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Curious contradiction

What a contradiction Angus Macpherson the police and crime commissioner is.

In previous statements he has made clear his wish to charge a precept of £12 per annum, even declaring that this will not be sufficient to do everything he and the chief constable wish to do.

He has now received some good news, which is that he will receive a larger than expected grant from central government. He states that this will allow him to now raise the precept by £10 or 4.8 per cent (well above the rate of inflation).

Angus states “To not increase the precept when the Government has given me the opportunity to do this would be a mixed opportunity”.

This ignores the fact that he could raise the precept by a higher amount (if he really could argue that Wiltshire police were short of money) but to do so he would need to seek the approval of the electorate through a referendum.

He clearly does not think he would win the argument and will not put this to the test of a people’s vote.

He operates in the murky world of consultation which as we all know is not a substitute for the ballot box.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Case of poor admin?

I was very disappointed recently to get a letter saying my Brother had not attended an appointment at the hospital. This was because he never received an appointment, either in letter form, or email, or telephone call.

This is not the first time this has happened, we have also attended the hospital to be asked “do you expect to be seen” when appointments have been cancelled without us being notified.

It is often in the news about people wasting appointments, I wonder how many have been caused by poor hospital administration.

Kathleen Partridge, Via email

What price free speech

Millions died during the 2nd World War fighting fascism, and by implication, preserving free speech.

So what exactly is ‘hate speech?’

Since the new rules have been released regarding the subject, police forces have recorded at least 87,000 non-crime hate incidents-none of which break the law.

Indeed, Scotland Yard, which now has a staggering 900 hate crime officers, has chalked up the highest number-9,473 over the past five years.

Hate incident investigations are diverting officers from the priority of tackling violent crime according to Cressida Dick, Scotland Yard’s Commissioner.

Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society.

It seems that the police are acting far too quickly to report hate incidents without proper proof.

Is the job of the State to restrict what we can or not discuss just because one group can call on the police to shut another group down? Free speech is being stalked by a climate of fear and secrecy in which the police now contribute; echoes of Orwell’s Thought Police?

Britain’s first transgender hate crime trial was stopped last year, after just one day, as the judge said there ‘is no case and never was a case.’

Many people hold the view that transwomen are not biological women. Is it wrong to hold such an opinion?

Are we back in Stalin’s Russia where you use a coded language in conversation so as not to court arrest?

The Holy Bible says that God created two genders only: ‘male and female He created them.’ (Genesis 1:27). No exceptions.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

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