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Gent with a big heart

Des Moffatt was a comrade and colleague of mine on Central North Swindon Parish Council (in which he also chaired), as well as within North Swindon Labour CLP.

His passing has left a deep sadness in me because it was Des who first asked me whether I would like to become a parish councillor. It was not something I had ever considered but as it was Des that asked me and I held him in high esteem, I accepted.

I may have only known Des for three years but he treated me the same way as someone he had known for 20 or 30 years. He had time for everyone, whatever political bent they had. He often gave me lifts to meetings, even at the spur of the moment when my car broke down. He was a gentleman with a big heart. I shall miss him immensely.

His knowledge of local matters was impeccable and he was the perfect fit to become the chair of the newly-created Central North Swindon Parish Council in 2017.

Of course, Des was also a well respected borough councillor for Rodbourne Cheney and Western ward before that too and I know he was well respected by all sides and will be greatly missed in the council chambers.

Des was a Labour and union man to his core. Politics was central to his being. Yet he was also a family man who gave time to his wife Jean, his children and grandchildren with deep love and affection.

Des Moffatt will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

My thoughts and love go out to Jean, his wife and his family and friends.

Rest in power, Des.

Coun James Yeowell, Parish councillor for Ferndale ward, Central North Swindon PC

Workers fought for us

Jack Whiteside (SA, December 2) regurgitates a number of mythologies and misses facts in his plea that the UK should be given over to the leaders of the United States to use as they will.

He says he owes his freedom to America. No, he owes his freedom to the struggles of generations of working people who fought to win rights from a ruling class which violently resisted all the way.

We pushed back poverty, won limits on the working day, replaced millions of slums, stopped child labour, won votes and so on in the face of violent mobilisations by the forces of the state operating on behalf of the rich.

One, not entirely unprecedented, highlight recently put on film was the Peterloo massacre. Our soil is stained with the blood of workers who fought for freedom and democracy. Judging by Jack’s comments about “the left” it sounds as if he has “no gratitude” to our ancestors responsible for these gains and would line up with those who opposed them.

The Second World War happened when the establishment’s support for fascism blew up in its face. If war gratitude means he is happy to hand the UK over to US big business, what happened to his gratitude to Russia?

Russian casualties were 20 times greater than US and Britain combined. Of the 13,488,000 Germans killed or captured, 10,758,000 were killed or captured on the Russian front. The great bulk of German tanks and aircraft were on that front.

In any case opposition to Trump’s designs isn’t anti-American. Millions of Americans too oppose his government in support of freedom and justice.

Peter Smith, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Supporting homeless

It’s just wonderful to see such support for Threshold in its quest to raise our awareness of homelessness.

I would like to add the name of Swindon Moose International ,who donated £1,000 to try and help .

But to see so many business on board fills us with pride. We should make sure we are all there for them, in the months ahead.

Roy Small, Swindon Moose International

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