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Viewpoint letters (May 30, 2019)

Featuring debate on the Theresa May's resignation and the European elections. Scroll down for all of this week's letters.

Staff reporter

Theresa May to face confidence vote tonight

Sad that Theresa May has stood down as PM

Maidenhead Conservatives were very sad to hear the news last Friday that our MP was to stand down as party leader and Prime Minister.

Theresa May has been an outstanding representative for the town and is loved and admired by many residents, not just Conservatives.

She takes part in a huge variety of events and has continued to do so both as Home Secretary and as Prime Minister, frequently attending after strenuous trips abroad!

I am delighted to tell you that she will be carrying on as our MP and will continue to look after Maidenhead residents as before. 


Chairman, Maidenhead Conservative Association

Tories rightly punished for failures over Brexit

I would like to thank everyone who voted for the Liberal Democrats in the election on Thursday, helping us to come tantalisingly close to winning outright here in the Royal Borough!

Had it not been for certain pro-Remain tactical voting sites recommending other parties, the Liberal Democrats may well have topped the poll. As it was, we can be rightfully proud of our performance.

While a superficial reading of the results shows the Brexit Party ‘winning’, any reasonable analysis would point out that while both pro-Brexit parties combined (with UKIP) took 33.9 per cent of the vote here (34.9 per cent nationally), openly pro-Remain parties took much more – 47.7 per cent locally and 40.6 per cent nationally.

The Conservatives were rightly punished in this election for having failed to show any courage or leadership over the most important issue of our generation.

But what a sad demise for the party of Churchill whose reputation for economic competence was once unquestioned.

While both they and Labour continue to be run by their most extreme wings, the Liberal Democrats are now best placed to challenge them at the next general election, whether it comes sooner or later.


Haslemere Road


Without great leaders we need voting reform

Brexit has our politicians talking of unifying the country, bringing the country together, consensus, etc. It is pie in the sky.

We claim to be a democracy, the system developed in ancient Greece meaning people power. Democracy requires that actions approved by the majority be accepted by those in the minority.

In practice, concessions and compromise to appease the minority are part of the system. I question whether our country has ever been united on any issue?

Perhaps Churchill during the Second World War was the sole success.

When I started an engineering apprenticeship in 1953, I recall the socialist/communist shop steward telling me that, while he hated all that Churchill stood for, when Churchill gave a WW2 speech over the radio, people were motivated to go into the factories, etc, and do their best for their country – a great leader for that particular situation.

In the absence of great leaders we need a much better form of democracy where either the people vote on more issues in referendums (as in Switzerland) or we reform Parliament to limit the cronyism and self-interest of individuals and political parties. Every action of MPs should be in the best interests of the country. 


Clarefield Drive


Follow Swiss example to solve Irish border

Bruce Adams concluded his letter of May 23 with the claim that: “Staying in the EU customs union would also have the added advantage of laying to rest the Irish border problem.”

That is not so, as Oxford professor Kevin O’Rourke explained in the Irish Times on December 6, 2017: “Getting rid of border controls on trade thus depended on both the European customs union, and the European single market.

“Norway is a member of the single market but not the customs union, with the result that there are border controls between it and Sweden.

“The UK and Ireland were members of a customs union before 1993, but not a single market, and the result again was border controls. And unless both Northern Ireland and the Republic retain equivalent regulations regarding both customs duties, and what can be legally bought and sold on their territories, the result will inevitably be border controls.”

However that is just the method of ensuring an open border which has been chosen by the EU for political reasons, in pursuit of its paramount objective of ‘ever closer union’ leading to the legal subordination of its member states in a pan-European federation, a federal United States of Europe.

That there could be alternative arrangements is amply demonstrated by the case of the open border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland, where the principle of ‘parallel marketability’ is applied to allow different product standards on the two sides.

As pointed out in my letter kindly printed in the Advertiser on October 25, 2018, under the heading ‘We should be following Switzerland’s example’, and several subsequent letters.


Belmont Park Avenue


Leave or Remain not the only election issues

The European Elections were not just about ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’. A couple of other issues were involved which cut across that great divide:

  • Reforming the two party system. Just because Nigel Farage talked about it doesn’t mean the Liberals don’t want a similar thing. They need a shake-up of the current system if they hope to gain any meaningful power.
  • Climate Change. It is the main agenda of the Greens but many Brexiteers are also keen on saving the planet. I wonder if these parties recognise the things they have in common despite being poles apart in others. It will be interesting to see if either ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ try to hijack these issues as their own to win more support.

I hope not, because both are worthy of discussion long after October 31.


Farmers Way



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