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Appalling epidemic

I’ve just read that the council are going to have a vehicle going around the town to check whether cars parked in residential areas have permits. If not, they will incur a fine.

What fantastic news. I’d happily pay more on my council tax to pay towards extra vehicles. I cycle across town every day from Nythe to Windmill Hill and I’m sick of the sight of vehicles illegally parked. I travel along Albion Street and numerous cars are parked without residents’ parking discs, on double yellow lines and on the pavement.

Regrettably, the practise of not abiding to the Highway Code is rife across the whole town. It’s that bad you might as well tear it up. I’ve seen private and company vans, along with cars, drive up one way streets, park on yellow lines, on street corners, half on and fully on the pavements and jump red lights too. Just about anything goes and it’s getting worse by the day.

Some people think they can do what they want, when they want. They don’t give a damn, or think about the consequence of their selfish actions and the impact it has on the safety of pedestrians, with or without a disability. It never used to be like this, but it is now. There is no deterrent whatsoever since police numbers and patrols have been cut.

I fully support anything that will help reduce this appalling epidemic. If you don’t break the law then you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Let’s have more of these vehicles. Can I suggest on their first patrol they go along Commercial Road? If they do they’ll have a field day.

ALAN WILSON, Shapwick Close, Nythe

It’s a disease

Alan Spencer asks what should we put in place of nationalism (Adver Oct 31). This is bit like asking what we should put in place of smallpox and the answer is “a vaccination which eradicates it”.

Nationalism imagines a non-existent community of interest which doesn’t stand any exposure to light.

Every advance in social conditions for ordinary people has been won through a division in what ideologues call “the nation”.

The mass of people, who produce everything in our society, had to fight, strike, demonstrate and organise against the class at the top which produces nothing.

Every advance had to be won against that rich minority which insisted, along with journalists, priests, academics, politicians etc, that “the nation” couldn’t afford them.

So it wasn’t “national unity” which ended child labour, won limitations to the working day, safer workplaces, decent housing, health and the rest of it.

In fact, slogans about national unity were, and are, used against social advances and to wind advances back.

Another feature of nationalism is the constant feverish search for people who can be excluded from “the nation” on the basis of skin colour, place of birth, religion etc, demonstrated so typically by Mr Spencer’s letter.

PETER SMITH, Woodside Avenue, Swindon