PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: Write: Swindon Advertiser, Unit 1 and 2 Richmond House, Edison Park, Swindon, SN3 3RB. Phone: 01793 501806.

Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters.

Politics is paralysed

Our democracy is in danger of dying; and it is being killed by our “Mother of Parliaments”.

Parliament has become paralysed by the power of party politics.

The present problems of Brexit have been made into a party-political power struggle.

Any voting should have been on a ‘free vote’ method – with no whips involved.

The recent local elections – which should have been fought on local issues – was turned into a massive ‘negative vote’ against both the major parties in rebellion over the present fiasco, rather than ‘positive votes’ for the candidate of choice.

Democracy is supposed to mean “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Sadly, the party structures have become so powerful that they appear to control ‘their’ MPs – who are supposed to represent all their constituents, not just those who voted for them.

Our whole political system needs reform.

To elect our representatives, we need a form of proportional representation that ensures that those elected command ‘majority support’.

The present first past the post system is fine where there are only two candidates; but, where there are more, it often results in the election of a person who has collected a minority of the total number of votes cast.

The single transferable vote system (not the alternative vote system last put to the public with inadequate information) ranks candidates in order of preference, with the second and third choices taken into account where no candidate gets a majority. It is already in use in many other democracies.

Voting in Parliament should be by secret ballot to prevent party ‘pressure’ from the Whips; MPs should be voting on the merits of the motion. To allow the public to know how their MP had behaved during their tenure of office, the way MPs voted could be published at the time of the next election.

At least one bright spark came out of the local elections.

They showed that the electorate is still more powerful than the politicians! Nationally, quite a lot of Independent candidates got elected – and, in some areas, even took control!

Malcolm Morrison, Prospect Hill, Swindon

What in the world?

I often sit back and think about today’s world and wonder what’s happening! People living on the streets and suffering from ‘mental health’ issues, no small wonder really but I wonder what came first, the mental health problems or the move to street living!

Lots of young people seem to be suffering from autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger related problems, pathological demand avoidance etc.

Lots of the people in the world around us seems to have an aggressive streak. Many people, including youngsters showing no respect for authority.

The Jeremy Kyle programme was taken off air due to a very unfortunate circumstance. I understand people who go on that programme are offered much guidance along the way, but to a certain extent, we just cannot mollycoddle everyone all of the time.

I know that within the driving fraternity, in which I am involved, many, many young people have one problem or another. There are many drivers who drive under the influence of drugs. Apart from a medicinal type of purpose, I see no reason why so many are so influenced!

There will of course be people who say, ‘not all people are as you imply’. My question is, why are there so many with problems? I certainly find it difficult to find a reason!

Chris Gleed, Proud Close, Purton

Welcome to the future

We don’t need new laws on free speech. (Des Morgan Adver, May 16).

On a single day both Facebook and Twitter recently deleted Peter Townsend accounts. (Author of Questioning Islam and Nothing to do with Islam?). With no warning and no right of appeal.

He lost 100,000 Twitter followers, and both his personal and ‘Questioning Islam’ Facebook pages.

Not once has he ever called for violence against anyone and has never targeted any individual with ‘hatred’ or whatever he has been accused of. He has never even had a temporary ban before. No reason was given. They are able to act as judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.

He suspects that the ‘purge’ was in preparation of the ‘social media summit’ to battle extremism (chaired by Jacinta Adern and Macron) in Paris. This way the ‘giants’ could show that they are doing something. Even if that ‘something’ amounts to banning content that doesn’t even come remotely close to advocating violence and was actually aimed at extremism (of the kind they prefer to ignore).

The future is upon us it seems.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

Letters to the Editor: What do you think?

Do you have an opinion on our reader letters? Get in touch.

Add your contribution now By uploading a contribution, for use online and in print, you accept our contributor terms. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.