar of bigotry and hatred?” Is he a man of intolerance Des? No, just expressing his views like you and I do. Sadly, Des, your letter seems to imply that people who debate and have opposite views, seem to be either intolerant and/or have bigoted views, and to think, on these pages, I have been accused of stopping debate with my views.  Me, intolerant, Des? Think again. MARK WEBB Old Town, Swindon

Treating the sick NHS

This Is Wiltshire:

9:12am Friday 12th February 2016

YOUR report of the waiting times for ambulances to deliver patients to the A&E Dept. (SA 6th Feb 6) is but a symptom of a general ‘sickness’ throughout the NHS. The whole NHS is suffering from chronic ‘starvation’ and ‘exhaustion’ from overwork (as are the social care services).  Attempts at ‘palliative’ treatment by the application of ‘sticky plasters’, over the years, by politicians, has proved ineffective.  It now needs ‘radical surgery’ if it is to be brought back from ‘death’s door’. The basic ‘diagnosis’ is that demand exceeds supply. This has been so ever since its inception in 1948; but it has got worse in recent years due to an ageing population that get more diseases that can now be treated by very effective, but expensive, treatments (such as coronary artery stents or by-passes, chemotherapy for cancers, and joint replacements for arthritis). The ‘solution’ is simple but unpleasant and painful – increase supply or reduce demand; or a mixture of both. Increasing supply means more money (increased taxes) and staff for front-line services.  Reducing demand means some sort of ‘rationing’ of the services available on the NHS and/or charges for some treatments. Both of these ‘treatments’ are too painful for politicians to contemplate. There is, already, a shortage of doctors and nurses; and there is difficulty in recruiting and retaining them – due to the conditions they have to endure. It takes several years to train such professional staff; so politicians’ promises to provide more doctors and nurses will take time. The idea of making charges for some types of care undermines one of the mantras of the NHS – “free at the point of delivery” but this principle was abandoned in 1952 with the introduction of prescription charges (and charges for spectacles and dentistry).  The basic principle on which the NHS was founded was that “no one should be denied essential treatment due to their inability to pay for it.”  Few other countries have a totally ‘free at the time of treatment’ service; and it is open to debate as to whether some conditions are diseases that need treatment. Politically, the NHS is a hot potato. There is too much political dogma that would have to be abandoned to reach a reasoned solution; and it would be political suicide for any politician to mention any of my proposals – for they would lose votes! This is why it is essential that we have an independent review of the NHS by a committee (or commission) that represents all interested parties. Thus, it must contain representatives of all political parties, all the healthcare professionals, and members of the public – all potential patients.  But it must produce a ‘care plan’ rapidly, for the ‘patient’ is now ‘an emergency’. We must ensure that the NHS survives – it is too valuable to lose. But we must ensure that it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.  I am sure that all health care professionals would echo Mr Churchill’s famous words (delivered in a different context!): “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.” MALCOLM MORRISON Retired Orthopaedic Surgeon Prospect Hill, Swindon

EU blocks tax changes

This Is Wiltshire:

9:12am Thursday 11th February 2016

IN REPLY to Don Reeve (Feb 4) the European Union is a tax and customs union. Britain cannot claim a realistic rate of corporation tax from the multi-national businesses because of our EU membership. The main aim of the EU is to harmonise laws within the member states. Directive 2011/96/EU is just one example of hundreds of EU Directives on the subject of corporation tax and by using Google it is possible to locate all these EU Directives. It is only by leaving the EU that Britain would regain the power to compel these multi-nationals to pay a fair share of their corporation tax into the British treasury. STEVE HALDEN Beaufort Green, Swindon

Benefit fraud does pay

This Is Wiltshire:

9:10am Thursday 11th February 2016

RE: PAIR sentenced for benefit con ( Adver 6/2/16). Fatima Bibi claimed to be a single mum but was in fact living with her taxi driver husband. The pair plundered income support, housing benefit, and council tax relief up to £200,000. Normally this high theft sum warrants a mandatory prison sentence. The pair, however, walked free from court. Over a 10-year period her brother landlord (who she failed to inform the authorities of) pocketed £70,000 rent money from her ( or rather us the taxpayers.)  The husband had a previous conviction for benefit fraud, and had gained British citizenship in 2010 – just the type of citizens we need! The judge let them off because he suspected that she had been subjected to domestic violence (suspected, not proven). How they love their host country – little wonder the rest of the world wants to come here! Not a penny has been paid back; all three have won the lottery it seems! Lessons learnt? Crime, especially benefit crime, DOES pay, as this case demonstrates. All current benefit fraudsters need not worry – just get the wife/partner to spread rumours of domestic violence against the woman if you suspect the authorities are closing in. It seems that benefit fraud these days is wrong only if you’re dumb enough to get caught, otherwise the message is perfectly clear: carry on. J ADAMS Bloomsbury, Swindon

The crimes of the elites

This Is Wiltshire:

9:09am Thursday 11th February 2016

IN THE Crime and Punishment book, Fyodor Dosveosky narrates the story of a young male student at a university, Raskalnikov.  Raskalnikov divides people into two classes of the society.  In the first class Raskalnikov calls ‘the elites’ or ‘super-people’; and the other ‘the masses’ or ‘submissive.’  The elites make up a few people who rule the majority. They regard themselves as more intelligent, more privileged and more chosen people than the ‘ordinary people.’  Although they think themselves as civilised people, they disobey the law because they believe they are above the law, after all they make the law. The ordinary people are more obedient. They regard themselves as harmless people who do no more than look after their interests.  They only look out for themselves and disregard those who are less unfortunate themselves.  They grow old and decay. And the history pages do not remember them, either good or bad. Raskalnikov regards himself as a member of the first people – the ‘elites’ and despises the second – ‘the masses’. In the book, Raskalnikov commits a crime by murdering a pawnbroker to steal her money and murders her sister to destroy the witness. Raskalnikov believes he’s forgiven because he belongs to ‘the elites.’ Raskalnikov cites history to support his case, Napoleon, Alexander and the rulers who wage wars against defenceless people and justified their crimes. These elites and rulers are forgiven because they’ve won and they write the history to justify their crimes. But Raskalnikov eventually confesses his crime. The evidence of his crime was in his psychology. Raskalnikov could not bear it any longer. History will confess the crimes in our times the head of states commit if we do not recognise them now. AXMED BAHJAD Fleet Street Swindon

