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Contest or election?

Since when has a leadership contest been a general election?

I am writing, because the current situation affects us all, and because mainstream media outlets seem to be riding the story bandwagon rather than dealing with a core issue.

With regard to the candidates for prime minister, Hunt and Johnson, both of these people are currently walking around the country making wild spending and taxation claims, indeed (although retracted in a panic when told how it would possibly only glean one or two votes from people at a local level) statements of re-introducing fox hunting.

In both cases these people are making manifesto-level commitments that need a general election to get public approval, yet I hear no talk of one.

Have we so degraded ourselves as a democracy that this is acceptable? I hope not.

Philip Bridge, North Swindon

Works nothing unique

Coun Gary Sumner, the council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, is quoted as saying of the New Eastern Villages development that “this is unique in that we are putting in the infrastructure before the homes go in”(SA, July 3).

I’m sure many readers read his comment with a degree of puzzlement. The cost to the council tax payer of Wichelstowe was affected by the very fact that road infrastructure preceded housing development. The ‘oh so late to arrive’ town centre Kimmerfield development success was predicated on the supposed need to provide the necessary infrastructure before the builder moved on to the site.

Indeed the policy of the council has always been to first provide the infrastructure necessary to support the project; the Eastern Villages is neither the first nor is it in any way unique.

What will be unique is if the New Eastern Villages project is completed on time and to budget.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Celebrating own defeat

Last Monday was the 50th anniversary of the Prince of Wales Investiture - a ‘tradition’ introduced by Lloyd George to quell social unrest. There was nothing ‘mediaeval’ to revive. The real Prince of Wales died in 1282.

Caernavon Castle was a symbol of conquest and Welsh slavery.

The coronation with its pomp and show, the make believe, the glorification of militarism. The Welsh welcome was tepid indeed. Wales didn’t need a temporary pantomime.

Social services were grossly inadequate and many believed that Wales needed self-government, not princes from England who epitomised the ancient subjugation of one nation by another.

Of course many politicans at the time followed their pet hobby of chasing anything with which royalty is associated.

Those who opposed the investiture were branded ‘fanatics’, ‘noisy minorities’ ‘extremists’ - got the drift?

Flunkies and lickspittles all gathered together at public expense and deluding themselves that they were taking part in an ancient historical ceremony.

Prince Charles gave a speech in Welsh, which any competent parrot could have learnt in an afternoon.

In reality then the Welsh were being asked to celebrate their own defeat of centuries ago.

Why was so much public money squandered at the time when the country was in a state of financial crisis? What has Prince Charles ever achieved for the Land of my Fathers?

Answers on a postage stamp.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury