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Life imitating art

Having watched the film I, Daniel Blake the other week I have to say that I knew beforehand that it would have a lot of upsetting scenes, but it was still a real eye opener.

It’s all based on fact about how many thousands of people who are unable to work due to sickness, disability, or lack of jobs are being treated by the system due to changes brought about by this Conservative government.

Department of Work and Pensions staff treat people in need of help and benefits like they are workshy and pulling a fast one, which simply isn’t the case. Fit for work assessments are being carried out by bureaucrats with no medical qualifications whatsoever. Decisions made by GPs are being overruled, and DWP and government have made it extremely difficult for people in need to get the benefits to which they are entitled.

The attitudes and actions of this government and their MPs towards the sick and disabled is downright disgusting. These same ministers and MPs are happy to take their generous salaries, pensions and to claim expenses for everything from drinks to second homes, but just don’t care about ordinary people struggling to make ends meet.

Can I suggest that all Conservative party members and voters take the time to watch I, Daniel Blake for themselves to see how miserable and impossible they have made life for many fellow human beings?

Anyone of us could be taken ill or have an accident rendering us physically unable to work. It seems that Victorian attitudes to this day are still well alive and kicking within the Conservative party.

Peter Bates, Freshbrook, Swindon

Labour holding us up

The British parliament has defeated Theresa May’s Brexit deal with an enormous 230 majority.

Parliament now needs to search for a deal that can achieve cross party support and Theresa May has asked for talks with the other political parties to try to find an agreement.

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to take part in these talks and he has told all Labour Party MPs that they should also refuse to talk to Theresa May.

Time is now rapidly running out because the official Article 50 leaving date is at the end of March 2019.

No further progress can be made towards getting a cross party agreed deal as long as Jeremy Corbyn refuses to allow the Labour Party to be involved in these cross party Brexit talks.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

The real bad deal

In a way I feel some sympathy for Des Morgan as it seems even his bullish advocacy of “taking back control” is beginning to fray at the edges, and why not?

Today as 400 more good quality jobs at Philips Glensford factory disappear over the horizon as the company returns to its base within the EU, 430 more families will pay the price for this lunacy.

In his latest contribution, he makes exactly two points that I have been hammering for two years or more.

1. That we live in a globalised world with China, the United States and the Russian states the main power-brokers. Europe is the natural balance to this. The days of the small island state, however many gunboats they may have had in Victoriana, are sadly in the past. How different things may have been if we had used our membership and influence to improve the EU rather than seek to destroy it at every turn.

2. “The reality of the marketplace is that if you have the right product for the right price people will buy it” (D. Morgan 19/1/19). Exactly Des. In a long career I was responsible for selling 50,000 accelerator pedals each month to Ford factories all over the United States and 10,000 each month to General Motors in Australia. They wanted a low price, they wanted costs down each year, they needed quality and long-term reliability, and of course impeccable on-time delivery. Never once did the fact we were in the EU arise and I’m unsure if the buyers even knew.

The EU has NEVER prevented us exporting. As Des rightly points out, only laziness and insularity combined with a propensity for owners to sell out to any interested hedge fund the minute a business reaches global scale or profitability does that.

All this talk of trade deals will simply give low-cost global producers increased access to our markets where we presently enjoy protection from the tariff wall around the EU, and at the head of the queue will be ‘America First’.

Also it’s a bit rich to criticise £110 million paid by Croatia (not the EU Des, sorry) to JLA when compared to the billions in concealed subsidies that Nissan, Toyota and Honda have routinely drawn down in the UK every time a ‘new model’ is contemplated.

The mess that D Morgan and his fellow travellers have created will scar a generation if not longer, and all of this only to avoid a cataclysmic split in the Tory party.

Now for the British people, that really is a bad deal.

John Stooke, Haydon End, Swindon

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