These times are tough

This Is Wiltshire:

9:07am Thursday 11th February 2016

UNLIKE the Swindon Advertiser, I rarely read our Sunday newspaper from cover to cover.  However, after the sport pages there’s a section by a woman journalist I never miss.  Carole Malone is obviously a very talented lady, I follow her column every week with interest.  She is credited with telling things how it really is. Because the European Union’s immigration policy conflicts with her own views, she tells the EU in her own words “sod off.”  There’s probably millions of others in this country who would agree with her. If the UK decides to leave the EU, I wonder what bearing this will have on Carole’s own weekly trips to her local Lidl’s supermarket, which she vehemently says saves her money. Arguably, I thought the British were seen as the world’s best queuers. Recently, Carole complained that on a certain day she had to spend too much time in the supermarket check-out, owing to the lady in front of her in the queue paying for her goods with a lot of discount vouchers. I can’t help thinking, unlike Carole, this particular lady may have a small budget, and saving vouchers and using this German supermarket may be the only way for her to get by. If the saving Carole makes on her shopping is not worth the wait, perhaps it’s her who should, in her own words “sod off” to Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s, where they have more check-outs and self service paying machines, if that is what she requires. I couldn’t see the point of sending this letter to Carole.  Not that I’m afraid of it getting stuck in a queue, it wouldn’t get any further than her bin. WILLIAM ABRAHAM Rodbourne Swindon

Give binmen a bonus

This Is Wiltshire:

9:21am Wednesday 10th February 2016

WHEN the weather is as atrocious as it was yesterday morning, the bin men deserve a bonus. MARY RATCLIFFE Croft Road,  Old Town, Swindon

Guide dog fundraiser

This Is Wiltshire:

9:20am Wednesday 10th February 2016

THE Great British Classics Charity Night is returning on March 2 at The Crown Inn, Stratton, in aid of Swindon Guide Dogs. The Crown will donate £5 for every main course sold on the charity night menu.  It will include fish and chips, pie and mash, liver and onions and bangers and mash. The night starts at 7pm with last orders at 9.30pm. We will be holding a raffle on the night too. To book a table call The Crown on 01793-827530 or email thecrownstratton@gmail.com ALAN FLETCHER Swindon Guide Dogs For The Blind

Keep our pharmacies

This Is Wiltshire:

9:19am Wednesday 10th February 2016

TO MY horror I have just received a letter from my pharmacist informing me that the government is considering closing small pharmacies.  I for one will be devastated by this idea of change to my life, because I know that I can phone at any time and talk to someone who knows me and the drugs that I am taking.  If my doctor prescribes a new drug that might react with the ones that I am on, he will phone me and discuss it with me.  This pharmacy will also deliver after hours if necessary. Would any of the big pharmacies do this? My daughter-in-law is a pharmacist and works in six different places. She does not know her clients who pass through every day. Please make an effort to keep these pharmacies  open as their services are beyond price.  I have written to my local MP without any reply. I hope to hear from him before March 24 to see if he supports this measure. JANET WOODHAM   Scotby Avenue, Swindon 

Our town is full of talent

This Is Wiltshire:

9:18am Wednesday 10th February 2016

I JUST want to say how pleased I am to live in the area. I went to the Judith Sharp/Ray Dance show of Rogers and Hammerstein musicals on Friday evening at the Arts Centre. What a lovely feel good show, to be transported to a lovely place with local singers and musicians as good as you will see. They all turned this into a night of pure pleasure for me. I thought of all the other societies in town who spend hours and hours of their spare time rehearsing and producing shows for our delight, from all the small dance schools/choirs/am. drams. up to the Kentwood and SALOS productions. We are so very lucky to live in or near a town with such talent. It also set me thinking about the Advertiser letters page with all manor of political views freely expressed without fear.  Then I thought of all the top class amateur sport in and around the town. As I say, be thankful we live in such a town/area and don’t pay any attention to Swindon knockers they really don’t know what they are talking about. CHRIS DAVIS Highmead, Wootton Bassett

Don’t let Turkey in to EU

This Is Wiltshire:

9:16am Wednesday 10th February 2016

WE NOW see more discussions regarding the entry of Turkey as a member of the EU. Do we, who are currently deciding collectively if we are going to stay in or come out of the EU, really want to stay in if Turkey joins the EU? My feeling are a definite NO.   I don’t agree with the way in which the EU is currently being run. If Turkey is allowed to become a member it will be an open door for both economic migrants and terrorists. Memories of all humans are relatively short but its not going back too long ago whereby Turkey took part in one of the biggest genocidal atrocities that took place at the junction point of European countries and the Middle East.   Somehow I cannot imagine the Greeks welcoming Turkey to the party. Economically, it would be a disaster if they are allowed to join, and if they are allowed to join where will they come to?  It will be this Green and Scepter’d Isle , better known as the UK. Haven’t we, the Brits, done enough for Europe during the previous century?  You only have to look at the war graves dotted about all over Western Europe to see that.   But now most of the member nations of the EU want us to subsidise them all the more.   When are we, the Brits going to cry enough. At least, come the referendum, I know where I shall be voting. DAVID COLLINS Blake Crescent, Swindon

Petition regulations

This Is Wiltshire:

