A picture of unity

It was reported in some sections of the media on June 25 that the Tory MP for Beaconsfield, Joy Morrissey, would like to see us all have pictures of the Queen hanging on our living room walls to show our patriotism and to unify the country.

Since coming to power 11 years ago successive Tory governments under PMs, Cameron, May and now Johnson with their policies and incendiary language have made the UK the most divisive, racist and xenophobic its been for decades.

How on earth does she think that by hanging a picture of a 95-year-old woman on living room walls around the country is going to repair the damage done by11 years of right-wing Tory policies? Policies that have seen communities across the country ripped apart and set against each other.

Martin Webb

Wellington St


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No grasp on government

Having watched Robert Buckland's appalling performance on BBC Question Time I am utterly ashamed that he is (our) MP for South Swindon.

He, clearly, is not on top of the work that his own department is carrying out - and , certainly, has no grasp or understanding of what is going on in the rest of the government. His support for Boris Johnson was utterly nauseating!

Swindonians - please vote him out, at the earliest opportunity! Thank you.

Steve Cowdry.

Saddleback Road



Failed rape cases

I have read recently, a number of letters in the Advertiser concerning failed rape cases. As a former Magistrate, I spent a couple of years studying criminal law at Bristol University, not for a degree, but to give me more background knowledge, thus, helping me understand how the criminal law actually worked.

The first thing they taught was, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and this is a main problem when bringing a rape case to court. Since I moved to Swindon some 16yrs ago I can recall two headline stories in the SA regarding women who claimed to have been raped. Subsequently, both turned out to be made up claims. Women, who make up claims of being raped, do not help victims who have been genuinely raped. In fact they do more harm than good. For true victims, they must appear in court and convince a jury that they have been the victim of rape.

So this is the main problem the Crown Prosecution Service has. How do they convince the jury that a person has been raped? The Criminal Law states, regarding rape, a man commits rape, if he has unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent and at the time, he knows that she does not consent or is reckless as to whether she consents to it.

The defence lawyers will maintain woman was a willing party. It comes down to her word against theirs. Then it's left to the jury which party do they believe.

Most people see rape as a woman being dragged into nearby bushes and being forced to have sex. Yet the law also regards rape to cover times when a couple , who are at the time willing participants, then the women asks the man to stop. His failure to do so makes him a rapist from that moment in the eyes of the law. Then you have a case of a woman who is drunk and gets into bed with someone she thinks is John, when she wakes up she finds it to be Bill instead. Bill is in the eyes of the law a rapist. She consented to having sex with John not Bill.

All three cases are deemed for the Sexual offences Act to be rape, but the last two must be seen differently from the first.

Allan Woodham

West View


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