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Letters, December 14: Wiltshire Council allowances; The Crusades and 'ugly' fruit on Tesco shelves

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

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These volunteers need to think again

The way our councillors have handled their allowances award does I feel need comment.

The staff are employees of the Wiltshire Council and are subject to national agreements negotiated with central government and the unions.

Councillors on the other hand are elected for a four-year term and are volunteers who are then paid allowances,

If I remember it correctly the Wiltshire electorate were asked to volunteer to work unpaid for a variety of council posts to keep things going, during the current financial crisis?

That's fine and many stepped up to the mark, to protect our way of life.

Now we have Councillor Jane Scott and company stating that it does not mean them.

If she cannot recognise why the public are so angry she is not a politician. This is very much a dictatorial attitude unworthy of any leader. As for getting better talent by paying more money, the recipients need to get elected first.

Colin Duller

Salisbury, Wiltshire

The Crusaders were homicidal maniacs

The historian, Simon Sebag Montefiore, told the truth about the Crusaders on the BBC Four TV programme Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities. He even mentioned that there was a huge bust up within Christianity in the 11th century over a difference of opinion on doctrine between the Catholics in Rome and the Orthodox Christians in Constantinople. However, he did not explain to viewers that it was over nothing whatsoever apart from supernatural religious mythology that had gone completely mad.

The Catholics in Rome were adamant that the Holy Ghost came from the Father and from the Son. The Orthodox Christians in Constantinople where just as adamant that the Holy Ghost only came from the Father. This nonsense was the spark that started the First World War in the Balkans. By not making this clear Montefiore gave the impression that these Christians were actually killing each other over something, instead of nothing at all.

However, he did tell the truth about the crusaders being a bunch of brainwashed homicidal maniacs. Then it got even more confusing when he introduced the Muslims into this mayhem. Again, he gave the impression that the Christians and Muslims were actually killing each other over something, instead of a false model of the cosmos invented by men who actually thought a red hot ball of fire went round a flat Earth every day.

Christians, Muslims and Jews are still fighting over the conclusions that men came to who did not have our knowledge of the cosmos, especially subatomic physics – forces that are normally out of range of our five physical senses.

Michael Roll


Make the cause of this problem pay bills

How much more does the taxpayer and hard-working, over-stretched NHS and police have do. Running around looking after those who deliberately go out to get so drunk or high on drugs any number of nights a week, that they become violent, sick and injured, or damage other people and property, who are now having drop-in centres to get them put right.

If this is the right way to deal with the consequences of the stupid idea of Tony Blair's of having more drinking places opening all hours, then surely those people who cause all this trouble should be made to pay a sum of money towards their special treatment, as it is they have been taking up enough of the A&E and police time and tax payers' money.

It's no good some coming up with the feeble excuse that we were all young once, this is just accepting that we never learn from past mistakes, or the equally feeble excuse that drinkers smokers, obese etc pay for their treatment via taxes if they are working. This is saying self-inflicted illnesses and disease are a good thing on top of all the other problems to deal with.

D Thomas

By email

Rugby proposals will spoil our Rec view

Bath Rugby Club will be submitting a planning application soon to build a new stadium or arena on the Recreation Ground in Bath. This is popular as everybody or almost everybody loves rugby on the Rec, where rugby has been played for a century and a half.

Now the view from the Grand Parade is "the best view in the city" – not my estimate but the opinion of Mike Macklin, the chairman of the Mayor of Bath's Corps of Honorary Guides.

The proposed stadium will replace the various separate stands and club house with a very exciting looking modern structure, cleverly designed with arched forms, but all the same filling the western end of the Rec from side to side; at the moment the west stand is less than half the length of that boundary and quite low.

These proposals will completely block out the "best view", but not only this but also the whole of the ground as well.

In addition, the area of this Rec for three-quarters of the year, while a temporary east stand is in place, will be closed visually and physically to the general public so that rugby can be played. For three months in the summer other sports will be permitted to use the ground inside the stadium. The Bath Rugby Club will thus monopolise for most of the year half of what at the moment is open space on the Rec with a lofty, out-of-scale building. The "best view" is in fact one of the most significant features of the World Heritage Site, mentioned in B&NES' own management plan for the City of Bath World Heritage Site.

All this is for the benefit of a privately owned commercial business occupying land which was originally given to the City of Bath for use as a recreation ground. Instead, we will find the near end of the Rec occupied full width and way over our line of sight to the east by a veritable fortress protecting the use for one sport and one private user. A much more moderate and sympathetic scheme would be welcome, but not this blockbuster.

Stephen Marks


Ugly fruit view came from supermarkets

It really is more than a bit rich for Tesco to blame British consumers for being too fussy to buy misshapen or "ugly" fruit, vegetable and salad items – holding them responsible for the hundreds of thousands of tons of perfectly good foodstuffs that end up as landfill every year.

It is Tesco (and the other supermarket giants) which created this situation – rejecting at source anything that does not meet their own criteria that requires every apple, orange, banana, cucumber, carrot, leek etc. to be uniform in size and completely unblemished.

Tesco and the other supermarket bullies have brainwashed people into believing that any item that does not look perfect is not fit for consumption. Its attempt to adopt the moral high ground on this issue is the height of hypocrisy. Before Tesco et al took control of our food chain – we were perfectly happy to buy and consume fresh produce in all shapes and sizes from our high street greengrocers.

Robert Readman

Bournemouth, Dorset

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