9:15am Wednesday 10th February 2016

TUCKED away on page 23 of Saturday’s Advertiser was a Public Notice from the Borough Council.  It was published in accordance with the Local Authorities (referendum)(petitions)(England) regulations 2011.  I was in the public gallery during a council meeting when we were assured by a cabinet member that it wasn’t possible for the council to hold a referendum on parishing.  We must hope that he was mistaken. Section 4 is about the publication of the magic number for petitions. According to the notice this is five per cent of local government electors; in Swindon’s case 7,764 electors. Most relevant is part 6 which states: Petitions for a referendum 6.(1) Subject to regulation 7, a local authority shall hold a referendum by virtue of this Part where they receive a valid petition (but shall not be required to hold such a referendum where they receive a petition which is not a valid petition). (2) A petition may be presented to a local authority (a)by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting it to any office of the authority; or (b)by delivering it to any such office. Anyone organising a petition would have to be careful to follow the regulations to the letter – we know how slippery the council is about petitions. STEVE THOMPSON  Norman Road, Swindon

Be aware of bus lanes

This Is Wiltshire:

9:14am Wednesday 10th February 2016

THE story about the bus lane by the Designer Outlet shopping centre (Advertiser, February 5) was very interesting, but it would be even more interesting to know what happens at other bus lanes and bus gates across the town.  There are many of them and I would be surprised if lots of motorists hadn’t been caught using them and forced to cough up £30. I do believe signage is a problem, but it’s not exclusive to Swindon. I went to Bath recently, and while I have visited that city many times, I am not terribly familiar with its road system.  So there I was driving through the city centre looking for directions for a car park I was looking for when I found myself waiting at a red traffic light.  And I waited, and waited. And the realisation dawned on me that I perhaps wasn’t where I should be, and that quite possibly I was in a bus lane/gate. Sure enough, I received notice from the council at Bath a couple of weeks later and I had to pay £30. I do not think the signs there were clear, as in the Swindon example, and it is people not familiar with the towns they are visiting who probably suffer the most. I don’t know what the answer is, but Swindon Borough Council ought to sit up and take notice of that number – 10,000 motorists caught in six months is an extraordinary figure and something isn’t right somewhere. But of course, the onus is on the motorists themselves – pay attention to your driving, heed the signs and you won’t get caught. I’ll remember my own advice next time I’m in Bath. G MORRISON Stratton St Margaret, Swindon

Decent roads needed

This Is Wiltshire:

9:12am Wednesday 10th February 2016

I RECENTLY received my copy of the February, Special Edition, Swindon News, from Swindon Borough Council, which had the instruction Read Me across the front cover. As I started to turn the pages and read the various articles I wondered how many Swindon residents would bother to read this magazine, how many would take just a quick glance and how many would ignore it and place it immediately into a bin. The magazine outlines important proposed changes to the governance and development of Swindon and could be seen as an document to help voters decide how they will vote in the impending local elections. As I turned the pages I came to a page with the title, “A Vision for Swindon.”  On reading the word vision I started to contemplate, who are the town’s great visionaries? I began to consider various synonyms for the word visionary such as impractical, unworkable, daydreamer, pie-in-the-sky, mystic or delusory. I then thought, who would be suitable for the role of a great visionary?  It sounds like the ideal job for a Walter Mitty-type character, a mystic with a crystal ball, a shaman who summons the spirits or a tarot card reader. The last great visionaries, this town had, were the former Labour leader Cllr Sue Bates and former chief executive Paul Doherty.  While chasing their dream of city status, for Swindon, they managed to create one of the worst performing councils in the country.  Services deteriorated to such an extent that Swindon Borough Council had an unenviable service provision comparable to that of the inner city London Borough of Hackney. In my opinion this town’s biggest mistake is failing to provide practical solutions to its problems. The Romans showed us, for communities to function properly, decent roads are a fundamental requirement.  But 2,000 years later Swindon Borough Council has failed to grasp this basic principle.  While Swindon has expanded, its infrastructure has failed to keep pace.  Decent infrastructure is considered to be essential for improving productivity and quality of life. This town doesn’t need visionaries. It needs practical solutions. K KANE Wharf Road, Wroughton

Council tunnel vision

This Is Wiltshire:

11:36am Tuesday 9th February 2016

THE letter, “It’s smoke and mirrors”, from Terry Flinders, February 2, gives an excellent summary of the incompetent service provision which has become synonymous with Swindon Borough Council. Readers may recall the merger of Highworth Rural District Council and the Municipal Borough of Swindon created The Borough of Thamesdown in 1974. The unitary authority of Swindon Borough Council was then created in 1997 when The Borough of Thamesdown took responsibility for additional services from Wiltshire County Council. Mr Flinders hits the nail on the head when he points out that, during the ongoing evolution of Swindon Borough Council and regardless of political control, endless promises about improvements to the environment and service provision have failed to materialise. It is undeniable that Swindon has had a certain amount of economic success but the infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the ever increasing industrial estates, retail outlets and housing estates. The subsequent congestion has become a severe hindrance to quality of life. Mr Flinders explains that on his estate he can’t even get a few ‘give way’ lines painted at road junctions. This is not just a one-off problem. Failure to provide adequate road markings and failure to remark faded road markings is a borough-wide problem. I don’t need to walk too far from my own front door to find examples of this problem. On the day that Mr Flinder’s letter appeared there was a report in the Swindon Advertiser which informed us that Swindon Borough Council has found someone who, according to Labour group leader Cllr Jim Grant, not only knows the challenges and opportunities facing Swindon and the council but who also has the skills and experiences best suited to meeting them. The person he refers to is the Council’s former interim chief executive, Mr John Gilbert, who joined the council in 2008 and was previously responsible for Children’s Services and Adult Social Care. The council advertised, nationally, for the vacant post of chief executive and had a total of twenty-eight candidates apply for the role. Having been short listed to the final group of four Mr Gilbert was then found to be the best man for the job. I suppose the tax payers and voters of Swindon will be absolutely ecstatic to know that the council already employed the right man. This good news will go a long way to ensure public confidence. It will also help to make people feel better about using their hard earned cash to pay for a proposed four percent council tax increase. Before Mr Gilbert attempts to implement any major projects associated with the Vision for Swindon can I suggest that he uses his expertise to get to grips with the fundamental requirements of the Borough. I suggest he could start by sorting out the road markings on Mr Flinders estate and those adjacent to my home. Unfortunately, it is not possible to turn back the clock but, in agreement with Mr Flinders, I would prefer to see the return of Highworth Rural District Council. The visionaries would then be able concentrate on the central area of Swindon without having to make excuses for their neglect of the regions within the Borough. I suggest their super project could then be renamed Tunnel Vision for Swindon. Mr K Kane Wharf Road Wroughton

