This would be the darkest of all ironies
It is bemusing to see the ever more clarion calls for us to leave the EU emanating from these pages.
No longer are we to benefit from it but it seems it is something that must be endured for “the greater good” like Mao’s long March or Stalin’s purges.
Unfortunately it is as undeliverable now as it was in June 2016, mainly due to the UK’s only land border in Ireland. There are solutions to the backstop problem but they will take much political courage.
The first option is to hold another referendum in Northern Ireland as to whether or not it’s people wish to stay within the EU customs union as we can surely “trust the people” of the six counties to deliver a pragmatic result?
Or we can help organise an all-Ireland referendum as to whether or not Northern Ireland remains in the UK.
If the result is no, then the border ceases to exist and the problem is solved although it would be the darkest of ironies that after all the pleas for UK independence by brexiteers the end result is the break up of the UK.
Spending a penny regardless of price
I read with interest about the proposed new toilets for Griffin Park, Porthcawl.
Whilst I welcome the proposal and the cost-saving solution for monitoring and cleaning the facility, I have some questions about the limitations of the automation and hope that Porthcawl Town Council can reassure residents in our community that the technology will not exclude them or the people they care for from using the exciting new facility.
What is the weight limit before the toilet will not operate and how is that average weight determined?
The new facility needs to allow for a number of people to use an individual cubicle – parents and carers often take more than one child into a cubicle for their safety, so not to leave a child outside alone.
We are an increasingly obese society. Should an individual exceed that average weight then can they use the loo?
Some adults require their carers to assist them in the toilet. Even if the two people were an average weight, How can this be permitted in an automated loo?
Some adults would require assistance dogs or other mobility equipment to come into the toilet with them. Would that additional weight push the weight over the limit?
Some people in the autism community might also become scared by the automation in the loo and behave erratically when inside. How will the automated anti-vandal unit distinguish between this human behaviour and anti-social behaviour?
I cannot stress how pleasing it is that PTC is taking the bull by the horns and dealing with the provision of public loos in a time of ever decreasing budgets from the Welsh Labour Government, but parents, carers and members of the disabled community need reassurance that they, regardless of the price, can spend a penny!
Cllr Carolyn Webster
Newcastle ward, Bridgend County Borough Council
What are the benefits of leaving the EU?
It is over three years and three PMs since the 2016 referendum and I am still waiting for someone, anyone, to give me details of the extra benefits I will enjoy should we leave the EU.
I voted Remain because I believe it is a good idea to have trade and customs free access to a huge market on our doorstep.
Well worth the membership fee.
Also, I can buy anything I want or need from countries all over the world largely due to trade deals made by the EU.
On a personal note my relationship with migrants,whether in the medical profession, trade, or socially has been just as polite, pleasant, professional as with anybody else.
I welcome their support for our health and welfare services, our farming, market gardening, food packaging and tourist industries and business in general.
Also they make a positive contribution to our economy.
The British government tells me how much tax to pay, the council how much council tax to pay and the Bank of England establishes the interest rate.
I live under the British rule of law.
If I break the law I am tried in a British court before a British judge and jury and if found guilty serve time in a British jail.
I can vote on a regular basis for an MP, AM, MEP and Councillor.
I have a passport that will take me anywhere I want to go.
I use British currency and drive on the left hand side of the road.
I do not feel any loss of sovereignty.
I would be delighted and grateful if someone, anybody can give me details of the extra benefits I will enjoy on leaving the EU.
Ken Clarke should lead government
Ken Clarke is the obvious choice to lead an interim government that would rule out the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit which voters were told would never happen.
As well as being the Father of the House, and the best Prime Minister his party never had, he is a member of the governing party.
He could lead an interim government to call a general election on a manifesto of ruling out a no- deal Brexit and repealing the Fixed-term Parliament Act.
Jeremy Corbyn must face up to his failure to oppose the catastrophe we face when he whipped his MPs to vote for Brexit without demanding that a viable plan should be in place as a prerequisite of leaving the EU.
As PM, Ken Clarke would have the support of all those MPs who recognise that Boris Johnson is betraying both his party and his country in his ruthless pursuit of personal ambition at the cost of the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and at the cost of the peace process in Northern Ireland of which the backstop is a fundamental safeguard.
The windbags will never power a nation
Back in the 1960s I worked in a large steel mill complex that rolled about 10,000 tons of cold steel into coils every week - 500,000 tons a year.
The main cold reduction mill consumed as much electricity on its own as did the domestic needs of a medium-sized town.
Occasionally, a red alert phone call would come to the shift manager to shut down that particular large mill immediately, as the then National Grid had suffered an outage from one of its power stations or major pylon linkage system somewhere in the UK.
The steel producer would later be compensated for any losses in production. This problem was also solved by the costly use of the “spinning reserve” system in the Grid where power stations across the UK were kept running in over production modes ready to take up the slack in a crisis.
This is what happened in the very recent blackouts that put the nation into chaos because of the failure of a very large off shore wind turbine complex.
The root problem is that none of our politicians today have any real energy policies to cope with future demands as we head into the carbon free future year of 2050.
The very first step must be a massive cutback on energy consumption by efficient economic means instead of the mad rush into wind and solar production.
The “windbags” of Westminster and Edinburgh and Cardiff will never power a large steel mill let alone a nation.
Politicians silent despite massacres
Assad and Putin’s forces have committed more than 30 massacres in Idlib and Hama since April 30. The many senior UK politicians who opposed intervention in Syria following the Ghouta massacre in August 2013 have said nothing.
In July next year we will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Russian and Syrian regime forces may very well still be engaged in further atrocities in Idlib, Hama or other parts of Syria. I hope at least we will be spared any words of concern from Ed Miliband, Jeremy Corbyn, Alex Salmond or Caroline Lucas about our responsibility to protect human rights after failing to prevent the Serb’s atrocities in 1994. They have remained silent during the last eight years of Assad’s war and never supported intervention to protect civilians in Aleppo, Homs, Deraa or Khan Sheikhoun.
The Children’s War Museum, Galashiels, Scottish Borders