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Intelligence vital

IN response to Steve Halden (22 Aug), it is important to highlight his lack of historical and contemporary factual understanding regarding peace and security in Europe.

The greatest achievement of the European Union has been to prevent war between its largest members for the longest period in history. This had nothing to do with altruism, simply a desire to prevent the destruction of a continent.

In the current day, the existence of a supra-national organisation which facilitates intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism expertise is essential.

The recent attack on Barcelona had nothing to do with Schengen since the attacker had come from Morocco via Ceuta (a Spanish city on the North African coast) directly to Spain.

It is extremely important that our membership of Europol, and all intelligence sharing arrangements with our EU neighbours, are not compromised by hard line Brexiteers who lack the contextual understanding not to flush away the baby with the bath water, and consequently our own national security with it.

MAJOR (RETD) SARAH CHURCH, Manor Close, Shrivenham

They’re all right, Jack

I SEE that the employees of Royal Mail are again, having their pension entitlements etc cut, giving rise to industrial action being considered.

Anyone with an iota of common sense will realise that these hard working personnel are having their benefits cut to the bone while Moira Green, the CEO, recently received a massive pay rise. Plus now, joining the board of EasyJet as a Non Executive Director as from the 1st September.

This is of course, the value we put on employees these days! “We as Managers and CEOs will cut your benefits and make sure that we are ok. This is of course due to the company suffering a downturn etc, but obviously we are not to blame, so we must retain our lovely standard of living and excellent pension scheme whilst you, as employees must make do.”

I am sure, as the general public, we get that typical management way of saying again, “I’m all right Jack”!

I for one will wholeheartedly support the Royal Mail action, whatever that may be. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric that will ultimately come from the Royal Mail press releases.

Moira Green, you are typical of the “I’m in it for me brigade”.

CHRIS GLEED, Proud Close, Purton

Bunch of idiots

ASDA have a problem with boy racers here in North Swindon.

Wherever there’s more than 10 feet of tarmac you get silly little boys in their mummy’s shopping 1.1 litre cars trying to race around.

Can I just say well done to Asda for introducing speed bumps and locking barriers to try and stop it happening? And can I just say to those silly little boys that no one is impressed apart from other silly little losers with nothing better to do?

You’re a danger to others and to be honest no one cares if you’re a danger to yourselves.


Thank you for caring

THE NHS comes in for a great deal of stick about its shortcomings. We wish to thank all the staff at the Great Western Hospital for their care and kindness during my wife’s illness, in particular those in A&E, Acute Care Unit, Teal Ward, Intensive Care Unit and Meldon Ward.

Over the six weeks she was in the hospital we could not have wished for better care. Well done everyone.

KEN PARKER, Grange Park, Swindon

First class service

The saga continues. After the excellent piece of work by the digging crew and how clean everything was left ,something surely had to burst the bubble of joy.

In the evening at Crook Towers I had my normal ritual before retiring to the land of nod when her indoors, she with the hearing of an eagle, said “What’s that noise coming from the bathroom?” My comment was “Can’t hear anything.” “Get up!” she commanded. “Have a look.”

And yes, she was right - the overflow in the cistern was pouring water. Not a problem, I says, and turned off the inline valve fitted just for this.

In the morning, dreading that call to Thames Water, knowing full well I am going to get the run around being put on hold - not a priority call, see you in a couple of weeks; it’s an internal problem, not a TW problem; sort it out yourself.” No, not at all.

I called the 0800 free phone number, got through to a lovely lady who took all the information down all about next door’s meter being fitted and how the problem was totally down to that work being done and she would arrange for a home visit. Going through my mind was yes in about a week to 10 days’ time. Wrong again - a TW inspector was on the doorstep within two hours. Myself and her who must be obeyed were out at the time so my in-law let him in. He took one look and said yep, some grit must have travelled through the system and jammed the overflow in the open position.

I got another update and was told that it needs a TW approved plumber.

Again knowing how busy these guys are, see you in a week or so. Again how wrong can one person be? I got a call at about 11am from an extremely helpful Irish chap who told me he would be at the house at 12.30 on the button. Let in by the outlaw, all work completed and back to normal by 13.30.

From the 1st call to Thames Water to the cistern being back to normal in 5.5 hours. A first class response, thank you Thames Water and the whole of your team. Her indoors stopped nagging me one second after the plumber left.

JOHN L CROOK, Haydon Wick, Swindon

Lights not so fantastic

OH those darned traffic lights at Greenbridge roundabout.

Driving around the Magic Roundabout is and always has been a doddle, if you concentrate and know where you are going.

The worst roundabout in Swindon to negotiate was the Bruce Street Bridges, but now that has been improved, despite much controversy.

But Greenbridge is now a nightmare. It worked perfectly well, and initially the improvements made sense - it was tweaking what was there before.

But installing traffic lights was a ridiculous decision. You wait at lights, they change and you think you are set to go sar far, but then the next set are on red. That gets particularly annoying when you want to head down Drakes Way towards the town centre and then get stuck behind traffic waiting at a red light to get to the Greenbridge retail park.

Those traffic lights are unnecessary and should be removed. Have a look at the Magic Roundabout to see a traffic system like that can learn.

M RYAN, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon

Lots to learn

JUST a few lines of banter to make a change from the topic your three most prolific writes are pursuing at the moment. A few weeks ago, sitting outside a café in Chippenham, watching the world go by, my son observed three teenagers (two boys and one girl).

The girl tripped on two occasions because her shoe lace was undone. He watched for several minutes whilst all three tried unsuccessfully to fasten the above mentioned. Just a small occurrence but he did remind me that it was one of the things he was able to do when he started school aged four years!

Yesterday the same son was in a Swindon Tesco store, and saw about six teenage girls sat in a group obviously working on a school project and discussing Pearl Harbour.

One girl said I don’t know of her, when was she born? Another chipped in, don’t be silly, it’s the name of a ship! Why should England tremble?

A post script - in the 1970s, scientists did tests with chimpanzees. They were given multiple choice questions which meant absolutely nothing to them but unbelievably 60 per cent of them got passes that would have got them grades B or C in exams. This has probably set the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.

MRS G M THOMPSON, Bourne Road, Swindon