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Do we need the royals?

Here we go again it’s freebie time - what royalty wants, royalty gets!

I refer to the £2.5 renovation of Prince Harry’s new palace, courtesy of taxpayers.

Their inefficient heating system had to go. Tough on pensioners throughout the UK then who have similar problems but cannot afford a new heating system. Royalty mustn’t suffer. I wonder if the Queen will have her free BBC licence revoked?

Tough on the homeless too, many are ex-soldiers.

Care homes close, children’s homes close, schools starved of cash, libraries shutting. Wales alone has 30 per cent child poverty.

Why don’t our local career MPs start a vigorous parliamentary debate on royal expenses in the 21st century? Better still, do we need royalty anymore?

The next stage, apparently, is having their home painted-at a further cost to taxpayers to the tune of £350,000. Is it made from gold?

Harry is a multimillionaire. Why should we taxpayers support them?

Meanwhile Prince Charles and Camilla have racked up £4m on royal trips abroad according to the last financial year accounts.

For ‘trips’ abroad read holidays.

One royal train trip from Charles’ Scottish home to London last September cost taxpayers over £22,000. The royal train was used just five times last year costing the public a staggering £800,000.

The more public money these aristocrats get, the more they demand!

The contrast between what these parasites get and austerity cuts to the needy is an utter disgrace!

The monarchy is so entrenched in the British political system that many people simply accept it, unquestioningly.

As Thomas Paine put it, over 200 years ago, for many ‘a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.’

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

Just stop doing it

Recent Adverts, in articles and letters, have addressed the recent Armed Forces Day. Martin Webb wrote a well-reasoned criticism of the carnival-type recruitment activities involved.

This coverage comes while the possibility of British forces being dragged into yet another US war, designed to gain US control of the Middle East’s oil and for the general furtherance of US military reach, grows.

This time US crazies are banging the war drum against Iran. The BBC says 179 British service personnel died in Iraq.

Only the terminally deluded now deny that was a war based on lies. Another 454 died in Afghanistan.

Over the last couple of years, the US stopped measuring who controls what territory in Afghanistan because that would show the balance shifting towards the Taliban. Recent history has seen Britain involved in operations which have now killed well over a million, and which have set light to the Middle East boosting terrorism and making the World less safe for all of us.

There is an alternative to militarism. When you can see what a disaster it is stop doing it.

Peter Smith, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Good luck Scouts!

Good luck to Scouts from Wiltshire who are heading to North America.

In just a few days’ time Scouts from Wiltshire be travelling 3,800 miles to wild and wonderful West Virginia, USA for the 24th World Scout Jamboree.

These are some of our brightest and best and every one of them will be an ambassador for the Scouts, the UK’s largest mixed movement, helping prepare girls and boys with skills for life.

World Scout Jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one. They are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure. Young people will make friends for life with people from over 150 countries, experience different food, language and culture while learning new skills. It will be the journey of a lifetime.

The 2019 Jamboree, jointly hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting yet. The theme is ‘Unlock a new world’ – focusing especially on how we can create a sustainable world together.

I want to wish every single one of the Wiltshire Scouts good luck and safe travels. We’re so proud of you and I’ll see you out there!

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout

Awards open

The nominations for Alzheimer’s Society’s 2019 Dementia Friendly Awards are now open.

Our awards recognise, celebrate and promote the achievements of individuals, organisations and communities leading and inspiring a change that will transform the lives of people affected by dementia forever, challenging misunderstandings, changing attitudes and taking action.

There are nine award categories, from the Trailblazer of year, implementing an innovative idea, to the most Inspiring Young Person This year we have one special award, in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society’s 40th Anniversary, the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising meaningful action over 10 years or more.

It couldn’t be easier to enter, unite against dementia now by nominating yourself or someone who has inspired you. Visit, nominations close on Friday 9 August 2019.

Kelly Inwood, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for Swindon, Sanford House, Swindon

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