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.

EU is the peacekeeper

THE SA, 28 August has, I am sure more by accident than design, chosen to head up yet another ‘put the world right’ letter by Des Morgan as ‘NATO was peacekeeper’ in response to Labour prospective MP candidate Sarah Church as, if NATO ever was, it certainly isn’t now.

Sarah was I feel quite correct in saying that a benefit of EU membership has been to prevent wars between European States.

However, on the other hand Des is quite wrong as, after the financial crisis of 2008 which was created in America, a weakened Europe gave in to a bellicose, belligerent,US-led NATO which then stationed troops on Russia’s borders in the former Warsaw pact states of Poland, Romania, and others along with the Baltic states.

The US, as normal, deliberately instigated a right wing, coup d’état in Kiev, Ukraine which it then used to justify its blatant aggression.

It has also deliberately provoked China over its ownership of islands in the China sea.

It would appear that when the USSR ceased to exist the assurance from the US and other western nations that NATO would not step ‘one inch’ in to former Warsaw pact satellites was the biggest and most blatant lie ever told, as the organisation now seems to be hell-bent upon trying to create a war in Europe.

Indeed, there have been mass protests by local populations against NATO stationing armies in these countries. But these events never quite seem to make it to the TV screens in the UK.

I will give Des credit for a good try. However, he seems to have rather blinkered vision in stating that in 1949 the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the US and 11 other western nations to form NATO.

He conveniently seems to forget that the West has also stated since, and quite hypocritically in my book, that sovereign nations should have a right to self-determination.

However, this was not the case when Vietnam, Cuba, Korea and many more chose the Communist path as they were attacked sometimes without warning, as they had committed a perceived crime in going against US-style McCarthy-ist dogma.

Although Des also stated that a rival alliance the Warsaw Pact was founded in 1955, he seems to put this reasoning down to purely rivalry, but seems to forget the chief reason which was that the USA, with help from the UK, had not only developed a nuclear weapon but had quite blatantly committed a crime against all of humanity in trying out its use twice upon innocent Japanese civilians.

This in turn lead to the formation of the Warsaw Pact, along with counter protectionist development of their own nuclear weapons by the USSR as, quite rightly, they would have been the next on the list for an unprovoked strike from a US-led NATO.

I strongly support Sarah Church’s view of the EU of having kept the peace among EU Nation States, and would go further in stating that it is a US-led NATO that threatens to undo what has been achieved there.

If proof be needed then the proposed idea of a European army by Germany and France and other major EU members, along with the exclusion of a US-led warmongering, belligerent NATO, is still very much on the table.

A WOODWARD, Nelson Street, Swindon

EU needs UK’s help

Major (Retd) Sarah Church makes an interesting ‘clarification’ in respect of a previous letter in which she claimed “The greatest achievement of the European Union has been to prevent war between its largest members for the longest period in history.”

Such a claim is simply hyperbole of the highest order. The EU in its earliest from was a grouping of six countries formed in 1958 as the European Economic Community often referred to as the Common Market.

The realisation that trading together was far better than fighting each other was a key factor in the decision to unite.

However, the European Union, the body Sarah credits as being the keeper of peace wasn’t formed until the Maastricht Treaty came into force on November 1, 1993 more than 45 years after the Second World War ended.

It seems that to credit the EU with maintaining the peace during a period in which it simply didn’t exist is a case of Sarah stretching history a mite too far.

Returning to Sarah’s attempts to define EUROPOL’s role in security matters, again she misses the point.

EUROPOL is an agency lacking any real power in that it only provides assistance when requested to do so and has no investigative powers in any EU member state.

Given the recent atrocities in various EU countries it might well be said that EUROPOL offered little by way of intelligence to prevent the loss of many lives.

In truth the EU relies to a much greater extent on the UK’s intelligence capability which, coupled with our ‘five eyes’ connection, provides much more to our friends in Europe than say the combined intelligence resource of Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Cyprus and Malta to name but six of the EU member states.

Sarah should be directing her final comment to the EU negotiators who have brought the issue of security into play as a negotiating tool.

Mr Barnier and his friends really do need to consider the enormous benefits to mainland Europe of the Intelligence capability of the UK – thankfully we are not so small-minded a nation as to deny information which might help prevent a terrorist atrocity. We do so as a member of the human race and not as a member of a supranational club.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Drivers ignore signs

Once again, a motorist who has fallen foul of the Outlet Village bus lane camera blames the council for imposing a fine for using the bus lane illegally.

There are eight signs around the entrance to the bus lane, therefore any drive who chooses to ignore them must expect to be fined.

With so many warning signs, plus the fact the road surface at this point is red are these drivers driving without due care and attention?

Unfortunately, so many drivers these days choose to ignore road signs, speed limit signs are a prime example. Take Queens Drive where the speed limit is 40mph, it is like a race track as drivers thumb their noses at the speed restriction knowing they will not get caught due to lack of police road patrols and speed traps all due to the Government’s budget cuts.

R ALBRIGHTON, Tamworth Drive, Shaw, Swindon

All children equal

‘It’s a joke’ screamed the front page of the SA, August 28. You continue with a report that says ‘Injured ex-RAF mum is furious after her son was denied a place at a school close to their home.’ Turning to page 2 to read the story you again put much emphasis on the fact that Diana Wall is an injured ex-service person.

By putting so much emphasis on the fact that she is an injured veteran of the RAF your report seems to imply that a child of an ex-service person is more worthy of a place at their school of choice than a child of a shop worker, factory worker, et al.

Surely children are of equal importance regardless of their parents’ status, religion or skin colour?

MARTIN WEBB, Swindon Road, Old Town, Swindon

On the buses again

DURING my first year at secondary school in Stockport, I went by tram. Now with a bus pass, I can enjoy public transport again.

Our extremely frequent bus service gets us round Bassett with only a short walk to wherever we want to go in the town.

Also we can go to Calne, Chippenham, Cirencester, Malmesbury, the Outlet and central Swindon without a change of bus.

A pity the 55 and the R1 miss out West Swindon Centre. Lots of people, including parents whose children attend RWB Academy, wish one or other would. Who decides these things?

JOHN DAVIES, Byron Avenue Royal, Wootton Bassett