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Candidate fights for underdog interests

Politics is a cut-throat business, now more than ever so. Nevertheless, I was disturbed as a sometimes Labour voter to see evidence of this in references to Kate Linnegar in Thursday’s newspaper. Your article featured a gentleman called Euan Philipps who asserts that Kate does not reflect Labour’s “proud anti-racist tradition”.

I presume, unless I’m much mistaken, that Mr Philipps’s many articles in the Huffpost etc have the purpose of railing against the existence of what he describes as the “hard left” and his weapon is to accuse anyone in that category of anti-Semitism.

It is almost impossible to defend oneself against accusations from such a source, as one’s protestations of innocence will be futile in the face of this generalised fury. But, to give Mr Philipps the benefit of the doubt, I suggest that he may never have met Kate, nor attended even one of the anti-hate, anti-fascist and pro-refugee marches in Swindon over the years. If he had, he would have seen Kate who, often having organised the massive event herself, would be striding out with gusto to defend all people who suffer from xenophobia, bigotry and discrimination. I’ve been there; I’ve seen her.

The old expression: “I speak as I find” fits the bill. I have found Kate to be a good egg. A warm, funny, and kindly person who is very much a fighter for the interests of the underdog – nothing like the way Mr Philipps is describing her.

Shirley Burnham, Former library campaigner, Arundel Close, Swindon

Cyclists also need to be educated

I READ Graham Carter’s column in Monday’s Adver with interest.

Obviously he had a valid point about dog owners not controlling their animals. As he often extols the virtues of cycling could I please ask him to also use his column to help educate cyclists without the above attributes.

Graham, obviously we dog owners can see you coming towards us in your bright yellow gear – but not when you approach from behind. Whatever happened to bells on bikes – do they really add too much wind resistance! Also, the speed some are prepared to travel up behind nervous dogs and elderly people – do they not realise that an animal can make sudden movements away from the straight and narrow? Could you also please remind them that cycling on pavements is illegal.

Mike Miles, Lawn, Swindon

Injustice of dementia care battle can’t go on

There are 2,200 people living with dementia in Swindon and that number is set to rise.

It is a travesty that people with dementia are waiting up to a year in hospital for a care home place, or ending up in A&E with an infection that good social care could have prevented.

The injustice of people battling to get quality dementia care, on top of battling the devastating effects of dementia, can’t go on.

With further delay to the Green Paper on social care, we must find a new way through the impasse.

That is why Alzheimer’s Society is calling for urgent investment in high-quality, personalised care through a dedicated Dementia Fund. I would like to urge your readers to join our campaign at

Marion Child, Alzheimer’s Society’s head of region (SW), Sanford House, Swindon

Shortage of housing is causing misery

In reply to Peter Smith (Advertiser, May 8) I am old enough to remember life in the 1960s. It was a golden age for the working class.

Houses were cheap and wages were high. In London houses were three time the average wage. Those very same houses are now 40 times the average wage.

There is a shortage of four million houses in Britain. High house prices affect the working class because high rents push up the cost of living.

Many working class people are being pushed into poverty by high rents. Those who manage to buy are being pushed into poverty as they struggle with mortgage repayments.

We joined the Common Market in 1973 and 46 years later this has led to a housing crisis in Britain. The shortage of houses has pushed up the cost of living and is creating misery for ordinary working class people in Britain today.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

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