PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: Write: Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.

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

Organ donation views

THERE can be no doubt that organ donation is a good thing (SA 13th Dec.).

What greater gift can anyone give than the ‘gift of life’ to another person? And, in so doing, give the grieving loved ones a feeling that their death was not in vain.

So, I wish, and would encourage, more people to become registered donors (and always carry their card.) and, also, that they have told their nearest and dearest of their wishes.

But, when it comes to the State making it law that we must all donate our organs, unless we ‘opt out’, I have grave reservations on two counts:

1.The first is on the practical implications. At what age, and in what circumstances, is one to be asked if one wishes to opt out?

Will everyone, on their 18th birthday, get an explanatory leaflet and form (no doubt several pages long.) asking them the question?

Or will it come with our tax return papers, or when we sign on for benefits?

If there is no ‘official’ time and place for the question to be asked, many, if not most, people will not even think about opting out – and their relatives will be in for a shock at the time of death.

2. The second is on ethical grounds. Since when did The State ‘own’ our bodies? Is this not shades of ‘Big Brother’?

It is one thing for an individual to give a gift of their own freewill; it is a totally different matter for the State to insist that we must give something that is precious to both us and our loved ones.

MALCOLM MORRISON, Retired Orthopaedic Surgeon, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Times have changed

Come off it Des. When we had the snow in ‘63 (Swindon Adver Wednesday 13th), 50 years ago it was a different time. Parents could put their children in the school of their choosing (nowadays it’s not always so).

Some parents have to travel because of the distance they live to the school. That’s OK if you live on a main road where presumably gritters have been out all night clearing the roads but not so clever if you live in the side streets.

In the early 60s you didn’t have the cars (another danger today). Some of the teachers come from a distance away involving treacherous conditions.

Playgrounds are heavily snowed and iced over. Health and safety didn’t come into it then but now, hey ho, children slipping over, breaking bones etc the school would be sued for not providing the safety for them.

Shovelling the large areas of the playground who do you expect to do it? A mechanical shoveller? Wake up to reality Des, it’s a different era today.

Each school must equate the dangers which their charges would be in.

Each school is different and the best person to make that decision whether to open or close is the head teacher.

HAZEL CHERRY, Downland Road, Woodhall Park, Swindon

Gallery will make cash

In HIS letter “Museum not needed” David Collins seems to have the same confusion as most other denigrators of the rather splendid proposed museum and art gallery.

1. Do we want the proposed design?

2. Do we want a new museum and art gallery at all?

3. Do we want a collection of modern and contemporary art?

He says it is ugly and is it something the town doesn’t want anyway. This is the same thing Parisians said about the Eiffel Tower. The same thing Australians said about the Sydney Opera house. The same thing New Yorkers said about the Statue of Liberty.

All three are now beloved of the locals and, indeed, internationally.

It may cost a lot to maintain but let’s not forget it will have a shop, cafe, an area for chamber performances and an one for special exhibitions that will have entry fees, all generating income, plus the money currently supplied by the council for the current SMAG.

Mr Collins wants a referendum to see if Swindonians want a new SMAG, maybe he would like to crowd fund the £250,000 this would cost.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon

Recycling woes

A LABEL attached to my wheelie bin states the following: “Normal date Monday December 25: Revised collection: Out by 6.30am on Wednesday December27. Leave out and we will collect by the end of Saturday, December 30.

This could mean I could have to find a convenient place to store my recycling for nearly another week.

If I were to be away for Christmas it would mean leaving my recycling out for nearly10 days.

Most good neighbours will return bins to a place of safety rather than exposing your empty property as an invite to burglars, however not all are blessed with good neighbours.

Surely an officer can prepare a schedule of collection for those areas due for collections and so be able to advise a day rather than any one of four days in that particular week?

MICK BRAY, Leven, Freshbrook, Swindon

Mystery over £39bn

Adam Poole states that the money we are being asked to pay to the EU is not an exit fee but simply our fair share of pre-agreed financial commitments.

He must be hacking into the negotiating teams’ secret notes, because I have asked Justin Tomlinson for a list of these commitments, and he can’t or won’t tell me.

Similarly, I am still awaiting a reply from the Prime Minister over the same question.

Adam, the stage is yours, enlighten us all on the actual commitments the UK has made to the EU that adds up to our share costing £39bn.

This figure will be 1/28th. of the total cost of all EU future projects that all members signed up to during the budget to 2020, that must be an awful lot of projects.

The UK leaves in 2019, after that the UK will not benefit from its investments, past or future, so the EU can decide in 2019 whether or not it wishes fulfill all projects without our cash.

By the way, the leaflets issued to the public for the 1975 referendum were issued by the Referendum Campaign, not the Government. I still have my copies. It was sold to us as a trading agreement.

ALAN SPENCER, Address supplied

Brexit is big opportunity

THE letters from Steve Rouse are getting longer (Dec 11) but he still fails to give one single advantage to membership of the EU.

What has Steve Rouse got to say to the young generation whose lives have been ruined by rising house prices and properties being cut up to house multiple occupants, gradually turning Swindon in to slum due to our open borders?

The working class is being wiped out because they can no longer afford to have children.

The jobs of young people are disappearing because we run a trade deficit of a billion pounds a week with the EU and mass immigration is driving down and stagnating our wages through cheap labour, all so that large corporations can make more profit (this also answers Fred Quinn’s letter from Dec 8).

EU membership is destroying the public services. Police numbers are being cut, libraries are closing and the NHS that we all love is crumbling under the financial strain.

Brexit is taking back control of our laws. This has been called a power grab, but no one called it a power grab when the EU took those powers away from Britain in 1973.

Co-operation between governments is a great thing but bowing down to an overbearing EU superstate is not.

Brexit is truly a glorious opportunity, the dawn is rising on a fantastic new era ahead of us in a brave new world.

MARTIN COSTELLO, Eldene, Swindon

The best moral guide

I’VE OFTEN been told the Christian 10 commandments are a good maxim by which to live your life, but when you actually examine them in detail, very few of those pronouncements actually deal with morality.

We all know it’s a bad thing to murder, steal, and lie. There is a far better moral guide by which to live by that came from the ancient 6th century BC Indian philosopher, Mahavira, who was able to sum it up in a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture or kill any creature or human being.”

How different would Christianity have been had those words been printed on page one of the Bible in bold capital letters. As John Lennon once penned in a lyric: “You may say I’m a dreamer...”

TOM HORWAT, Upavon Court, Penhill, Swindon

Who else to blame?

AS WE stumble out of the European Union in 2021, I wonder who Martin Costello will pick on next, to blame for all the ills that afflict our country?

He needs to start thinking fast, because if he believes that this decision will do anything other than make our great nation poorer, ever more insular, and even more pathetically reliant on the vagaries of American hedge fund managers for our jobs and well-being, he is utterly deluded.

JOHN STOOKE, Haydon End, Swindon

Help for homeless

WITH so much publicity about homelessness in the media there is an immediate answer here in Swindon.

Let them use the Tented Market until it is demolished.

The cost would be relatively low and not too difficult to monitor. More than just a thought!

GERRY TAYLOR, Newcastle Street, Swindon