Clarify broadband issue

This Is Wiltshire:

11:35am Tuesday 9th February 2016

IN A statement made by UK Broadband in April 2012 they said “Swindon will be the first local authority in the UK to have a borough-wide 4G LTE network” and in October 2012, Coun Garry Perkins made a clear and unequivocal statement – supported by Mr Hitesh Patel, that ultra fast broadband and superfast 4G wireless broadband would be available to Swindon’s residents, businesses and public sector from 9 October 2012. Mr Patel, who was the council director charged with overseeing the broadband project, said: “It is, however, absolutely true to say that UBK are providing a ‘wireless broadband service to households and businesses’ 4G LTE technology, this service will be switched on in Swindon on Monday 9th October and residents and businesses will be able to buy this on that day.” In a report to the Scrutiny Committee, officers said: “The core transmission network which combines hybrid microwave and 4G LTE technology is in place and has gone live making superfast broadband available, using the service name ‘Now Broadband’, to an estimated 67,000 households and 2,600 businesses in Swindon.” It will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the saga of Digital City and UKB to read that ‘Now Broadband’ vanished with the same speed as the £400,000 given to Rikki Hunt’s failed project. On 14 September 2014 UKB’s website carried the message ‘UKB has today announced that Swindon will be the first local authority in the UK to have a borough-wide 4G-LTE network’ One wonders why SBC and UKB are reluctant to answer two simple questions: 1. How many Internet Service Providers have signed up to use the 13 transmission masts installed in October 2012? 2. How many of the 67,000 households and 2,600 businesses are using broadband services allied to the existing ‘Swindon-wide’ UKB network? Surely it would be in the best interests of all parties to actually clarify what has already been achieved in order that a proper evaluation of the future can be made? DES MORGAN Caraway Drive Swindon

EU trading nonsense

This Is Wiltshire:

11:34am Tuesday 9th February 2016

EVERYONE is entitled to their views so I find a letter of criticism directed at a certain correspondent somewhat distasteful. It seems this very disagreeable gentleman whilst criticising a point of view does nothing to balance his argument with a counter view thus making him sound as though he has some sort of vendetta against that person. I choose not to mention names but the subject matter is about us leaving the EU. Suffice to say the matter is quite simple. I voted twice to leave the EU simply because I had delved into the whole purpose of the setting up of the Union and realised that the purpose was simply not about trading, which was what Ted Heath and Harold Wilson fooled us into believing as to what we were voting on. Wrong! It was a lot deeper. The real truth on the matter was that it included a political as well as trading union. So if you would prefer to let Brussels run our politics then vote Yes. If not it’s No – as simple as that. You do not need to consider anything else. As for the trading bit, it simply is not true that we cannot trade with the EU if we leave. We, China, Russia, the USA all trade freely with the EU and do you think for one minute that they will not trade with us? Absolutely not. They have more to lose than us. The Euro is a basket case currency and the politics are as well. They have never balanced the books and never will simply because of its heavy-laden bureaucracy. IAN HUNT Swindon

Freedom of speech plea

This Is Wiltshire:

11:33am Tuesday 9th February 2016

NOW I never agree with HG Smith and his views on most things, but I wholeheartedly agree with him on his letter “Let In Mr Trump” (SA 3rd Feb), as someone who has said in previous letters to the S.A I campaign on human rights issues and one particular favourite of mine is freedom of speech.  Yes we should let Mr Trump in despite the fact that I, like many more people, find his views despicable. We have people in this country whose views I also despise, but after campaigning for freedom of speech the last thing this country needs is for this or any government of the day to stop people from airing their views, no matter what they are as long as they don’t advocate acts of violence and other vile acts against fellow human beings. MARK WEBB Old Town Swindon

Charity begins at home

This Is Wiltshire:

11:31am Tuesday 9th February 2016

OVER the past eight months I have befriended a homeless gentleman in the town centre. I get him coffee and something to eat. He is a really nice polite person. He never begs or asks for money. He keeps himself to himself and never causes any trouble.  I am disgusted with Swindon Council. He has been told he will not be allowed to sit on the seats in the town, or sit in empty shop doorways.  I ask these people why they are moving these people on and badgering them. Where do they expect the homeless people to go?  They should be finding them shelter, if we can have refugees and immigrants who are not from here and give them roofs over their heads, then we should be able to help our own people to get shelter. The council need to get their priorities right and stop wasting money in other areas. Charity begins at home. C HOLMES Old Town Swindon

Help out carer parents

This Is Wiltshire:

11:30am Tuesday 9th February 2016

VALENTINE’S Day is the perfect opportunity to appreciate the support you receive from your loved ones. Commercial gifts aside, it helps you say those things that otherwise might go unspoken in the midst of everyday life. For couples caring for seriously ill children this is more important than ever. Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports over 1,900 families who are caring for a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness. The pressure this brings to parents is unimaginable as they support each other through an onslaught of practical and emotional challenges. Rainbow Trust helps the whole family in whatever way it can. It might be looking after the sick child to enable parents to take a break and enjoy a calm meal together, or helping parents talk about what is happening to their family and the impact this is having on them as individuals and as a couple. This Valentine’s Day I am asking readers to make a donation to our charity, which relies almost entirely on voluntary donations. Please donate £5 – the cost of a Valentine’s box of chocolates – to help Rainbow Trust support even more couples and give them the break they so desperately need on 14 February. To find out more about Rainbow Trust and make a Valentine’s donation visit www.rainbowtrust.org.uk/donate or call 01372 363438. ANNE HARRIS Director of Care at Rainbow Trust

