I spent the recent bank holiday weekend at my partner’s apartment in Oakhurst, returning from shopping and carrying several bags of groceries, I was approached by a young man who was door-to-door for the Tories for the next council by-election in the Priory Vale neighborhood.
He asked me if I would vote Conservative in the above-mentioned election (I didn’t tell him I don’t live in the neighborhood).
Proudly wearing my CND T-shirt, I replied ‘Why would someone wearing a CND T-shirt vote for a political party that spends hundreds of billions of pounds on nuclear weapons but cannot properly fund the NHS ?
His response was the usual trap: “Nuclear weapons act as a deterrent against our enemies, for example China, Russia and North Korea.
He then spoke about the successful deployment of the Covid vaccine, which he gave the government a lot of credit for.
I pointed out to him that the success of the deployment is due to the work being done by the NHS and not the government, so why is the government trying to take credit for it? He left by saying that we all have different views on these issues.
Two questions I ask are why are the three countries mentioned considered enemies of the UK and are they really going to launch a nuclear attack on us? And why does this government, its advocates and supporters keep trying to spread the myth that they should be credited for rolling out the vaccine.
Sadly, millions of people across the country have fallen into the myth, which made the Conservatives so successful in the recent local elections,
Competition in the charitable sector
Emma Rawlings makes a valid point in bemoaning the loss of funding from the Wiltshire Council for the 24-hour helpline provided by Swindon Domestic Abuse Services. However, this decision highlights the “competition” that exists for fundraising in the charitable sector. There is undoubtedly a case for continuing to fund a helpline, but if there are already helplines out there (it really doesn’t matter which one provides them) the right thing to do. to do is certainly that charities like SDAS report their customers to them and not try to do everything themselves. Emma asks the question “Where can we point these women?” And equally quickly dismissed the magnificent efforts of the National Women’s Helpline, suggesting “it often goes to voicemail.” I suspect this is happening because it is a busy line, while the DID line is not as busy, a point identified by the Council.
The Survivor Pathway identifies a number of organizations that work to help and support victims of domestic violence and include SPLITZ, Victim Support, Home Truths and The Nelson Trust and many more – and they are all asking for a limited amount of money. .
The simple truth is that there are too many organizations looking for limited funding to do much the same kind of work. Maybe we need to refocus on core functions, maybe SDAS needs to go back to what it was originally created for – providing physical refuge for victims of domestic violence – remember that it was known simply as the Swindon Women’s Refuge. How things have changed with the recent SDAS advertisement for a Health Independent Domestic Violence Advocate with a salary of £ 22,500 per year. As its primary function changed, so did its need for funding.
Dog Theft Promise
The violent attack to steal a dog in the peaceful Wiltshire village of Luckington shows how quickly this heinous crime is growing. Fortunately, the abuser was repelled and the animal was rescued.
When the Lib Dems launched our ‘Keep Our Pets Safe’ campaign, Wiltshire Police said there had been no cases of dog theft.
In response to the rapid growth of our campaign, a Deputy Chief of Police has been appointed to coordinate the Force’s response. After months of highlighting and fighting the Liberal Democrats against the increase in dog theft, the government has established a special task force. This is a great example of the power of people (or should he be a pet)!
As a dog lover myself, I am delighted that the protection of mankind’s best friend is finally taken seriously. However, there is still a long way to go for the crime of attacking and kidnapping our beloved companions and family members to be punished accordingly. It means higher and more coherent sentences. As it stands, stealing a pet is like stealing a wheelbarrow.
The residents of Swindon and Wiltshire deserve a Police and Crime Commissioner who takes action on the things that matter to real people, like protecting all of our families. If you are elected on August 19, your safety and that of your loved ones will be my priority.
Dr Brian Mathew
Liberal Democrat candidate for Wiltshire and Swindon’s next Police and Crime Commissioner
& Wiltshire Councilor