PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: letters@swindonadvertiser.co.uk. Write: Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.

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What a waste

The Wi-Fi saga, or should that be ‘farce’ continues apace, with the latest news being that North Swindon residents are calling for an end to the unwanted and indeed unwarranted programme (SA 20 Feb). Coun Toby Elliott appears to toe the Party line in dismissing the suggestion the scheme be dropped, and his attempt to present the UKBN system as ‘presenting people with choice’ is clearly a nonsense. When UKB was chosen by SBC to put in place a Wi-Fi system covering the entire borough, it was stated that they would meet a need in areas where there was no available service, and according to the officers in post at the time where there was no likelihood of a future service provision. Those same officers ignored any view which dared to suggest that BT or Virgin would respond to a market led need. Today, the market has prevailed and BT Openreach has beaten UKBN to the draw.

SBC has had three attempts at bringing Wi-Fi to the borough. It has failed each time and the cost of failure has fallen on the beleaguered council tax payer. Digital City was lauded by Coun Garry Perkins who assured your readers that the £400k he agreed to hand over to failed businessman Rikki Hunt would be repaid with 20% interest (which incidentally has never happened). The first UKB plan was heralded as ‘covering the entire borough’ in November 2012 and the current UKBN system which cost the council tax payer close on £1m and which was going to provide an income to the Council coffers. The failure of each of these is not down to poor technology, it’s simply a matter of poor decision making.

As Council Tax rises for the second year by an ‘above inflation’ amount I hope the electorate will consider how the Conservative administration wasted £2m on schemes which had no chance of success and which evidenced no commercial viability.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

I spy some lies

Jeremy Corbyn. Who’d have thought it? The tabloid media are now telling us he used to be an Eastern bloc spy.

Apparently Conservative Prime Ministers used to do the rounds of left wing Labour back benchers handing them all dossiers of highly classified information. In fairness to Margaret Thatcher, she must have been unaware that at least one of these MPs, Jeremy Corbyn, was a highly trained Russian agent, capable of taking out an entire SAS squad with his wrist. Corbyn was also probably a master of disguise and when Thatcher was handing him lists of the entire British secret service, she thought she was speaking to James Bond.

Although the stupidity of this latest attack by the media could be the occasion for ribald laughter the case does show how our media is used by its rich owners to foster a hysterical atmosphere against their hate figures.

In 1924 newspapers published the “Zinoviev letter”. Purporting to be from Russia to the Communist party requesting it work with sympathisers in the Labour Party and foment revolution, it was a forgery prepared by MI6 and was used deliberately to undermine the Labour Government in the election.

In the early noughties the Daily Telegraph reported on a miraculously preserved box of documents in a bombed out building in Iraq which, they trumpeted, showed George Galloway was in Saddam Hussein’s pocket. The Telegraph had to pay a substantial settlement for this fabrication. Before this Arthur Scargill was the victim of a similar lying press campaign, which had him pocketing money meant for striking miners, sent by mysterious foreign sources like Libya and Russia. Again, this was exposed as a pack of lies.

Peter Smith, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

This is true democracy

The UKIP Extraordinary General Meeting in Birmingham on 17th February was democracy in action.

UKIP is the only party where the members have the democratic power to remove the party leader.

We now have a new leader, Gerard Batten, who smashed Sky News in his first interview when the bias news outlet immediately went out to attack UKIP. He was appointed by the National Executive Council to lead us into the 2018 local elections.

UKIP is much more than a one issue party. UKIP is a populist party campaigning for better public services. We serve our neighbours, our community, out towns/cities and country in that order. The council elections in May are a good opportunity for Swindon to give the establishment a bloody nose and remind them that they are not untouchable.

The biggest problem for the young generation is housing. The policies of the two major parties have pushed the working class out of the market by high house prices and rents.

It is interesting that Steve Thompson suggests that I should become leader which is quite a compliment; it has also been suggested my many others in the party.

Martin Costello, Eldene, Swindon

Letters

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