Library calls not useful

This Is Wiltshire:

11:29am Tuesday 9th February 2016

IN YOUR report on Swindon Borough Council’s proposed consultation on the future of our libraries, Coun Gary Perkins suggested that Wroughton’s library could be relocated within the Ellendune Community Centre. This proposal has not been discussed with either Wroughton Parish Council or the Ellendune Community Trust and it is not mentioned in the report to Swindon’s Cabinet. It would therefore seem that this suggestion does not form part of Swindon’s current proposals. Wroughton’s library is much valued and loved by local residents and Coun Perkins’ comments have caused unnecessary alarm and distress in the community. I believe that he should withdraw his comments and apologise to Wroughton’s residents for any distress caused. Wroughton Parish Council have not yet discussed this matter, but will be doing so in the near future, and I’m sure we will want to work with Swindon to save our library and the valuable services it provides. However to speculate on what a future service may look like at this time is premature. STEVE HARCOURT Chairman Wroughton Parish Council

Integration argument

This Is Wiltshire:

11:26am Tuesday 9th February 2016

I SEE that Trevor Philips, the former chairman of the Equality And Human Rights Commission, is having his tuppence worth, courtesy of a friendly imam. He says that we should not expect Muslims to fully integrate here. To expect Muslims to become like the rest of us was... wait for it... “a form of disrespect”. I’ve heard it all now. Another authority figure taken in by their propaganda. Muslims can keep coming here but do not have to integrate. Is it disrespectful to require that, to live in this country, one must accept its laws and standards? Apparently not. Muslims are special. Next they’ll be demanding their own Parliament and full implementation of Sharia law – away from us infidels. It makes me wonder how Trevor Philips was given the job in the first place. JEFF ADAMS Bloomsbury, Swindon

Trading hours concern

This Is Wiltshire:

11:25am Tuesday 9th February 2016

LOCAL shopworkers are very concerned about government plans to devolve Sunday trading hours to councils and the effects that will have on family life, local shops and the community. The change could lead to large shops opening for longer, even though they are already trading for up to 150 out of 168 hours a week, so shopworkers will have even less time to spend with their families. It won’t help small stores, who are already allowed to open whenever they like, and may put some of them out of business.  This is a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist.  It isn’t even clear who is actually calling for this change, with many retailers opposing it. The Sunday Trading Act is a great British compromise, which has worked well for more than 20 years and gives everyone a little bit of what they want.  Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; while Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family. We encourage your readers to let their MP know what they think, so their vote in Parliament reflects local views. JOHN HANNETT Usdaw General Secretary

Tomorrow looks bleak

This Is Wiltshire:

11:23am Tuesday 9th February 2016

QUIXOTIC as it may sound, I decided to take a look at my nearest windmill.  Renewable energy sources are necessary to save the earth and reduce carbon emissions which are destroying our atmosphere.  Every move towards wind, wave or solar power will be of help but all projects need to be thoughtfully and carefully planned in respect of the beautiful British environment. Litterers and fly-tippers, shame on you. I am also interested in the new jargon associated with new wind technology.  Some have argued that the collective term for a group of wind turbines should be a generation. Another flattering term is a ballet because they resemble legs in tights.  Less welcoming collective nouns include an eyesore, a rash, a folly, a subsidy, a mendacity, a bitter blow and an abomination. What do others think? I am sure my early 20th century generation have had their share of the earth’s spoils, caused mass extinction of many species and depleted rare material for their mobile phones, etc. I am grateful to have had a very long life with no fear of being cold, hungry or destitute.  Sadly, the future for many seems bleak. Over populated Britain, full of toffs, celebrities and royals will be countered by an increasing reliance on benefits, food banks and the poor dying on our streets. I look forward to the 22nd century but, sadly, none of us will live to see the big party in 2100.  A REEVE Okus Road, Old Town, Swindon

Courage of conviction

This Is Wiltshire:

11:22am Tuesday 9th February 2016

COUN Renard, the leader of the Conservative administration, is fond of telling your readers how the role of the council has changed. In particular he positively relishes pointing out it no longer wishes to do the ‘simple stuff’ such as street cleaning, providing libraries, cutting grass and emptying dustbins. His grandiose picture of a future local council is something akin to a Commissioner of Services where the head panjandrum delights in handing out money to groups and organisations, which are then charged with service provision. In the appointment of the new chief executive, who, I might add, is the sensible choice as he has vast experience of the two areas on which the bulk of the council budget is spent, we can see the direction being taken. However, I do believe Coun Renard has displayed a level of cowardice in the face of the enemy by choosing to raise council tax by 1.99 per cent plus the two per cent to cover increased social care costs.  Of course if he applies the two per cent first then the 1.99 per cent might just as well have been two per cent. Coun Renard and his cabinet colleagues have chosen 1.99 per cent because to have gone over two per cent would have required them to hold a referendum – that is to ask the people of Swindon to endorse their budget. To do that might have resulted in the public rejecting their plans, which would have left them with a ‘bloody nose’ and worse.   In the belief that they are right and we can’t be trusted to give the right answer, politicians refuse to submit their grand schemes to the electorate for approval and thus it has proved with this council.  If Coun Renard truly believed helping the poor, vulnerable, aged and young was the essential priority for his administration, and such support needed an additional £50 a household a year, he should have the courage of his conviction, apply the percentage increase, make the case, enter the debate and submit to a referendum. He can’t simply bask in the pious and pompous aura of the self-appointed maker of ‘tough decisions’ especially when he wants to use the mechanism of parishing to do his dirty work.  DES MORGAN Caraway Drive, Swindon

Opinions lack facts

This Is Wiltshire:

