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Letter was offensive

Re: MR A Collins’ letter SA Nov 7 headlined The old are to blame. It is guaranteed there are many others like me who find each paragraph of it offensive.

The NHS is broken due to many things, all of which have been discussed time and again: Lack of funding, lack of staff, immigration, the list goes on, but we seldom hear it said that in Swindon we previously had a total of seven hospitals that covered many aspects of the health needs of the population of the town.

These hospitals all merged into GWH, which in fact had fewer beds than the old Princess Margaret Hospital.

This has been a contributing factor in the local demise of the efficiency of our NHS.

The same thing has happened in many areas, so-say to save money, consecutive governments have been elected and changed many things both in health and education in an effort to supposedly improve things, only for them to be changed again when the next Party takes office.

So the referendum did not turn out the way Mr Collins wanted, but you cannot blame the older generation, I know many young people who voted to leave the EU, as I did, (a senior citizen).

Everyone voted for what they believed in, we live in a democracy, it is our right.

For me it had nothing to do with what we were told by politicians but all to do with regaining our independence and not becoming a Federal Europe, something that has slowly but surely been happening.

In it we would lose our identity, no longer be an independent nation, a country admired and respected by most of the world, the reason why so many other races want to live here.

Finally, Mr Collins believes all of the elderly population are wealthy with an “I’m all right jack attitude.”

Does he mean all of those who worked hard, lived within their means, saved what they could, paid into a pension scheme to hopefully provide themselves with a reasonable standard of living once they retired?

There are also those who were less fortunate, with lower paid employment, who would also argue with Mr Collins.

If he thinks everything is down to the government in power he should think again.

We are always promised so much during election campaigns, but once in power there is very little difference between the Parties, they just introduce different schemes, change things for the sake of change and waste billions of pounds in the process.

When blaming “THE OLD” for everything that ails this country Mr Collins does not disclose his age, but when he becomes a senior citizen what is he going to do?

No doubt he will continue moaning that life is not to his personal liking, most likely blaming “THE YOUNG” for all that is not right with the world.

HAZEL BRIDGMAN, Alnwick, Swindon

Britain is a warmonger

Des Morgan’s reply to Howard March on the best way to remember war reveals much about the Conservative mindset.

His approach is, I paraphrase, “war has always been there. Even philosophers don’t understand it so when the war drum beats we should all just pack up our troubles wave the flag, and let slaughter commence.”

This is indeed the traditional view but it has come under increasing pressure and, especially since the attack on Iraq, very large numbers of people have insisted on understanding war and opposing it.

Des’s philosopher war apologists write, “whatever you do don’t mention the oil; it’s all about freedom and democracy”.

They tell us involvement in the Middle East is about keeping us safe. It isn’t. Most of us realise, and Government security advisers always pointed out, these military engagements have made us less safe.

Des is right that most people participating in official remembrance “would like nothing more than to have a sustained and even permanent period …” without war.

But that is not why officialdom arranges these spectacles. Their purpose is to hide militarism in a cloak of remembrance, which forgets the causes of war.

In Des’ closing list of war zones he blames the mindset of protagonists, forgetting that: Britain is one of the protagonists, that Britain helped to set the scene for the bloodshed in destroying once stable societies, and that Britain profits royally as one of the biggest suppliers of weaponry to the other protagonists.

PETER SMITH, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Well done Greggs

I WAS amazed that Greggs were more or less forced to apologise for displaying a manger with a sausage roll in the crib , instead of Baby Jesus.

In these days of unrest and also being plagued by news of unproven historical sexual cases, Members of Parliament making inane statements, (as if anyone cares), earthquakes and storms in abundance with many people suffering, people trying to exist in this country on a meagre benefit, surely we need something lighthearted?

This to me was absolutely brilliant, so well done Greggs.

It put a fantastic piece of humour in place of a story that didn’t exist anyway, (in my opinion and yet to be proven).

I would like to see something different in the crib, every day and the next time I am in a Greggs Shop, I will mention that it brightened my day to see it and buy a bag a sausage roll, plus anything else that takes my fancy.

Why? To give Greggs some respite from the Do Gooders. Why don’t they complain to ‘God’ about the disasters around the world instead of this really humorous set up?

I am still laughing about it.

CHRIS GLEED, Proud Close, Purton

No efficiency here

THE borough council, in defending its decision to reduce gritting throughout the town, would have us believe that the motivation for change is ‘efficiency’.

Indeed, in their latest statement (SA 16 Nov) they quite clearly state “it makes the gritting runs two hours shorter.......making the service much more efficient”.

The very clever officer who made this comment forgot that the ally of efficiency is effectiveness, and I suspect the decision to reduce the number of roads covered is all about saving money not efficiency, or effectiveness.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

An unthinkable future

1. The somewhat eccentric millionaire James Rees-Mogg tells us this week he is very comfortable with a no-deal crash out of the EU.

2. Honda, our own largest employer, reports this week to a Parliamentary Inquiry, that any delay at customs points will cost them £850,000 for every 15 minutes, and that being outside the single market/customs free trade area would be unaffordable…(Japanese shorthand for bye-bye)

3. HM Revenue and Customs state this week that they do not have the staff, the facilities or the IT capability, to manage new customs frontiers.

4. Is all this a case of the Undefined being negotiated by the Unscrupulous, dragging the Uninformed and Unwitting, towards the Unthinkable… which our children will then be forced to Unscramble?

JOHN STOOKE, Haydon End, Swindon

MPs have let us down

ON TUESDAY, November 14 Patrick Keating, of Honda Motors Europe, one of the largest employers in Swindon, gave evidence to the Business Select Committee of the House of Commons of the potentially disastrous damage to Honda’s operations in Swindon if the UK crashes out of the EU without a properly negotiated deal.

Simultaneously both of Swindon’s MPs, Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland, voted against amendments designed precisely to prevent this happening.

Surely this town deserves representatives in Parliament who both respect the will of the people and who work tirelessly to protect the livelihoods of the people of Swindon.

Is that really too much to ask?


Parish council praise

As a fairly regular contributor to the letters page it is usually filled with content pointing a finger at something that is NOT getting done well or correctly in my opinion.

Well, not this letter. Credit where it is due is a phrase I use quite often and so I am delighted to report that after a few years of feeling very let down by the council responsible for keeping the verges and parks of Covingham in a tidy this past season has seen a vast improvement in that area.

I believe the task of keeping Covingham up to scratch has been passed to the local parish council and I must congratulate them on doing a fantastic job, well done.

Now a note to whoever claims to run Swindon Borough Council, get whoever has organised sorting out Covingham in charge of the new museum fiasco , as I am sure they would whip that group of dreamers into shape and put the millions of pounds of council tax payers’ money into doing a fantastic job for our desperately undernourished town centre rather than pandering to a very small group of white elephant enthusiasts.

KEVIN EDMONDS, Covingham, Swindon

Parents are selfish

Why are some parents so lazy doing the school run?

Our primary school has a small quiet cul-de-sac by the rear gate. Every morning and afternoon it is blocked by selfish parents who feel the need to park as close to the school as possible no matter what.

Rather than park somewhere a bit quieter and walk a few yards they will mount the pavements and grass whilst leaving the tiniest of gaps for anyone else to drive in and out of.

They happily block driveways and residents’ property. They are utterly lazy and thoughtless.

Some of the parents who park so badly only live a few hundred yards away from the school themselves.

Get out of your cars a short distance away and stop being so lazy.

ROGER LACK, North Swindon