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Brexiters’ fantasy

David Collins (We could be up there with world leaders,SA, April 24) writes about the success of the UK, saying we have “the best universities in the world” and Rolls Royce engines powering 45 per cent of the world’s airliners. He says we should believe in our country and demand a no deal Brexit.

I agree with his assessment of the UK’s strengths, but it is particularly odd that he chooses to totally ignore the very institutions that he praises. In January the heads of 150 universities wrote to all MPs to state that a no deal Brexit is one of the biggest threats that they’ve ever faced and that universities would take decades to recover.

Rolls Royce announced in December that it is moving part of its operation from Derby to Dahlewitz in Germany in order to ensure that it can continue post Brexit to be aligned with the European Aviation Safety Agency, essential for its operation. The chief executive recently said that “Brexit has wasted a huge amount of a lot of people’s time”.

David’s delusional view is quite typical of hard brexiteers, who tell us that we should ignore all the evidence in front of us and rely on some kind of blind, nationalistic faith to take us forward.

They are chasing a heavily flawed ideological fantasy. Parliament has been in turmoil over Brexit, but MPs have at least done their job in taking the pragmatic step of protecting the country from a no deal.

Neil Mercer, Maidstone Road, Swindon

War-blighted generation

I see that The House of Lords Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision has recommended the scrapping of various benefits for the elderly, such as winter fuel payments, free bus passes and free TV licences.

WE are the generations who, if in our nineties, saved this country in WW2. If in our eighties, as I am, we had our childhood and education blighted by that war and its aftermath when many food items remained rationed, even bread for a short period, into the 1950s. Later, many of us lost a huge amount of income by being forced into two years national service, which, in my case meant swapping a job earning £18-10s per week for one giving me under £2 per week (plus free board and lodgings and a chance of an early death of course!)

There is a simple solution to all these issues. It is to organise society around that principle originally coined by Karl Marx in 1875, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” and in my view one should not be labelled a communist sympathiser for suggesting it! Rather it appears to me to be a good starting point for a belief in a Christian Society!

Those aged seventy-five or older should think on these things in the days preceding the coming local and, one hopes, nation elections and then remind the politicians who we are, by voting for what we need, rather than expecting others, for whom “the elderly” is just a faceless problem, to do it for us.

Perhaps our two Members of Parliament, who are I believe, both caring people, would care to respond.

Terry Flinders, Upper Stratton

Why the long wait?

While I am sad to see further privatisation of the Health Service the walk-in centre needs to be shaken up. The long waits are not necessary. I can only recount the events of my one visit.

I arrived at 08:30 and found about ten waiting people. It took over two hours to be seen and by then the waiting area was full with an advised waiting time of three hours. I timed the delay between a patient leaving and the same nurse calling the next patient. The delay was on average 40 minutes. I know that notes have to be written but perhaps someone from the centre can explain why it takes so long between one patients.

Andrew Kirwan, Parr Close, Grange Park

Not everyone is online

While it is good to know that the NHS walk in centre on Fleming Way is to remain open, albeit apparently under the auspices of a private company, I am concerned about the planned introduction of online appointments.

Not only does this appear to undermine the whole idea of a ‘walk-in’ centre but it would, of course, put it out of the reach of a considerable number of potential users. It does not seem to occur to those in authority that not everyone is online, in most cases the elderly and/or disadvantaged. Can we please ask for second thoughts?

Margaret Anderson, Avenue Road

A trade union reminder

Re: No fan of unions (SA, April 22)

A shame that David Collins needs reminding of what trade unions are about.

I don’t pretend to know the insides and outs of Swindon’s railway works closure. A little research, however, reveals nothing about trade unions being the cause. But unions are largely made up of working class folk who VOTE on such important matters.

So David Collins’ statement that ‘the unions were what closed the railway works in Swindon,’ without quoting any evidence is meaningless.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

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