11:19am Tuesday 9th February 2016

LAST Sunday on the Andrew Marr Show was a business man Luke Johnson who argued very persuasively against the European Union.  He used facts and projections and although I profoundly disagreed with him one could see some people would be persuaded by him.  Contrast this with local UKIP members’ letters that are full of bile, attacks and very little in the way of facts.   Take for instance Bill Williams’ letter “We should leave Europe.”  He opens it with an insult: “I see the subservient nodding donkey stay in The European Disunion brigade are creeping out of the woodwork” and ends on an insulting attack on the German chancellor “mad woman Merkel.”  In between he writes a letter with no facts and some lies he has been fooled into believing by the propaganda in his choice of news media. STEVE THOMPSON  Norman Road Swindon

Respect our heritage

This Is Wiltshire:

11:18am Tuesday 9th February 2016

VERY soon spring will be in the air, dark nights and bad weather will be a memory until the next time. It is a natural process of nature and life.  However, after attending a charity event in Old Town I walked past the alleyway adjacent to the Old Corn Exchange, better known as the Locarno.  I suspect Swindon Council can even defy the natural law of change.   The depressing derelict visual site of one of Swindon’s great historical sites from the past shocked me.  How long has it been, in all honesty, in my opinion, in dangerous decay?  In the meantime the council can build a car park. In the words of Joni Mitchell in the famous song: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."  But they pull parking lots down in the town centre and repeat their misdemeanours by building another unviable financial monstrosity. Yet they neglect for years, Swindon’s great heritage from the past, which is part of our town’s history and a tribute to the architectural skills of past generations.  These generations left their monuments in stone, so that we should respect and remember them. BILL WILLIAMS  Merlin Way Covingham, Swindon

Closure of patisserie

This Is Wiltshire:

11:17am Tuesday 9th February 2016

WE WERE very sad to see the closure of Veron Patisserie in the upper section of the Brunel Centre.  This appears to be due to the forthcoming creation of the multi eatery area, the work of which is yet to be commenced. The young couple, Josh and Veronika, worked extremely hard to provide an excellent service to all their customers, always with charm and smiles. This shows that private enterprise in the town centre can work and that multi-nationals are not always the best option. Hopefully, they will find other premises in our town, but if not, we are sure we are not the only ones to say thank you and very good luck for the future. ROBERT AND FRANCES LOSS Thorne Road  Swindon

EU laws ruling us all

This Is Wiltshire:

11:15am Tuesday 9th February 2016

A TOTAL of 20,000 EU regulations control almost every aspect of our lives in Britain. And these EU laws overrule the powers of the British parliament. The renegotiation by David Cameron will not change Britain’s relationship with the EU and will not in any way restore Britain’s lost sovereignty. Issues like immigrants claiming benefits are not the main problems troubling the minds of the people that want to leave the EU. The supremacy of the British parliament is the main issue and this is not part of David Cameron’s current renegotiation. STEVE HALDEN Beaufort Green Swindon

Orwell says it well

This Is Wiltshire:

11:14am Tuesday 9th February 2016

“MOST people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way.”  With these words, George Orwell opens his famous essay, Politics And The English Language.  In it, Orwell discusses the corruption in the language when one tries to defend the indefensible. “A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.  "It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language.  "It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” “In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. "Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions, and not a ‘party line.’” George Orwell summarises eloquently, as follows: “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.  “Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties.  "Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.  “Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: This is called pacification. "Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: This is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. “People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements.” Can one defend a war? Not at all. It’s the same old tactics in a new face.  “I see no changes,” writes Tupac Shakur. AXMED BAHJAD Fleet Street  Swindon

Child refugee doubts

This Is Wiltshire:

11:13am Tuesday 9th February 2016

RE THE 3,000-plus Syrian children that Save The Children charity want brought here. There are issues that need to be addressed before the ‘suffering children’  hysteria takes off. These children are already in a European country. What guarantees are there that these children are genuinely unaccompanied? Desperate people take desperate measures. We have already had unaccompanied  ‘children’ discovered who lied about their ages and were in fact young adults, some of whom had university fees paid for them.   In Kent, we have vulnerable British children being moved out of the county to accommodate massive influxes of child asylum seekers. One doesn’t need to be a clairvoyant. If they are accepted we will witness a sudden appearance of ‘close relatives’ demanding entry to the UK to join their children. And this excuse of a Prime Minister, will give in. This in turn will encourage further instances of lone children being sent on dangerous boat trips. And so the cycle will continue. I suspect that the Save The Children Charity is doing it not so much for the children’s sake but for the accustomed lifestyle of the fat cats that run it, with one eye on future Honours lists. JEFF ADAMS Bloomsbury Swindon

Democracy at risk

This Is Wiltshire:

11:11am Tuesday 9th February 2016

IT WOULD appear that the deal in front of the British population does not match the promises made by David Cameron.  I have no doubt that passionate views from all sides will be put forward by readers.  For me the argument is not economic but is about democracy.  Essentially, what we have witnessed is an elected Prime Minister going cap in hand to an unelected official to ask permission to govern in a particular way.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with the mode of government, the fact of this situation is unacceptable. GUY GREEN  Old Town Swindon

Benefits of life in UK

This Is Wiltshire:

11:09am Tuesday 9th February 2016

IN SOME EU countries the minimum wage is a lot lower than the UK, by as much as 60 per cent in some places.  But, according to Mr Cameron and his posse, we are all playing in the same playground and all share the same levels of pay. If all is equal in the EU then why is the UK the place all and sundry want to get to at any costs? One reason I learnt today was that a person from another country within the EU who works in the UK, but his wife and kids live in another country, he/she can claim child benefit at the UK levels of benefit here and have it paid in their home country. They don’t want to claim in their own country because the payment there is a lot lower than in the UK.  What a farce, we are the laughing stock of the EU. There is not a single politician in this country who has got the gall or gumption to stand up to Merkel and the rest of them and say no, enough is enough. Cameron came away from his discussions, or should I say, being told what we, the British public will be getting and that’s nothing. We will have no control of our borders, no control on the child benefits going abroad and no control of tax credits. We will also have no control of housing allocation. If the EU says we will have  to allow 1,000,000 in then that’s what will happen. I’m sure no one in Westminster, that includes all in Westminster, knows how to say no. Roll on the referendum. JOHN L CROOK Haydon Wick Swindon

