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Affront to democracy

WHAT exactly does InSwindon think it is? The town centre’s political police?

Its members don’t appear to even know what is on their own website. Under the page ‘for Business’ it refers to charges for leaflet distribution under two pieces of legislation, the 1990 Environmental Protection Act and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

However, it states quite clearly that “The legislation does not apply to the distribution of free literature by or on behalf of a charity, where the distribution is for political purposes or here the distribution is for the purpose of a religion or belief.”

Material distributed by a campaigning organisation such as Keep Our NHS Public certainly qualifies as “distribution for political purposes.” So why is InSwindon harassing this organisation?

Personally, I have been involved in many activities in the town centre over 30 years. In all that time the organisations I have been campaigning with have never been charged for what is a fundamental democratic right, the right to distribute leaflets and talk to people in what is a public space.

Indeed, even InSwindon in their comments to the Advertiser admit it is a public space.

Some InSwindon jobsworth has occasionally tried to tell us that we have to get their permission. I have even known the police called once. But they, rightly, did not want to get involved.

Campaigning organisations should neither have to pay to use their democratic rights nor ask the permission of a private company to hand out literature in a public space.

Since Swindon Borough Council has a representative sitting on the board of InSwindon, maybe it’s time they called this company to order.

The very idea that campaigning organisations should have to pay for the exercise of their democratic rights is an affront to democracy. Leafleting should not be in the gift of a private company.

MARTIN WICKS, Welcombe Avenue, Park North, Swindon

Track these murderers

WITH the deepest respect, I suggest that there is a method available to us by which we can identify homicidal maniacs who take pleasure in murder, and also preventing them achieving their aim.

The supply of firearms is difficult to control, in the hands of greedy criminals, but those who use plastic explosives to kill, are much too stupid to be able to make it.

Even a few crazy scientists working for Isis, are completely dependent on a steady supply of specific and particular chemicals which can only derive from legitimate chemical factories.

University chemists can inform us of the list of chemicals necessary. Each separate chemical is a potential trail, while it is bought and sold.

That legitimate commerce, between the innocents who supply, and the guilty who know the real purpose which the money makes possible, leaves at least two trails - of the chemicals themselves which have to smuggled at some stage over national borders, and an electronic bank trail of the money, in two directions, to the ends of the earth.

Plus discontented criminals being bribed or threatened to spill beans.

At what stage exactly are the labelled chemicals suddenly re-labelled as fertiliser, in order to be smuggled?

No doubt some of these villains have excellent computer skills, but they are dependent on their computer to foil us, so we can be hacking them. They do not possess a monopoly on such skills.

Because we know that the source of their evil acts has to connect to the normal world of commerce at some stage, where it is the same money which we use for other purposes, which must lead, over the last ten years, from the wealthy or charities which put up the money, to the innocent chemical manufacturers who are the known and only sources of large streams of chemicals, that becomes a starting point, leading us to find both the murderers and their paymasters, and throttle the trade.

CN WESTERMAN, Meadow Rise, Brynna, Mid Glam

Biased testimony

STEVE Jack has once again demonstrated his inability to deal with facts about Israel’s history of terrorist expulsion and continued oppression of the Palestinian people.

He denies my suggestion that his sources are military press releases. Instead he informs us he draws on Palestinian Media Watch and the Jewish Virtual Library.

This denial really confirms my original suggestion but anyway: A few years ago an Israeli district court judge described the director of PMW as unworthy of the title “expert witness.”

She said: “His conduct diminishes the credibility and professionalism of his opinion.”

She also said his, “expert-witness testimony is very biased and very deficient.”

The Jewish Virtual Library is all about sanitising Zionism but it does carry some useful information.

For instance we can learn about the first Zionist Congress which was due to meet in Munich in 1897.

The local Jewish community saw this as an anti-Semitic attempt to argue they didn’t belong in Germany and protested so strongly that the conference was moved to Switzerland. So much for Zionists speaking for Jews.

Steve expresses pleasure that I “acknowledge the murder of the entire Jewish community of Hebron in 1929 by Palestinians.” I didn’t.

To be clear, 67 Jews were murdered in this tragedy out of a population of 700 Jews.

Two British Government commissions identified Palestinian fear of the openly expressed Zionist project of expropriation as being a key cause.

It is important to add that this was carried out by a mob, while the numerous Zionist atrocities were committed by organised, heavily armed, militias as a matter of deliberate policy.

He is also wrong on Jenin.

PETER SMITH, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Industry is struggling

NEVILLE Westerman (May 19) is concerned that British industry will not prosper when we are outside the EU Single Market.

It might be worth him noting that British industry is not exactly prospering inside the EU.

When we joined the EU in 1973 Britain made washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges, dish washers and cookers.

After 44 years in the EU most kitchen equipment is made abroad and imported into Britain. In fact Britain has the worst trade deficit in the developed world.

Running a large trade deficit means that the Government need to continually borrow to balance the books.

It may shock people to find out that rather than paying down the debt, the British Government has actually borrowed more than £1bn every week for the last seven years.

MARTIN COSTELLO, Islandsmead, Eldene, Swindon

Too much borrowing

A RECENT article in the Adver, said that the council ls to spend about £100m on buying up empty houses in the town, in an attempt to cut the house waiting list. On the face of it, this is very commendable, but I would ask the following: Where is the £100m coming from to buy these houses?

Unless they have money in reserve, I can only imagine that this will be done by borrowing.

If this is correct, then what does the council leader say about the current council debt of £300m, the annual cost of the interest payments of a £8m - £9m a year?

They are currently borrowing £400,000 a week to keep the lifestyle they have, can this further amount be even affordable, let alone by good for the town?

T REYNOLDS, Wheeler Avenue, Swindon

Singers were brilliant

HOW many times over the past 52 brilliant years of Kentwood have we said “It was better than ever!”

Well it was, and however musical director Sheila Harrod makes this happen is beyond me.

Well, when you know Sheila’s musical background of being brought up in the Salvation Army, and Sheila’s dad George Snook, who was band master of the Swindon Citadel, it is no wonder her training in the world of music, has been of the very best.

Kentwood choir is known as “the choir with a difference” and I believe this to be who the musical director is, and having a president like Dame Cleo Laine and arranger and pianist Paul Maguire.

The programme opened with a fabulous arrangement of Phantom Of The Opera, and throughout the evening we were entertained with no less than 30 beautifully arranged songs across all genres.

A lot of Kentwood presentations were arrangements written for the choir by the late Gordon Talbot and also featured a selection of Glenn Miller numbers.

There were songs from the classics and a sprinkling of comedy throughout the evening which were brought to us by several of the very talented soloists.

Yes, I must say that this Kentwood Showcase 2017 was better than ever.