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Unreported tragedies

I AM astounded at the amount of press coverage given to the ‘Hang the Tories’ stunt in Manchester.

I am not condoning it but are people aware that no one has actually been hung or killed as a result of this act perpetrated by an unknown person or persons?

There are calls for Labour members and Jeremy Corbyn to condemn the banner and effigies. I am not sure what this has to do with Labour. Jeremy Corbyn continually says that he wants kinder politics, a more caring society and no personal abuse. He never indulges in personal abuse or threats.

Not once has hanging Tories been suggested at any of the Labour Party meetings that I have attended. There are four pages of articles about this when I search online. Everyone and his dog is outraged and has been interviewed to say so.

In stark contrast there are not many headlines or articles when a person commits suicide after being sanctioned. You can find details by searching online. These are real people who are now dead as a result of the Tory Government sanctions and cruel bullying by the DWP.

There are hundreds of scenarios. We know this is true because the grieving friends and relatives have told us, or there has been a suicide note explaining the circumstances or the coroner has said benefit sanctions were a contributing fact.

People have hung themselves, one man stabbed himself in the heart, others have killed themselves with exhaust fumes in their cars. These sad and avoidable incidents are a good reason to have pages and pages of coverage, articles and television interviews.

Where are all the people being asked for their opinions on this? Where are all the headlines in the mainstream media?

KATE LINNEGAR, Guppy Street, Swindon

Brexit is a disaster

I HAVE to say I do think Martin Costello (Adver, October 2) is living in a parallel universe. Let’s quickly recap what has in fact happened economically, since the narrow, yet disastrous vote to break away from our European friends.

We have gone from the very top of the growth league of members of the G7 to the very bottom. Even Italy is now growing more rapidly than the UK.

But that is not all. The biggest slide in our currency in a generation has already pushed inflation to a four-year high, which is squeezing household incomes and increasing the prices of everything from apples to televisions.

This week Mark Carney told us that interest rates will need to rise (even though inflation is a direct result of the slide in the pound) meaning spiralling upward mortgage repayments and higher loan and credit card interest for all of us. Anyone feeling better off?

Moody’s, a global assessor of a country’s credit worthiness, a kind of nation’s version of Noddle, has downgraded our economic status and that assessment will mean higher borrowing costs, especially for Government, which has in part forced Carney’s hand.

Now dear old Bozza’s answer to all this is to simply throw our markets wide open, exposing UK farmers to a torrent of the cheapest foods from anywhere on the globe, where mostly the management of pesticides and husbandry practices are unregulated.

And Monarch Airlines, a large and previously successful carrier, has announced the first significant bankruptcy and blamed it largely on Brexit. Sadly, it won’t be the last.

With talented EU citizens quitting in droves, making it much harder for the NHS and the care sector generally to staff themselves, it’s pretty clear why no commentator anywhere, ignoring the politics for a moment, thinks this move will be anything other than disastrous for the economy.

JOHN STOOKE, Haydon End, Havisham Drive, Swindon

Destruction by Tories

It WOULD seem that the Labour Party conference recently has got our local MP Justin Tomlinson in a bit of a panic, judging by his column of September 29.

He referred to the speech by Jeremy Corbyn as having made spending pledges of £312bn which would leave a debt for our children and grandchildren to pay off.

However, his Conservative Party has borrowed more than any other administration in history of our nation, and has doubled the National Debt.

The difference between Jeremy Corbyn’s fully costed manifesto pledges is that they are necessary measures to get the country back on its feet after all the damage that has been done to the country by the Tories.

I am quite possibly one of the so-called ‘hard’ left that Justin has referred to. However, I do not recognise the term as I have never intimidated or threatened anyone in my life.

It is Justin’s Tory Party that has inflicted so very much harm upon people up and down the land in the name of a political choice, which is austerity.

I am limited for space in my reply to Justin, which does not allow me to reply to some of the unfounded nonsensical allegations that he made in his column.

However, I did notice that on part of his website he mentioned that when he joined the Tories he had a bet with his family, siblings and associates that he would become Prime Minister before he reached a certain age. May I suggest that he forgets this idea?

His Party has recently been severely criticised and condemned by the United Nations as having abused human rights, considering their treatment of people in this country under the political choice of austerity, and in particular that of disabled people.

Justin, you were Minister For The Disabled at a time when these abuses of human rights were continuing – surely this should rule you out of having any further aspirations to become Prime Minister should it not?

GA WOODWARD, Nelson Street, Swindon

We need a day centre

Nationally and locally homelessness has increased by 60 per cent since 2011.

Homelessness is a “One Swindon Priority” and last Thursday the Labour Group moved a motion for a review of the council’s current homelessness actions. We need to understand why our actions have not prevented homelessness increasing by 60 per cent.

The Conservative Group voted against this motion, instead referring to what they had already done, their developing policy and the building of affordable properties.

Their response completely misses the point; affordable housing is out of reach of many. Changes to allowances have left the average dependent renter about £26 a week short. The increase in homelessness is happening in spite of what they are doing.

There is a stark choice for many – become homeless or become a victim of the exploitative private housing market.

Ironically, an article appeared in Friday’s Adver illustrating the council’s problem with rough sleepers in car parks.

The local Homelessness Alliance has identified a Day Centre as their number one priority for rough sleepers. It is a better use of public money than just clearing up behind rough sleepers and it will provide the essential services they need.

We can’t continue to keep removing rough sleepers’ bedding materials in the hope they will go elsewhere.

This tactic is not working, as seen by the increase in homelessness.

Rough sleepers are not in the town centre car parks by accident, their very survival depends on dry shelter.

Their warmth is provided by the materials the council wants to clear up.

Of course car parks should be clean, safe and tidy. Cleaning up behind rough sleepers could easily be reduced by working with the Homelessness Alliance in providing an alternative suitable safe place to be.

I hope the money that is going to be raised is focused on prevention rather than image-conscious reaction.

The image of the town will also be greatly improved by the council addressing the causes of homelessness and assisting the Homelessness Alliance in providing a Day Centre.

BOB WRIGHT, Central Ward Councillor, Southbrook Street, Swindon