Despairing viewpoint

This Is Wiltshire:

11:07am Tuesday 9th February 2016

IF YOUR correspondent Shahid Aziz (Adver, January 26) seriously cannot see any difference for women who lived under the Taliban in Afghanistan and for women living in our (agreed pretty flawed) western liberal democracy then I really do despair. JOHN STOOKE Havisham Drive Swindon

Too lax domestic tax

This Is Wiltshire:

11:04am Tuesday 9th February 2016

WHAT utter tosh Steve Halden writes when he blames the EU for tax evasion by large multi-national companies, (January 28).  It’s the UK’s own domestic tax regime that is too lax. The Special European Parliamentary Committee on Tax Rulings is angry about the deal George Osborne has struck with Google because it undermines its efforts to prevent this happening.  Our George has been “invited” to Brussels to explain what the committee considers to be “a bad deal which is bad news for everybody.” DON REEVE The Pinnacle Horder Mews Old Town, Swindon

Conundrum answers

This Is Wiltshire:

11:03am Tuesday 9th February 2016

I MANAGED to solve your impossipuzzle about the twins with the other children being a year older and the sum of all the ages to be the square of the twins' age. I wanted to let you know that using some algebra you can figure out that not only is there another whole number solution with 16 children there is also a solution for any amount of children you choose if you allow solutions where the ages of the children are in between years. Thank you for the puzzle though, I am a teacher and will be using it as a brainteaser for students.  DARREN STILLMAN Swindon

Thank you for donations

This Is Wiltshire:

10:55am Tuesday 9th February 2016

SWINDON Guide Dogs For The Blind would like to thank everyone who donated to our 2016 Charity Calendar. It was a great success and our best ever calendar and we had some great feedback especially the photographs of our guide dog puppies, working guide dogs and the retired ones too. We would also like to thank all our page sponsors for their support of the calendar and the charity. Our special thanks go to Steve Iles of Capture Photography for his time, effort and especially his patience in taking the photographs and the design of the calendar. ALAN FLETCHER Swindon Guide Dogs For The Blind

Tribute to Terry Wogan

This Is Wiltshire:

10:52am Tuesday 9th February 2016

NO DOUBT by now we all have heard the sad news that Terry Wogan passed away at the weekend. I for one am deeply saddened by his death. He brought much warmth and humour into people's lives and with it much common sense. He was such a nice guy and to listen to him while driving to work in the morning was a great start to the day.   He was, in my opinion at least, a wonderful ambassador for Ireland.   In fact I would go as far to say he did more for putting Ireland into our subconscious than any politician from either country.  Yes he took the mickey out of people and, indeed, of himself. But never in a nasty way, there was no hurt in the things he said. He was, moreover, "Our Irishman", because we loved him and his manner. Terry was a man who would be successful whatever he chose to do and he did many things to help others, without taking himself too seriously. I shall miss him and I'm sure that millions of others will also.  DAVID COLLINS Blake Crescent, Swindon

Better to stay in EU

This Is Wiltshire:

10:51am Tuesday 9th February 2016

Better to stay in EU THE report that Dr Julia Reid MEP has criticised (Adver, January 26) drew its conclusions from a 2013 Review of Local Enterprise Partnership area economies.  Her certainty in dismissing the fact that the UK leaving the EU would not have an impact on local jobs is admirable but does not tally with what many people with responsibility for businesses across the country feel. Just one per cent of executive directors and chairmen from some of the UK’s 500 biggest companies wanted to leave the EU, in a survey by Ipsos-Mori in 2015.  And 45 per cent wanted to see reforms but remain in the EU. Small businesses also support EU membership, with the Federation of Small Businesses arguing in 2014 that the EU is good for business. The Confederation of British Industry said in 2013 "the single market is fundamental to our future’ and ‘while there are drawbacks the benefits significantly outweigh the costs". A total of 61 per cent of businesses polled by the British Chambers of Commerce felt that leaving the EU would have a bad impact on their future. And 85 per cent of British manufacturers want us to remain in the EU, according to a 2013 survey by the British manufacturers association EEF. However, focusing the debate narrowly on to business interests within the region fails to recognise many of the other benefits that being part of the EU can bring; a cap on bankers’ bonuses, standing up for workers’ rights, tackling climate change, pollution and environmental damage, standards for health products and services to name but a few. We are better off working with our neighbours to tackle the problems we face than going it alone. MOLLY SCOT CATO MEP Green Party, South West England and Gibraltar

Reasons for leaving

This Is Wiltshire:

10:50am Tuesday 9th February 2016

WITH the referendum to stay or leave the Eurozone approaching there has been a lot of information being bandied about, some true and some fabricated. No-one would really know what the outcome would be if the UK left the Eurozone, as it is something that has not happened before. Until today, I was undecided which way to vote. I have little faith in the European Union, and if you sent our own present leaders to the corner shop for a bottle of milk, they would come back with a loaf of bread. Come the ballot box, people will have to decide which is the lesser of the two evils. I can well believe by being in and trading with the European Union we benefit financially, we gain more than we contribute. It's all the other negatives that scare me; population explosion and the possible collapse of public services, it's quite scary. To my knowledge, Brussels wants every member state using the Euro by 2020. How safe is the Euro currency? It doesn't look good to me from the info I have been reading. There are many leading economists who believe it's only a matter of time before the Euro crashes with irreparable and dire consequences to all member states of the Union. That's a good enough reason for me to vote, leave. WILLIAM ABRAHAM Rodbourne, Swindon

Making comparisons

This Is Wiltshire:

