Sleaze and cronyism just tip of the iceberg

OPEN Letter to Justin Tomlinson: I can't be quiet about this. I have mentioned this to you before in our various personal correspondence, but you have always solidly defended your senior colleagues, or rubbished or disregarded my concerns.

But now that the rats are fighting one another, whilst some are wishfully suggesting that the people don't care, I am compelled to call it out once more.

Let me be clear - I DO CARE, as I am sure do most honest people that follow current affairs.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Downing Street Flat Refurbishment issue is about ethics and values. Boris Johnson is seen spending lavish sums on himself at a time when his government didn’t want to feed kids at Half Term and flat owners are going bankrupt due to the cladding scandal.

He is doing so on the back of unnamed donors, but has now been caught out (the 'lender', CCHQ is of course funded by donors). I believe he originally wanted to set up some sort of charity to do it? Greed and lies!

And now we learn from witnesses that he was prepared to see bodies piling high from Covid-19, if it would avoid a further lockdown - this from a man who twelve months ago was praising NHS nurses for saving his life.

Alas these observations of sleaze and moral ineptitude are simply the tip of the iceberg for this corrupt govt - consider all the cases of cronyism and wasteful purchases that are stacking up.

As Sir Dominic Grieve so succinctly put it - a vacuum of integrity. Are we now a banana republic? Please, please, please - get rid of this awful cabal and put some decent, honest people in charge.

Justin, I believe that deep down you care too and I do sympathise with you in being obliged to defend this charlatan of a PM and his cabinet companions.

This stink of deceit and corruption has lasted too long with a toothless Parliament incapable or unwilling to enforce the accountability of our leaders, courtesy of Tory whips of course. If people don't care, it is a miasma that evidently infects!

So let me shout it out once more: I have not been infected and I DO CARE.

Roger Russell


Learn from others to get Covid case rates down

I recently went to Somerset and while I was there noticed a marked difference in the approach of the public health departments approach to informing the public about the pandemic to that seen in Swindon.

There was a big emphasis in their weekly press release not on the number of cases but on ventilation and how to improve it, citing examples from both here and best practice abroad. The information given is detailed and informative.

Also there is the proactive move of vaccination buddies as they feel that resistance to vaccination will be higher with younger cohorts than with older age groups.

Here in Swindon the latest move is a vaccine bus, a good initiative, but a reactive move in response to poor vaccination numbers in certain areas.

Isn't it perhaps time to start thinking about the future rather than just reacting to the present in Swindon? Proactivity in face of a evolving pandemic rather than reactivity after the horse has bolted?

Furthermore in Somerset all First buses have windows open and notices inside the buses requesting passengers leave them open. Isn`t it about time both bus companies did the same to in Swindon? Buses are closed environments that favourise Covid-19 transmission.

Of course we can learn from best cases abroad like Tübingen and Rostock in Germany too.

However with case rates in Somerset half of what they are in Swindon isn't it opportune we learn from them to and other local authorities in the UK that have been more successful at keeping down case numbers than we have?

It is doing our town's reputation no good at all to remain the COVID-19 case rate capital of the South West. There is more we can do for sure, although a lot has already been done.

Jonathan Sheldrake