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Another blow to Tories

In a further indictment of the years of Tory rule, the Federation of Small Businesses has highlighted this week what is a string of poor economic data, which will be no doubt be a maelstrom facing PM Theresa May on her return from the summer Parliamentary recess.

According to the FSB this week, real incomes, productivity, and GDP growth are all falling sharply. However employment levels are increasing, if those jobs which are unskilled and do not pay a living wage are taken in to consideration.

It was also of the opinion that it looks likely that the Government may be forced to abandon its target to raise the minimum wage to £8.20 per hour by 2020. Traditionally, small businesses have been the mainstay of the Conservative party and for them to suddenly come out with such critical observations surely means that something in the country has quite radically gone wrong.

It is surely ironic that ex-PM David Cameron saw fit to call a referendum on the EU primarily to placate the voices of discontent within the Tory ranks.

Before the dust had even settled, Theresa May repeated the mistake by calling a snap election, which she stated was all about getting the nation behind her Tory party for the Brexit negotiations. Many have their doubts now as this being the sole reason.

On calling the snap election, Theresa May was brimming over with confidence that she had a landslide result for her party in the bag. Her government ministers and the media had written off the Labour party.

Finally, in a time of political uncertainty all around the world it would appear that a younger generation is beginning to sit up and take notice, and are not prepared to settle for more austerity policies.

Quite rightly they are demanding that they should at the very least have the opportunities of the generations that have come before them, and will not accept being disadvantaged in comparison, whilst watching an ever-increasing elite enrich themselves at their expense.

GA WOODWARD, Nelson Street, Swindon

Trump versus NATO

Donald Trump has been denigrated, disparaged and detested. Probably no other person in recent years has been subjected to such vilification, which the BBC so blatantly contributed to with relish, dispelling the myth of its impartiality in politics.

But Trump was to weather the storm to climb the presidential ladder with apparently no political experience.

He was no doubt ably assisted by his prominence and wealth, which seemingly lubricates such ambitions in America.

His rousing inaugural speeches constantly referred to ‘putting America first.’

Throughout history man has persisted in putting his plot containing his tribe first. It is an hereditary trait that exists to this day and has come to be known as patriotism.

It is endorsed by all nations, with America certainly no exception, although since the end of the Second World War British politicians have adopted a self-deprecating, ridiculous stance seeking international redemption for this country’s perceived evils of its imperial past.

Donald Trump also made repeated claims that he will abolish NATO – claims that he has now rescinded.

‘Better to fight battle on territory other than your own.’ How much influence this adage had on the formation of NATO will probably never come to light.

It was inaugurated by Washington in 1949 in haste and desperation and it comprised west European countries with US military support to thwart a perceived Soviet attack.

With the internal overthrow of the Communist regime in Russia in 1990, NATO was in reality redundant, but not according to Washington, which retained it. It now includes as members former Soviet bloc countries, which does not please Russian president Putin and could possibly lead to the Third World War.

Original members, including Britain, have felt obliged to accompany the US, under the ambiguous term of umbrella countries, on political and military ventures across the globe.

Many, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, are proving extremely costly.

Contrary to President Trump’s contemptuous remarks regarding NATO the organisation has proved to be fortuitous for his country.

This man is no fool – unlike George Bush – although he does have the ability to make gaffes. And his impetuosity, if unrestrained, could be his presidential and political nemesis.

GEORGE HUMPHREYS, Ringsbury Close, Purton

What did they die for?

I WATCHED with pride and sadness the remembrance services of the centenary of the battle called Passchendaele and all our brave boys who died or were dreadfully crippled at this massive battle.

And for what? To support the French and Belgians against the German invader and the hope it would bring peace to Europe. But today we see a EU that, like it or not, is dominated by Germany.

Is this a case of what they tried to do with force of arms twice in the last century and failed? Now it would appear they are doing it by fiscal means and they are winning this time.

Twice in the last century they marched into France and Belgium, yet neither of these counties seem to remember these facts. Why then do the Belgians and the French maintain these remembrance ceremonies?

