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Unite to make a better environment for all

Well as we all pack away the Christmas tree and the indoor lights, as well as in my case the outdoor lights.

My outside lights are not as spectacular as some in my street or the surrounding area. Most agree? But a similar purpose is clear. To brighten up our lives in the dark British winter.

Cheer up we are half way through our winter until spring. Daylight is returning by minutes on a daily basis. Our tiny island poised against the vast Atlantic on one side and the cold North sea on the other is our homeland, regardless of colour or creed.

Let us all unite to make it a better environment for us all.

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Covingham

First past post is best

My friend and fellow correspondent Malcolm Morrison brings 2019 to a close by waxing lyrical on the supposed ills of the electoral system of ‘First Past The Post’ and in his endorsement of the supposedly fairer system of the Single Transferable Vote. To which one must ask, fairer to whom, would that be to the loser in the current system (SA December 31).

Malcolm is above all things a true democrat and I have enjoyed many hours in his company discussing (some might say arguing) the respective pros and cons of our current voting system.

Like Malcolm I would like to see a ‘better way’ – but unlike Malcolm I am not persuaded that the STV system is so much better as to recommend it.

In 2011 the people voted to reject the proposed ‘Alternative Vote system (Nick Clegg’s choice) - and although Malcolm suggests the case for AV was “poorly presented and explained” (the same claim was made by some in respect of the EU referendum result) the reality is that by and large the average British voter views attempts to alter the voting system to be allied to a desire to see more coalition government.

While some may see that as a force for good, many will recognise the inherent weakness of coalition as evidenced in other countries.

By the way the UK has had coalitions and hardly anyone outside of Westminster has advocated them as being a more suitable form of government to the one we currently have.

Malcolm also bemoans the Party system, which I think many will agree is less than perfect. However, here the reality is stark, all democratic governments gain their power by being part of a Party (a coalition is a coming together of Parties and individual representatives bond to form a Party); and exercise it based on the Party manifesto.

The individual voice in Parliament is seldom more than a squeak and frankly incapable of any real achievement beyond being a tolerated minority.

Whether we like it or not the basis of power in British politics is to be found in the Party system.

Strangely, when a Party loses touch with the people, the people are quite capable of demonstrating their dissatisfaction, sometimes in ways which baffle the students of politics.

Malcolm ends his letter with an expression of his personal wish that “MPs will correct these failures of our present democracy” to which I would add that they are only failures in his opinion.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Sentence was right

I was relieved to read Andrew Llewellyn’s appeal against his prison sentence for punching and throttling his girlfriend was thrown out (SA, January 3).

His so-called drink problem is no excuse for his disgusting violence towards his victim.

Joyce King, Dorcan

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