Trial by jury is a right

An open letter to Robert Buckland: As (my/our MP for South Swindon, and as) Lord Chancellor, you have indicated that legislation to allow trial without jury could be passed within weeks.

I can scarcely believe this - this is an absolute affront to our democracy.

As David Lammy (Shadow Lord Chancellor) so eloquently states, the right of an individual to “the lawful judgment of his equals” was enshrined in the Magna Carta of 1215.

Jury trials form part of the bedrock of our democracy. It would be a historic mistake to limit them now.

Are there any depths to which you and this government will not sink to?

I am sure that we are all very interested to hear what you have to say.

Steve Cowdry.

Saddleback Road


Boris Force One

I find the Prime Minister’s decision to effectively demolish the Department for International Development and to subsume it into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office deeply disappointing.

Describing it as a ‘cash machine in the sky’ is an insult to the hard-working civil servants who have in some cases devoted their lives to the cause of untied aid and a better world.

Suggesting that funds will be pulled from Zambia and Tanzania, countries that we have a long and proud history with, in favour of the Ukraine is a purely political act of distraction, when all of his focus should be on COVID19, BREXIT and the home front.

Boris’s decision to have an RAF Voyager aircraft bedecked in red white and blue is a similar distraction strategy and a costly one.

These aircraft are part of a fleet with a multipurpose role that includes tankering fuel as well as troops to potential war zones and they are painted grey for a purpose.

The cost to the nation is thus much more than the million quid to be spent on the paint job. Its gaining control of a $240m modified Airbus A330M that has other more important duties to perform and the idea that it could then be reassigned to military duties is laughable.

As one former RAF pilot is reported as saying “No one wants to go to war in a jet painted like a brightly coloured lollipop.”

One wonders how much longer his own party will be prepared to put up with Johnson’s antics.

Dr Brian Mathew

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Wiltshire

We’re all brothers and sisters under the skin

I see that may people are up in arms about the plane that flew in the sky when Manchester City were playing Burnley, in which, it displayed the message, ‘White Lives Matter’.

I don’t see that as a problem because surely, ‘All Lives Matter’ so that we can all live in harmony and treat each other with respect, even though some of the people in our society cannot even recognise ‘Respect’!

Let us see both sides and not make it one-sided! Be fair to all!

If life started from nothing, we are all ‘Brothers and Sisters’ after all!

Chris Gleed

Proud Close