Many months ago, I wrote to my MP for South Swindon, Robert Buckland, warning him of the consequences of the Government’s decision to go ahead with the plans of massive cuts in public spending, saying that it would lead to mass protests and civil unrest on the streets of Britain.
Little did I know then, how correct and spot on my letter would be. Reflecting on recent news, we have seen some of the worst rioting on the streets of Britain for many years.
Not only myself but possibly thousands of other ordinary, working people, along with opposition MPs, charity groups and professional people such as lawyers, doctors and police, wrote to their local MPs warning them about the effects of cuts to local communities.
I’m not making excuses for the terrible scenes of violence we have seen on our television of late, there’s no need to. You only have to see that it wasn’t only people from the poorer areas of our society who took part but also a would-be Olympic athlete, a millionaire’s daughter, hairdresser and teaching assistant. It says it all that they, like me, are sick to death of politicians, not just in this country but all over the world.
That’s why we have seen mass protests in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, over politicians who have lied, looted, stolen and caused destruction and have, in most cases, got away with it. The only difference to what we have seen with the riots is that the looting has been in view of the public, while the politicians and bankers have done it behind the public’s back, hoping not to be found out.
No, I’m not a left-wing, violent activist, just someone who goes out to work five days a week and also does some charity/ voluntary work in the Swindon community and can see the results these vile cuts are having on the most vulnerable people in our society. Until politicians treat everyone as equal whatever their skin colour, religion, culture, sexuality, we will unfortunately continue to see mass violence and protests around the world. The only way to get rid of violence is for politicians to stand up and be accountable for the decisions they make. I don’t suppose that will happen.
Mark Webb Old Town Swindon
YOUR newspaper has printed a number of letters on the subject of the riots in London and elsewhere including one from myself, in which I suggested that the ‘tough words’ regarding the punishment to be meted out to those who attacked the police, burned down property and looted shops, would not be substantiated with equally tough actions. I hardly thought that within 24 hours my fears would prove founded.
An 18-year-old steals from a high street shop and is fined £100 which was waived after the judge heard the youth had been held in custody for two days.
A 22-year-old is jailed for 16 weeks for attacking a police officer, a 45-year-old man gets 20 weeks for the same offence even though he nearly blinded the officer he attacked.
We all know that not one of the offenders will serve even half of the sentence handed down from the bench; worse, we know that none of the offenders will be required to contribute any meaningful sum by way of costs or restitution.
Is it any wonder that many of the people who participated in the riots and looting felt able to declare that the prospect of being hauled before the courts left them unmoved and unrepentant?
The fact is that there is no respect for the law and no fear of what the law can do. In the case of one looter it was revealed he had over 100 previous convictions.
Of course it is sheer hypocrisy for MPs to be calling for swift and punitive action to be taken against the rioters and looters – such calls coming from people who made and still make the claiming of expenses an ‘art form’ in how to loot the public purse are hardly the right people to call for tougher prison sentences when they sought to limit any punishment for their own actions – something which the public thought quite despicable.
Des Morgan Caraway Drive Swindon
Save the Mox
Please support British industry and help keep the Mox fuel plant open at Sellafield in Cumbria. Please view the petition to the prime minister at www.petition.co.uk/moxfuel/.
We have to keep the technology and technical skills involved in this industry in the United Kingdom.
F E Sharpe Elburton Road Plymouth
China is ahead
China’s economic rise over the past 40 years is at the opposite end of the spectrum to that of the UK.
Where China has soared year-on-year, Britain has in comparison declined year-on-year.
The reason is two-fold and where these crucial differences are political stability and the mindsets of their leaders. China is a command economy that can stay the course until their aims are achieved and where that has been happening for at least four decades now.
The UK, in contrast, changes its political thinking every 10 to 15 years on average, as either Labour ideologies or Conservative ideologies take command and dismantle most of what the last political incumbents have created.
China is led by engineers and scientists of merit and where their president and premier both come from this techno-class.
Britain, on the other hand, is led predominantly by lawyers or politically educated university sorts (together they account in the UK Parliament for two out of every three members of Parliament, including our Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor Of The Exchequer) who have never had a job in civvy street outside the confines of a political system (the EU included).
Therefore is it no wonder that China is marching ahead and that Britain is in the sheer economic nightmare that it is. Common sense really.
Dr David Hill World Innovation Foundation Huddersfield
Help is needed
As a charity that helps people in financial hardship, including many pensioners, we read with concern the new report from investment firm Baring Asset Management on the one in four “baby boomers” who have made little or no provision for their retirement.
Unfortunately, this warning may be too late for many of those who are now approaching pension age.
Due to the wider economic climate, saving for retirement is now simply not an option for many people currently in their 50s and 60s, which raises the worry that they will be desperately trying to earn money into their 70s and beyond.
The Institute for Public Policy Research found in May that there is a steady increase in unemployment levels among the over-50s and we also know that many of those who are employed are existing on low incomes.
On top of this, like everyone else, the over-50s are faced with soaring inflation, the rising cost of living and the threat of interest rate rises.
We want to see banks investing in financial literacy for those who need it, alongside support programmes for people in financial need, rather than the publication of headline grabbing predictions.
Pointing out the facts is one thing, but this must be followed by solutions that do not just rely on the charity sector to carry the burden.
The country assisted the banks when the industry was collapsing, and now it’s time for them to help overcome the issues that too many people face.
Bryan Clover Elizabeth Finn Grants Shepherd’s Bush Road London
No change then
With regard to Philip Beaven and his views on animal rights. I see no purpose in pursuing this topic with someone who can't change his mind and won’t change the subject.
John P Hunter Kerry Close Shaw Swindon