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Wide-reaching problem

The article in the Advertiser on gambling addiction (Jan 10) estimates that 1,900 people in Swindon have a gambling problem.

The cost of dealing with gambling addicts is put at £3m. It is an illness and addicts can end up in hospital and in some cases it can lead to suicide.

The wives and children of compulsive gamblers also suffer because that money should be going on food, clothes and things for the house.

People who watch television are bombarded with adverts for gambling especially around live football matches on TV.

The Gambling Act 2005 liberalised the gambling laws under the Labour government of Tony Blair but it is hard to see how these changes have in any way helped ordinary working class people. The European Union Commission supports EU countries’ efforts to modernise their national online gambling legal frameworks but this liberal approach makes life very difficult for the long-term hardened gambling addict.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

Horrors of smoking

I hear and see on the TV and read in the papers about the harm that smoking can do to you.

My husband went up to the local shop at Stratton, when we were living in our first home, to purchase a packet of 20 cigarettes. We then sat down to watch a documentary about smoking. The first thing that we saw was a man on a horse by the advertisement ‘It’s Marlborough Country’. When the camera zoomed up to him he had an oxygen bottle strapped to the saddle. He died of emphysema before they had finished this documentary.

The next man was in hospital waiting for an operation to remove his other leg due to blood clots. We were told about four other people that had lost their lives through smoking.

The one that got my husband and I was a man who had a tin nose on a piece of elastic. Every so often he needed to empty it as cancer had rotted his nose leaving just a hole.

Janet Woodham, Scotby Avenue, Swindon

Government must pay

Regarding the proposal of crime commissioner Angus Macpherson asking us for more money on council tax to bail out the police, it is just not on.

It’s down to the government to sort it out because they have caused it by cutting budgets in the first place.

We are all taxed up to the hilt as it is. I am just not happy with the situation. It’s time this government gave some money back to the police and councils and not rely on us.

T Leipson, Marlborough

Turn them back

Re “They are refugees.” (SA 10/1/19 Martin Webb). He states that “the migrants are human beings fleeing wars and persecution from Iraq, Syria and Iran and are therefore defined as refugees.” Defined by whom? Martin Webb?

Take one example: the Iranian migrants. Middle-class Iranians who have no right to be here in the first place seek a better life in the UK. Other migrants cunningly pretend to be Iranians seeking refuge here, or profess to be persecuted Christians or homosexuals, to strengthen their asylum applications. They can’t wait, apparently, to walk our streets paved with gold.

One Iranian in the Calais camp explained the reason for travelling across safe countries (where they should but don’t bother to claim asylum!) to reach soft touch UK. “My friend reached England from here in a boat and is now in a three-bedroomed flat in Birmingham. He likes it very much,.” I bet he does.

Refugees, Martin Webb? It seems that you are the one who is “unable to differentiate between migrants and refugees”.

A policy of turning migrants back would bring predictable responses of cruelty from the liberal Left. But in the long term, it’s the most humane course.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

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