If we had kept out of both wars the Germans would have turned Europe into a large German Empire, which seems to be coming today whatever we did to stop it. Was it worth it?

We have now offered to pay the EU £40billion as a leaving fee, to clear all our debts. That equates to approx 3.5 years of our annual contribution to the EU. And don’t forget we shall be still paying our £350million a week until we actually leave.

I believe what Theresa May said – no deal is better than a bad deal. If we walk away now, we shall have £350million each week to do what we want with. Yes, I know it will cost us all of this to “keep the lights on” but at least it will be paying it to British firms and companies.

This hopefully will give hard-working Brits a better chance of improving their daily lives. The EU commissioners in Brussels are living in a little dream world. They have no idea whatsoever how ordinary people live, nor do they care.

Did those millions of brave boys die for this? What do you think they would make of this today?

DAVID COLLINS, Blake Crescent, Swindon

Brexit will be positive

I AM a great admirer of John Stooke’s clearly constructed letters and his latest offering is no exception (Adver, August 5).

However, I am sorry that like many who supported Remain in the EU campaign, John appears unable to offer anything other than a pessimistic view of a future outside of the control of the political construct of the EU. I can only assume he penned his letter before BMW announced that production of the new electric Mini would take place at Cowley – why otherwise would he infer that the company might make the car in the Czech Republic or Romania?

However if there is one thing I’m sure of it is that many readers, especially those who believe the EU supports the environment, will be amazed that a Mini crankshaft crosses the English Channel three or four times before it’s fitted to a car!

John claims that Nissan, Toyota and Honda only settled in the UK to gain access to the EU, which of course ignores the fact they could just as easily have set up shop in a mainland EU state. That they chose not to speaks volumes about the brilliance of a UK workforce that produces a superb product.

What John ignores is the reasonable assumption that a trade deal will be reached with the EU and, equally importantly, with other non-EU nations. His fears with regard to what ‘might occur in the future’ is predicated on a far-fetched belief that the EU will simply pull up the drawbridge and refuse to trade with the UK.

John concluded his ‘doom and gloom’ piece by suggesting the situation he describes may be acceptable to me and others who believe the UK has a bright future outside of the EU.

Let me assure him that I do not wish the UK to suffer in the way he describes – where he and I differ is that he seems to believe there is no alternative whereas I do.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

The EU does not care

Remoaner John is at it again. This time he is telling the world about the perils of Brexit and how it will decimate the UK production of cars.

Some of what he says may be true but in the real world everybody has to look after their own back, and car production firms are included in that.

I am surprised that in amongst his ‘facts’ he didn’t mention the Peugeot factory in Coventry, which was moved lock stock and barrel to Slovakia with help from an EU grant, resulting in 3,000 jobs lost. He also didn’t mention the Ford Transit factory in Southampton, again moved lock stock and barrel, this time to Turkey, and again with a EU grant. That resulted in a job loss in the local area of around 4,000.

The EU is not worried how their actions affect the local employment of this country, so we shouldn’t worry about them. No John we are out, and you should use your energy to help set us on our way to a better future.

T REYNOLDS, Wheeler Avenue, Swindon

How to use bulldozers

RE: ‘Building demolished to make way for bank’ (Adver, August 5), it irks me that reporters have no idea about construction or in the case of this article, demolition.

The site at present has been substantially cleared by a local demolition sub-contractor using a hydraulic excavator, as has been the case for the last 50 odd years since the demolition ball swung by a tracked crane was phased out.

The myth that bulldozers are used for demolition has been perpetuated by the media/press. They almost never have been used as they suffer from a couple of fatal flaws. They cannot load trucks and would only be suitable for demolishing low rise buildings.

A bulldozer has a broad blade for levelling soil, forming spoil heaps. If fitted with rippers it can rip rock or hard compacted ground. Its principal use is in civil engineering, for roads, canals and mining, where large quantities of materials have to be moved horizontally. They are also used by the military around the world.

Demolition takes many forms depending on the building(s) involved. At ground level it is generally the hydraulic excavator that rules the roost with the odd tracked or wheeled loading shovel... but no sign of a bulldozer.