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Letters, December 16: Ukip assertions; MPs' pay; and Anti-Watch pages on Facebook

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

Comments (1)

These assertions are becoming tiresome

I'm astonished that Dave Anfian feels Julian Brown's first or second letter contained "facts'". Julian Brown merely, childishly ranted, raved and insulted my party, his assertions are tiresome.

To throw in the claim that many of his relatives fought and died in the last war to preserve the British values of fairness and tolerance and imply that we in Ukip don't value those very things when we too lost relatives is one childish insult too far.

I know British ex-sevicemen and women from the Second World War on through the Korean and Falklands conflicts and half a dozen other conflicts who are proud to be in Ukip.

I suspect that you and he are jumping on this anti Ukip bandwagon because you are both members of other political parties, who have lost the debate on Europe and now seek to brand us as racists. If You would find that we were the only party to vote to keep overseas aid at our Birmingham Conference and that the other parties never even discussed it.

Stuart Eels

Chippenham, Wiltshire

We need to keep up our spiritual defences

In his letter on the importance of learning from history Greg Heathcliffe wrote, "Having a strong national defence is expensive, not having one can cost you everything."

Yes, we need to keep up our defences as a deterrent to stop enemies attacking us. Christ warning on the cost of discipleship said, "Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace."

We need to keep up our spiritual defences.

Mrs E Stuart

Thornbury, Bristol

Pupils show ability to pick themselves up

I found myself at Wadham School again this last week. On this occasion to assist the Rotary Club of Ilminster with its practice interviews. This is something we have been doing at the school for many years now, enabling Year 11 students to see what it is like to be interviewed, and to give them pointers on how to sharpen up their CVs, their appearance and their communication skills, if required.

Despite their usual initial apprehension and shyness, I found myself once again surprised and delighted at the "energy" and "passion" of these students just starting out on their journey to adulthood.

For some youngsters life can be especially hard. We've all heard news of bullying, and in our society there are many challenges to be overcome. What I found though is that every one of them felt they had benefited from some support, be it from friends or family, their tutors, or the school, which if their comments to me are to be believed, excels in pastoral care. All of these students, no matter what their predicted academic achievements, had the ability to pick themselves up, start all over again, and "go for it" I certainly went home in a pensive state of mind, for which I thank Wadham students, and the staff, of course.

Linda Piggott-Vijeh

Combe St Nicholas, Somerset

MPs already more than amply rewarded

It is interesting to learn that the leaders of all three main parties and an increasing number of MPs are against the proposal by the "independent body" set up to look into the remuneration of our elected representatives to raise their salaries by 11 per cent.

But when it comes down to it, I wonder just how many of them will hand the extra money back if they are "forced" into accepting the pay rise?

It's all pretty rich really (pun intended). The proposed increase is nothing more than compensation for no longer being able to pilfer the public purse at will – as so many of them did until their expense fiddling was exposed.

Our elected representatives are already more than amply rewarded for what they do – especially when one takes into account extra perks such as tax-payer subsidised wining and dining in Parliament's numerous bars and restaurants!

Robert Readman

Bournemouth, Dorset

These website pages only fan the flames

Reading Tristan Cork's piece (Daily Press December 14), about the "online hunting debate" featuring Countryside Alliance chief executive Sir Barney White-Spunner, I must comment as one who has for many years monitored local hunts that the Countryside Alliance usually fans the flames in this debate.

During the first season of the Hunting Act I did find both photographs of me and my vehicle, complete with registration number posted on pro-hunt web pages with comments such as "carry a four foot spirit level in your boot to beat up your anti-hunt scum who are pestering your hunt! The police might complain about finding a baseball bat in your possession but your get off with a spirit level".

This was in the days before Facebook and Twitter, but for me and those I monitor with we are open and transparent.

The police are responsible for maintaining law and order and so provided I remain within the law I expect to be able to campaign and monitor local hunts in order to canvas the public on countryside issues free from threats, violence and intimidation.

The countryside is on fire at present due to the NFU sponsored badger cull and a drive to increase production for overseas markets and our native wildlife is a pawn is all of this.

Badger groups are being set-up across the country and people not usually aware of blood sports activity taking place in the countryside are somewhat shocked. Setting up Facebook pages like Anti-Watch only serves to fan the flames in an already overheated countryside!

Perhaps if everyone obeyed the law then we would not have these problems.

So Barney White-Spunner before complaining about Scum-Watch, complain also about Anti-Watch as there is no place for either of them in our society.

It is worth also remembering that it was the Countryside Alliance that produced the booklet "Hunting without Harassment" when hunting is currently illegal!

Graham Forsyth

Chard, Somerset

Criticised for telling truth about Christmas

How appropriate a sign of the times it is when a vicar is bitterly criticised for telling the truth about Santa Claus being a mythical figure based on a real person; even worse is the fact he felt he had to apologise for not telling people what they wanted to hear.

The madness runs deep since critics are reported as complaining that he had wounded the children's belief in the tooth fairy and jeopardised older ones belief in Christianity.

Whatever next! – the vicar might even claim Jesus was a real person who was killed for speaking the truth! That could put people off Christmas and Christianity for life. Shame!

Philip Binding

Winscombe, Somerset

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  • Clued-Up  |  December 16 2013, 1:05PM

    Well said Graham Forsyth! Hunting with dogs has been illegal for years but UK police services appear to be strangely reluctant to investigate alleged offences against this law and alleged assault and criminal damage offences perpetrated by the hunts and their supporters. When police have been on the scene of these alleged offences their focus of attention seems to have been misdirected onto the Hunt Sabs legally monitoring the hunts. In theory, it's no more difficult for the police to apply the law impartially and investigate and charge hunt supporters for any criminal offences they appear to have committed than it is for officers to deal with football hooligans. I would ask senior police officers to review their service's approach and root out any institutional bias in favour of one party (the hunt and hunting supporters) and against another party (hunt monitors). It's entirely wrong for the police and Crown Prosecution Service to dump the responsibility for prosecuting criminal offences onto a charity like the RSPCA.

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