View of elections is straight out of 1950s

Steve Halden's suggestion that people should vote for the "candidate that convinces you that he is the most patriotic" in the local elections this coming May is utterly laughable.

What on earth has a person's patriotism got to do with whether they would be a good councillor?

I would rather vote for someone who convinces me they understand the issues faced by the people living in the area they want to represent and that they have the energy, enthusiasm and knowledge to deal with them.

I think we see too much so-called patriotism on social media and in politics these days and it's toxic. How about instead of proudly professing their love for their country patriots show their love for their fellow human beings from all backgrounds?

Mr Halden's automatic assumption that the candidate will be male is straight out of the 1950s. There have been very effective women councillors and MPs for years.

Heavens! We even had a female Prime Minister three decades ago!

When I come to put my crosses on the ballot paper in May they will be against the names of the people I think will do their best to represent me and my fellow voters effectively.

Their sex, background and whether they are patriotic will be irrelevant.

And, frankly, this country is currently a laughing stock on the international stage.

We had the highest Covid death rate in the world last month, Brexit is an almighty muck up and our Government is riddled with cronyism and incompetence.

I really don't think we have much to be proud of at the moment.

Jan Best

North Swindon

Oasis closure is no surprise

As a long time resident of Swindon I am saddened that The Oasis is now closed.

But I am not surprised, after all it has been reported that GLL had already emailed the council to tell them they would be invoking a break clause in its contract and walking away from the Oasis.

So much for the integrity of a charity which in August 2014 said “We are a charity so we are not here one day and then gone the next.”

However, even this statement pales into insignificance to that made by Coun Keith Williams in 2012 who said of the tie up with a previous developer “I have no doubt whatsoever that the future for the Oasis is now very bright".

The very same Coun Williams later expanded his statement and claimed the arrangement with GLL “...secures investments for these sites which could not happen if they remained in public ownership.”

Six years later the people of Swindon discover that GLL does not have the operational skills they claim to possess, and they certainly were unable to provide the investment that was required to make the Oasis a destination of choice for Swindon residents and visitors from further afield.

Councillors have tried in vain to persuade Adver readers that the contract with GLL has saved the taxpayer £1.3m each year since 2014, although I doubt the claim would stand any great deal of scrutiny.

The people of Swindon are quite right to have lost faith in a council which 3 years ago approved outline planning permission for a £270m leisure scheme including ski slopes and the UK's largest Imax cinema.

And I am sure everyone will recall the pearls of wisdom from Coun Garry Perkins (he of Digital City fame) who described the plans as an "incredibly exciting time for Swindon".

Des Morgan

Caraway Drive