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Fee was agreed

In his letter (1st December) Martin Costello falsely claims that we are all now brexiteers. The reasons why we are not all brexiteers are clearly demonstrated in his letter with his deceit in presenting only a small part of the story concerning our economy and his dishonesty concerning our freedom and independence.

Whilst we do run a trade deficit with the EU, this is only a small part of the full story as we also run a substantial trade deficit with the rest of the world. This deficit is nothing to do with our EU membership but to do with the decline of our industries after decades of under investment and poor and uncompetitive productivity that started long before our EU membership. Furthermore, running a trade deficit is not necessarily a bad thing depending upon the way in which that deficit is funded. To only tell a small part of the story and omit other key factors, as Mr Costello has done, is deceitful.

He then goes on to talk about freedom and independence mentioning Zimbabwe for some unfathomable reason. The fact is we have always been a free independent and sovereign nation. We have never lost our freedom, or our independence or our sovereignty. We simply decided, in a democratic referendum held in 1975, to share some power with our nearest neighbours to the benefit of all concerned. To claim otherwise, as Mr Costello has done, is to lie and is in fact one of the more common lies told by leave campaigners.

Indeed, this dishonesty amongst leave campaigners is further demonstrated in the letter from Terry Hayward also published on the 1st December, with his claims that our entry into the EEC was only a trading agreement (political leaflets distributed at the time clearly show it was not) and his claims concerning an ‘exit’ fee. The money we are being asked to pay is not an ‘exit’ fee but simply our fair share of pre-agreed financial commitments.

ADAM POOLE, Savill Crescent, Wroughton

Just rolling over

I endorse Terry Hayward’s letter but would like to add that there is no written legislature either.

There are several joint ventures which we are still liable for, and it is simply those which the EU should be referring to.

Instead what we are witnessing is our dumb politicians and their civil servants simply rolling over and agreeing to pay billions without even asking to see that bill. It’s akin to staying in an hotel and paying the owner by the name of Junker a large sum of money without being given the bill.

Rule Britannia? I hardly think so.

Ian Hunt, Swindon

Enough is enough

The recent anti Muslim retweets by President Trump, is proof, if proof were needed, that he is wholly unfit to hold that office. Either he was unaware of the seriousness of his actions, or he knew full well that it would cause worldwide condemnation. Either way he has shown us that he is a bigoted racist.

Hitler did a similar thing in the 1930s, castigating the entire Jewish race as vermin. Fear-mongering and alienating minority groups is extremely divisive. History has shown us results of this action. The Republican party need to disown Trump as soon as possible. When he is receiving praise from both the KKK and far right extremists in Britain, the Republicans need to say enough is enough.

Twitter should also suspend his account for spreading hate and division. He shows all the hallmarks of being an erratic dictator. Theresa May also needs to tell him he’s not welcome here and cancel his planned visit to the UK next year.

TOM HORWAT, Upavon Court, Penhill, Swindon

Discipline is vital

Mr Peter Smith has again replied to a letter with mention to certain details I never used. I did not mention bullying in my letter. I wrote about National Service training and if one person believed himself to be above the other members of his platoon and did not try work with them, then he would be shunned, because every member had to work as a team each one was reliant on everyone else.

At the end of the training there was a Passing Out Parade and the sense of pride was echoed throughtout the entire intake, better still if you were a member of the champion platoon.

You see like it or not one was called to do service. Perhaps the discipline in those days would be labelled as bullying by today’s left wing/liberal political brigade, but to us it was the norm. We had all lived through the war austerity and harsh living meant discipline and sharing, not like today.

Many of us still had the memory of the photgraphs taken when troops entered labour or concentration camps, piles of bodies ready to be burnt and poor souls walking skeletons, that was the result of Nazism, which in a previous letter accused this country “of helping to fuel”.

Discipline is not only applied to the Military. In civvy street, ambulance crews must have utter reliance on their partners when called out. police cadets in training are taught discilpline, marching and obeying commands as they have to when they become a full time member of a force also they are expected to keep themselves fit, firefighters received continuing training and should a member of a watch decides that they are above other members of the squad then there actions could very well result in a friends injury or death.

Finally Mr Smith, I did not suggest that everybody should book their ticket out of the country, but only those who find fault in everything that they do not agree with. I am proud of being British!

JH OLIVER, Brooklands Avenue, Swindon

This is all too common

Casework as a councillor or as an MP means listening to people’s stories, understanding, and taking action where possible to help. Systems go wrong, and real people like you or me, or our friends, or family members can be affected in ways that those ‘in charge’ cannot foretell, and sometimes either do not seem to understand, or prefer to ignore. Two weeks ago I heard from a lady whose elderly mother had a fall, fractured her hip and ended up in the RUH. No news here you might say, but read on.

“My mother found herself moved around to different wards and for the last two days was on a ward with male patients at one end and females at the other. There was no physical barrier to prevent the male patients from wandering at will. It was an old people’s ward so numerous patients appeared to be suffering from dementia. The noise was unbearable, as was the lack of privacy. It was on this occasion that a male patient with dementia forced his way into my mother’s curtained area when I was undressing her for bed. He was loud and forceful and with the help of two nurses he was after some time removed. My mother was extremely distressed and frightened. It was after this incident coupled with my mother being taken to the toilet by a male assistant (she did not give permission) that the family decided to move her to a private nursing home.”

The distress was not over however, as after her GP was notified and initially agreed to keep her as a patient, when the surgery was contacted again a few days later to arrange for the doctor to visit and provide her regular prescriptions, they then reneged on this as she had ‘moved out of area’. So, after over 30 years the doctor who called the ambulance and sent her to the RUH has had no contact, even to follow up her hip fracture.

When I raised this with an officer from the independent charity Health Watch I was told that such situations are sadly all too common. Clearly something is wrong with our NHS and our care system, something that is affected by, but goes beyond a lack of funding.

DR BRIAN MATHEW, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Wiltshire