10:49am Tuesday 9th February 2016

IN MY final reply to Mike Spry (Adver, January 29), I have no doubt you are a caring character, Mike. But may I correct a few sentences in your reply. You mention a few unsavoury characters. You could not be referring to the thousands of sexual assaults and rapes by immigrants all over Europe, including the rape of a ten-year-old boy in a hostel for immigrants, could you? You are not seriously comparing someone moving from north Britain to southern Britain as an immigrant or, in your own case, never even crossing a border. You are not seriously comparing someone moving from north Britain to southern Britain to the hordes of illegal immigrants marching unlawfully across Europe, or are you? You say, referring to the Disunion, a talking shop with teeth to do it. You could not be talking about the undemocratic unelected cabal of idiots who have turned a once pleasant continent into an area of financial disaster bordering on anarchy, invaded by thousands of illegal immigrants it cannot control, or could you? You say jaw/ jaw instead of war/ war. I suggest you go over and try that one with ISIS, but I am sure you don’t fancy coming back with your head under your arm. Finally, you never answered my question. With such a caring heart we are all brothers and sisters, tell that to the relatives of the dead in the Paris massacre. To sadly mention but a few. How many have you taken in so far ? My guess is you, like the rest of the bleeding heart brigade. Do as I say, but not as I do. Is zilch, BILL WILLIAMS Merlin Way Covingham, Swindon

Difference of opinion

This Is Wiltshire:

10:48am Tuesday 9th February 2016

MY FELLOW correspondent Mark Webb is a man with very firm views on a number of subjects, many of which he powerfully and purposefully articulates in the letters he writes to the Adver. Sadly, the opening comments of his latest letter (SA 1 Feb) leave him open to a charge of hypocrisy. I refer to Mark's remarks about the leaders of the Anglican Church in which he claims they were given "free rein to spout of their narrow minded, bigoted attitude to people in the LGBT community". By "free rein" I suppose Mark means the democratic freedom to have an alternative view to his own or that of another. I hope he would accept a "difference of opinion" is a perfectly acceptable state of affairs even when the opinion held is a minority one, after all isn't that what Mark is espousing – the right of a minority to have a view which might be contrary to the majority? Mark suggests the views of some clerics are "bigoted" – he might be right but isn't it the case he is also a bigot, after all the definition of a bigot is "a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions". I suggest Mark's words display an intolerant attitude towards those holding a different opinion to his. I don't think Mark is right in his view that the views of delegates to the Bishops' Conference on LGBT issues is impacting church attendance in England. And I am surprised that Mark didn't take the opportunity to point out that the voices raised against the LGBT community were in the main from the African church leadership. That said, I do agree with Mark that the church (in a wider sense) spends so much of its time navel-gazing that it has failed to address many societal issues to which it could make a significant contribution. DES MORGAN Caraway Drive, Swindon

Save navy’s flagship

This Is Wiltshire:

10:45am Tuesday 9th February 2016

READERS of the Swindon Advertiser please join others in signing a petition to the government to keep Naval Ship HMS Ocean the flagship of the Navy in service, until new carriers are built and at sea with no gaps in between. Go to website www.petition.co.uk, enter section military, sign petition HMS Ocean. You can also view comments others have made. If you do not have internet access please ask family or friends. FE SHARPE Fletcher Crescent, Plymouth

Let Mr Trump speak

This Is Wiltshire:

10:44am Tuesday 9th February 2016

THIS country must allow Donald Trump in to speak to the media. To bar him is not only undemocratic but also doubled-edged. We allow Muslim agitators to spread their poison among their own people and basically stick two fingers up at this country, which does nothing about it. I would rather go to a rally by Mr Trump that listen to the gutless waffle David Cameron spouts daily. Come the referendum, I just pray the people vote for out of the EU.  To remain in will be the death knell of the tiny island we Christians love so dearly. HG SMITH Wroughton

Refugee comments vile

This Is Wiltshire:

10:37am Tuesday 9th February 2016

ON JANUARY 27 thousands of people gathered at cenotaphs across the country as part of Holocaust Memorial Day, as was reported in the Swindon Advertiser on January 28. Also on January 27, David Cameron labelled the refugees living in squalor in Calais a “bunch of migrants”, this just six months after labelling refugees in Europe “a swarm.” They are neither a “bunch” or a “swarm” – they are human beings fleeing the horrors and brutality that only war can bring. Let’s not forget (though many of our politicians would prefer to) the fact that the UK’s military involvement in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan has created many of the refugees that we see living in appalling conditions in many parts of the world. The refugee crisis is the biggest humanitarian crisis the world has seen for decades, and Cameron’s vile comments can only create an even more hostile environment for anyone that is or could be seen as a refugee. I wonder how Cameron would have labelled those fleeing the Nazis. MARTIN WEBB Swindon Road Old Town, Swindon

Truth of climate change

This Is Wiltshire:

10:35am Tuesday 9th February 2016

WITH reference to David Collins’ letter he states all the flooding is caused by run-off from the extra the housing that we have built and that I haven’t taken account of this. He is wrong, flooding is caused by extreme weather systems causing hugely inflated rainfall. Run-off certainly plays a part in the flooding and I have taken this into account. When open space here in Gorse Hill and Pinehurst was threatened by development, I wrote a proposal for an alternative use for the land and part of my proposal was the need for woods to prevent run-off, indeed this was part of Hreod Burna Urban Forest’s submission to the Charity Commission for charitable status and to the council to lease the land to us. Dave says that Prof Singer is better informed than me. Without doubt, he is better educated than me, but he is not better informed than the 97 per cent of climate scientists who are agreed that climate change is man-made. He is also a serial denier, he denied UV light causes cancer, he denied ozone depletion existed and denied that passive smoking causes illness. Dave writes that there is no proof that temperature gradients cause wilder weather. I might not be a climatologist but I know that all weather is caused by temperature gradients. Hot air rises and cold air sinks, this causes wind as air rushes to balance the atmosphere. Come on Dave, they teach this at primary school. Dave also writes wild weather is caused by El Niño not temperature gradients. El Niño is a weather gradient, as is the Gulf Stream that is being threatened by the warming of the Arctic. STEVE THOMPSON Norman Road, Swindon


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