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Museum is not needed

Oh how I concur with Messers , Edmonds, Crook, Morgan & Gardner (Adver October 29).

These gentlemen know what they are talking about, which is more than can be said of our delusional councillors, especially David Renard. According to him it’s what Swindon needs more than anything else.

I refer of course to the preposterous idea of our proposed new museum and art gallery.

Firstly, it is so modernistic it will stick out like a sore thumb. It is totally out of character for the town.

God alone knows what the designer was thinking about when he drew it up. It certainly wasn’t the town which most of us grew up in. To say it is outlandish would be the understatement of the year. It’s ugly and I suspect it will cost an absolute fortune to maintain.

Is this something that the town really needs? If the council really believes in this then why not have a referendum to see what the townsfolk think? Do we have a surplus of money that we can waste on this monstrosity? Are there no other buildings laying empty and unused that could be used for the same purpose at a greater saving to the town? There are a few that spring to mind, but no it would appear that Councillor Renard is fixated upon this, what can only be described as a Carbuncle on the face of the town.

Furthermore, Messers Crook and Gardner had it totally on the mark with their comments on Mr Hammond’s budget. Its easy to get “away from real life” when you are on £74K a year plus expenses and even more if you are a minister.

Cheap booze is what the poorer use to drown their sorrows to an extent. Now they are being made to suffer more by someone so removed from the plight of the poor they don’t even realise what they have done. The whole country needs a total rethink as to its values, not just patches to keep us afloat.

DAVID COLLINS, Blake Crescent, Swindon

We’re better than Brexit

Has Martin Costello properly read my letter, Battle of Brexit (Adver, November 22)?

In his reply he misquotes me as giving nine reasons for staying in the EU. I did not. I actually stated nine ways the UK is becoming more and more badly governed. With the sloppily designed referendum, minus safeguards as it was designed as ‘advisory only’, through the helter skelter approach to Brexit, and the present and ongoing grand theft of our parliamentary sovereignty known as the Great Repeal Bill.

He then goes on to suggest that being Europhile I am not honouring our war dead of WW2. Strange, when you consider that our very own war leader Winston Churchill was one of the chief advocates of greater European community, cooperation and trade agreements, which he believed could end millennia of war and poverty on our continent.

I back Britain, not Brexit. Born in the 50s, I’ve worn my red poppy on Armistice Day and observed silence for decades, and always reflect on deceased family members who served in both wars. They were rather quiet about it, themselves, though. Two of them relished their continental holidays. One of them kept lifelong friendships with German veterans. They applauded our final entry into the EEC – after all, we had spent 15 years applying to join, and gradually harmonising our trade standards and customs with Europe, our nearest neighbours and our largest markets.

He then compares our freeing ourselves from the constraints of EU treaties – which our own governments have long pursued – to the Zimbabwean people becoming free of Mugabe. Mugabe was a murderous dictator who caused his people to kill at least a million of each other. The EU is a pretty light structure, its commission employing no more than Birmingham City Council. Its budget would need to be at least 50 times greater to be anything approaching a state. Is there any comparison?

Martin then goes on to state that I ‘must’ understand we are all Brexiters now, and I must get behind this ‘glorious’ opportunity for my country. Why must I understand or get behind something I don’t agree with? This is a free country. Besides, I wouldn’t have assumed that my own thoughts and feelings about Brexit would have any influence whatsoever on the outcome of the negotiations, but rather, the competence and realism of the negotiations. Or not, as the case may be.

I cannot imagine all these years Nigel Farage could have been told he must be a Europhile! Britain is better than this. Britain is better than Brexit.


No advantages to EU

Adam Poole (Adver, December 6) is wrong when he says that our trade deficit with the EU of a billion pounds a week is nothing to worry about. After 44 years in the EU Britain now has the worst trade deficit in the developed world! The EU has been very detrimental for British trade and there are no advantages to EU membership.

It is the young generation that suffer the most because house prices are now beyond the reach of our children and grandchildren. The working class is being wiped out because they can no longer afford to have children. A fifth of all families are now childless and this figure is set to increase.

The three major parties in the 1975 referendum told us that the Common Market would not affect sovereignty but this was simply not true. The political union forced upon us was something the we never voted or indeed was asked if we wanted but we have been sleepwalking into this as planned by the elite. The only deceit is that Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath totally misled the voters when we joined back in 1973.

The demand for the £50billion exit fee shows the joining the Common Market was a disastrous mistake in the first place. This money is not legally owed but is required for our crumbling infrastructure including the NHS, transport and schools that is failing to keep up with the unprecedented mass immigration we are witnessing.

MARTIN COSTELLO, Eldene, Swindon

War was not invited

I did not incorrectly read John Crook’s letter as he suggests. He asks, “where in my letter have I said anything about sacrificing troops”. I did not suggest he did. I actually said his letter evades the issue of British militarism.

Mr Crook’s statement that British troop involvement in military conflict since World War 2 has been through the invitation of democratic Governments to the British Government beggars belief. It is true that some involvement happened when rulers, almost always installed in the first place by Britain against the wishes of the peoples of those countries, asked for support against popular rebellions.

Most of some 29 military engagements, from Greece (1944-47) where British troops fought against the Greek resistance, which had fought the Nazis, to install a dictatorship, show Mr Crook is wrong. The 30-year rule, which uncovers previously secret Government papers, removes all possible doubt about what these wars were really about. David Cameron even had to apologise for Britain’s behaviour in Kenya.

Nobody ever asked British troops if they wanted to be involved. In fact, as troops began to realise what they were being used for there was a wave of strikes and mutiny amongst them in South East Asia and beyond. In Malaya in 1946, 258 Paratroopers were arrested for disobeying orders (about “spit and polish”) and only had convictions quashed following outrage in the UK.

In response to Mr Crook’s ridiculous closing comment on free speech: I celebrate the democratic freedoms won by working people who fought for them over some centuries against a ruling class determined to cling on to all its privileges. I speculate that Mr Crook’s co-thinkers through the ages would have opposed every one of those advances.

PETER SMITH, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Expensive potatoes?

I AM not questioning the importance of the potato, if you lived in Ireland in the 19th century it would have meant the difference between life and death.

Food wise you can’t get more basic than a potato. Crinkly sliced, salted or unsalted, flavoured or plain it can’t be the hardest thing in the world to manufacturer a potato crisp. So why do they cost so much for so very little?

While queuing for a hot drink at a local supermarket cafe, I gazed down at some packets of crisps that were positioned at the front of the display of confectionery, obviously for the attention of children.

They were priced at 97p per packet, over three times the cost of those same packets of crisps on the supermarket shelves.

The queue not going down very quickly, I had time to read the weight of the contents of each packet, 40 grams. Now assuming and generally speaking a large potato weighs approx 300 grams, that’s 1/8 of a large potato in each pack. Looking at it another way and going by the inflated price set by the cafe, a kilo of King Edwards at £1 would set you back £24 per kilo.

I’ve come to the conclusion a crisp is not to be sniffed at as huge profits are to be made.

There may well be no snakes in Ireland, however, we have more of our fair share here in the U.K.

WILLIAM ABRAHAM, Rodbourne, Swindon