Patriotism not a good basis for voting

Steve Halden (SA, February 19) claims to agree with Martin Web that main issues re the May elections are “Covid 19, NHS, lockdowns, homelessness, poverty and unemployment” but goes on to contradict himself with the question; “Why not vote for the candidate that convinces you he is the most patriotic”?

Setting aside the obvious point that “he” might not be “he”, the equally obvious answer should be, because that would be a ridiculous basis for a voting decision.

It would be saying never mind the aforementioned important issues, all of which are inseparable from the class differences in our society, where far from all being “all in it together” we have a very rich minority who insist the vast majority have to make all the sacrifices in order to make them even richer.

If some con artist can deflect your attention from the key issues into some flag waving circus, runs Mr Halden’s idea, that is a good enough reason to support them.

We know from history that every advance in the living standards of the mass of people has always been hard won in struggles against which the “patriotic” rich and their ideologues always kicked and screamed.

Peter Smith

Woodside Avenue

Insurmountable teething problems

The Government may claim Brexit is ‘done’, but for many small business owners, it’s just getting started.

The trading relationship between the EU and UK is not fit for purpose. Traders are being subjected to burdensome processes – customs declaration, rules of origin certificates, VAT processes. Many businesses have ceased or restricted trade as a result, stifling our recovery from COVID and narrowing choice for consumers. Big name brands have stopped shipping to the UK.

While the government claims these “teething problems” are being ironed out, hauliers estimate trade with Europe has fallen massively since the beginning of the year.

And for fisherman who face a ban on exporting their shellfish to Europe, these “teething problems” are permanent and insurmountable.

If we are to build back Britain better than ever, we British businesses need a boost, not more red tape. That’s why I’m supporting the Best for Britain campaign to simplify trade for Britain.

Steve Rouse


Celebrate cadet force

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets and the RAF Benevolent Fund has joined forces with the youth organisation to help mark the milestone.

Throughout their 80-year history the air cadets have been inspiring their members to go on to great things, whether that be as part of the Royal Air Force itself or further afield. From Olympic medals and Oscar nominations to topping the charts or even becoming a NASA Astronaut.

Linford Christie OBE, Tom Fletcher, Dr Michael Foale, Rory Underwood MBE and Richard Burton were all members of this extraordinary youth organisation. Throughout the years cadets have played a key role in helping us to be there for the RAF family,raising money, supporting events or helping to raise awareness.

To celebrate this anniversary, the RAF Benevolent Fund has launched an online book collecting memories from former and current members, asking them to share what their time as an air cadet meant to them. Visit for more information.

Mike Straney,

Director Fundraising and Communications

RAF Benevolent Fund (and former RAF Air Cadet)