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Stadium is embarrassing

Whilst browsing through the SA on a nice warm sunny afternoon (late afternoon still in full time employment) cool glass in the hand, reading red hot comments in the SA, when I come across the what you said page.

One comment caught my attention with reference to greyhound racing and the need to ban it but invest more money into speedway.

If you banned greyhound racing the stadium would most certainly close. It’s the revenue from greyhound racing and the Bags TV fees that’s keeping the 1947-built place open.

It’s certainly not the thousands of speedway spectators from the 1950s that still attend the meetings, nor is it the couple of hundred in 2019 that’s keeping it rolling on, held together by sticking plaster.

Just ploughing a few hundred tonnes of stone into a new track does not make a new vibrant 21st century family friendly stadium.

I am a racing fan both greyhounds and horses, I personally have arranged horse racing trips for fun and have done for some 20 years. The last one was to the Tom Jones race day at Newbury and took 80 people who had a cracking day.

Now the question is would I arrange to take 80 people to Blunsdon Stadium for the greyhound racing with all that added revenue at this moment in time the answer would be a 100 per cent NO NO NO.

I would be totally embarrassed to take anyone there it’s a wreck.

John L Crook, Haydon Wick, Swindon

A self-inflicted wound

I have been watching with increasing horror the depth of harm which the UK government, seems to be willing upon our countries.

I don’t know where to start pointing out the madness of this, it has no mandate and no logic. They must know this, yet our MPs reply to us with platitudes about unnecessary fear mongering and the need to implement an advisory referendum won by a tiny margin, based on false promises and illegal spending, three years ago.

Why would important economic organisations, the majority of learned academics and big manufacturers, leaders of our NHS and leading scientists be bothered to shout about the dangers if there are none. The answer is that they wouldn’t unless there was real and justified fear.

The big benefit of leaving the EU sold to the electorate was the vast amount of money which could be saved and put into our public services. this was proved very quickly to be a myth, but that reality is now coming home to bite. Those huge amounts of money are now being spent on planning for no-deal, and yet more is promised to mitigate the economic effects after it has happened. Even the most ardent Brexiteers say that it will be many years before any economic benefits will be seen.

The fact is that for at least the short to medium term we will all be poorer. Money spent on planning for Brexit is money down the drain. Money that can’t be spent on our struggling public services.

Much of the money which we currently pay to the EU goes to their excellent negotiators who arrange such things as favourable trade deals on our behalf. Should we go it alone, we will be paying that same money to our own far less experienced civil servants for the same job. The result is most unlikely to be favourable.

I would understand this if we were really at war, but the whole exercise is completely unnecessary, it is a totally self inflicted wound, cutting our nose off to spite our face. Surely the job of a responsible democratic government is to look after the best interests of the country and its people. This does not necessarily mean doing as bidden by a small section of those people (17.4m is not a majority of the population, just of those of voting age who turned out in June 2016).

Surely it is incumbent on those trying to implement this huge change to our economy and way of life that they should work out how to do it, then put it back to the people, to check that this is really what they want, warts and all. Our new prime minister is so confident, surely he must have the courage of his convictions to seek a proper mandate for his actions before, rather than after, he has inflicted this damage on our countries.

I mention ‘countries’, because not only is he risking the wellbeing of all 4, he is also risking the reign of peace and the unity of those 4.

The main reason among those who back the current trajectory seems to be a feeling of betrayal if they don’t get what they want. A bit like the temper tantrum of a young child. This government should show real leadership, be honest, in the knowledge, that now it has been investigated properly, Brexit is not good for us. The EU is not victimising us, it is protecting its members, as we would expect it to do for us if another entity were the threat. It would take a small fraction of the money now being wasted on lorry parks on the M20 and plans for slaughtering unsaleable livestock. How about using it to tell the truth – Brexit just isn’t worth the risk and disruption.

I will be a very sad ‘Little Englander’ if this retrograde move comes to pass. I was there when we had food rationing in the 1950s, I remember being the ‘poor man of Europe’ and the three day week in the 1970s. We’ve come such a long way - we must not throw away all that we have gained in the last 40 years.

Carolyn Phillippo, Stratton , Swindon

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