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We need to take climate change seriously

Several local councils have passed motions recently recognising that climate change represents an existential threat to humanity and committing them to taking appropriate action to help avoid catastrophe.

Swindon Green Party, Swindon Climate Action Network, Swindon Extinction Rebellion and concerned individuals of all political persuasions have been working to produce a similar cross-party motion to present to Swindon Borough Council.

Many of us e-mailed our councillors, and some phoned or met our local representatives, with responses which were mainly positive. I, along with four other Highworth residents, went to a Saturday surgery with two of our Conservative councillors, and left with the feeling that they understood the severity of the situation and agreed in principle with the draft motion.

However, I’m sorry to say that the council has failed in its duty to protect us. At a meeting on January 24, Councillor Cathy Martin presented a motion which was so feeble that it was hardly worth debating.

The crucial word “Emergency” had been removed from the title. The motion omitted the IPCC’s target of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees, and failed to commit the Council to reduce Swindon’s CO2 emissions to zero by 2030. Swindon deserves better than this.

Andrew Day, Bydemill Gardens, Highworth

Heading to the abyss

What is clear since the referendum to leave the EU is that the United Kingdom is divided. But it’s not only ordinary people who are divided. Many of us – rightly concerned about knife crime – have been shocked to witness Members of Parliament attacking each other and refusing to unite for the common good.

In the Bible, we read of two women who gave birth to sons. Sadly, one of the babies died. To compensate her for her loss, the bereaved mother swapped her dead child for the living child. When the other mother realised what she had done, a row ensued. Having heard the arguments, Solomon ruled: “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other!”

Fortunately, the mother of whose child it was, said: “O my Lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.”

Is this not a cameo of Brexit? As disaster looms – A no-deal Brexit – the world is witnessing our division as we race towards the abyss. In 1911, a Russian monk prophesied that Britain would one day become so divided it would come to total ruin. However, his prophecy contained a message of hope. The monk said: “Britain will be saved by praying women.”

I say to all who read this letter, do what the Russian prophet said: ‘Pray for our nation’.

David Hamshire, Greenaway, Wanborough

It was a golden age

May I remind Patrick O’Shea (Jan 31) that Britain joined the Common Market in 1973 and the 20 years prior to that were a wonderful golden age of prosperity for the British working class. Full employment, cheap houses, high labourers wages, booming industrial production and trade surpluses were the norm in the 1960s.

In 1974 only one year after joining the Common Market, Britain was on a three-day week and by 1976 James Callaghan and the Labour Government had to borrow from the International Monetary Fund as Britain was broke. The mood of the 1960s was encapsulated by the famous words by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan “ You have never had it so good”.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

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