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Politicians’ milkshake debacle

In the light of recent incidents with milkshakes, would it be an offence for people to turn up to public appearances of right wing politicians carrying empty milkshake containers?

It would certainly create uncertainty in the minds of security staff and police.

John Hein, address withheld

Successful locals should be recognised too

Bucks Free Press, page two, May 17 - the local rich list, but this somewhat saddens me, fine these people have worked, risen and have become wealthy, but to an extent this panders to celebrity culture.

I am sure and most probably, to their credit, their endeavours may have employed many other souls but possibly have also destroyed one or two on the way up to.

What about having a BFP page on those in the community whose endeavours have not paved a path to personal riches but have helped the in the local community, may be these people are at or will be near the bottom in terms of the “cash” Rich List but in terms of life, social and community rewards they come much nearer to the top.

Try teachers struggling in at risk schools, giving their all for that spark of learning with so-called difficult students, heath care workers giving their time well over and above that they are paid for just to help, especially those working in “special needs” and on down the chain to the hundreds of volunteer workers and helpers out in our local community giving without reward or recognition.

How does the Rich List make them feel? Rich List, fine but where is compassion, giving and love for others?

Anthony Mealing, High Wycombe

Rejoining the Tories after 30 years

I have just rejoined the Conservative Party after a gap of over 30 years. Am I the only new member?

My reasons are threefold: To vote against Boris Johnson as leader. Just imagine BoJo as PM! It would make President Trump look like FDR (Roosevelt) in comparison.

To encourage courageous MPs like Dominic Grieve to continue in the party in order to defeat the risk of three below.

In real life the only political party likely to prevent the catastrophe for the UK and for each of us of a Marxist government led by Corbyn/McDonnell taking power is the Conservative Party, with all its many faults.

Let us hope the Tories regain their composure, elect a Remainer leader and keep the loony left out.

Peter Harper, Chesham Bois

Politicians have let us down badly

I write this letter in response to a letter that appeared in the Bucks Free Press last Friday. I refer to Mr Lawrence Linehan’s letter about being misled about the EU.

I do not (personally) believe that the British public were deceived by what were three major issues that were a concern to them; namely immigration, control of our own laws and the economy.

Most people that I have spoken to wished for a controlled immigration policy and not to have legislation forced upon us by Brussels.

As regards the economy, this particular issue was always going to generate fierce debate and opinions. However, many of the economic arguments have remained flawed.

The closeness of the referendum result, to which Mr Linehan refers, was actually not that close when looked at on a regional basis (as my letter of March 29 highlighted).

Of the 382 UK regions, 263 voted Leave and 119 voted Remain – that is 68.9 per cent for Leave and 31.1 per cent for Remain… and that is a fact.

In short, our politicians have let us down badly and misjudged the intelligence of the British public’s ability in separating fact from the fiction.

Ken Walls, Marlow Bottom

I am pro-democracy, not anti-EU

In Lawrence Linehan’s letter in today’s BFP (May 17) I was a little surprised that he assumed that I must be anti-Europe. Quite the reverse is true.

When I was an MP I campaigned vigorously for Britain to join the EEC and served for a time as PPS to the minister for Europe.

I am all for good relations with Europe but I am also pro—democracy. So let me remind Mr Linehan that in the Referendum Bill of 2015 no less than 544 MPs voted in favour of holding a referendum on Europe and only 53 voted against it.

In my book, if you ask people to make a decision and pass legislation empowering them to make it, you are bound by the decision you asked them to make.

It is foolish for Remainers to argue that the referendum was not democratic or even fair because people were actively misled about the EU.

The truth is that exaggerated claoms were made by both sides in the referendum campaign and I believe that the British electorate was sufficiently astute to have seen through all that.

In a democracy, people are free to change their minds and Dominic Grieve would like to see another referendum. However, if this produced another close result, as seems likely, it would not solve our present difficulties.

The divisions in Parliament and the country would continue as before, with even more bitterness.

Laurance Reed, Beaconsfield

Press should have been allowed in

In today’s BFP (May 10) Caroline Strafford makes a (in my view highly-selective) three part response to my letter here, of May 3.

I quoted Mrs Strafford’s criticism of the BFP report of this year’s BCCA AGM that expressed no-confidence in Dominic Grieve – that it bore ‘ … little resemblance as to what happened at the AGM’ and I suggested that perhaps BCCA should have allowed the press to attend.

Today Mrs Strafford says that when her husband was chairman of BCCA in the years before 1990 the press were ‘always invited … and encouraged to attend’. How is this relevant to my criticism?

The BFP last month (and since) has told me they had been warned they would not be allowed to attend the AGM and have to wait outside if they came to the meeting – surely it is illogical to chide the BFP over its report under such circumstances, or is Mrs Strafford implicitly agreeing with me and suggesting a return to the pre-1990 system?

Mrs Strafford also says the exceptionally high turn-out to the AGM was because ‘ordinary members were unhappy with … Dominic Grieve’.

Mrs Strafford produces no evidence for this, simply stating it as a fact. Did she speak personally with a large cross-section of the 364 members attending the AGM that night to establish their motives?

She does not quote figures for BCCA membership before and after the online membership surge reported by the Times and the Guardian – if membership remained the same with an exceptional turn-out this would tend to confirm her account – a surge followed by an exceptional turn-out would suggest infiltration and AGM-rigging.

Mrs Strafford says Tim Smith resigned on March 26 1997, the day after she was quoted in the Midweek BFP saying she would not back him any longer - therefore: ‘ … it is fair to say Tim Smith acted quickly and honourably’.

A report in the London Times of October 21, 1994, (page one) describes how Mr Smith resigned his ministerial job after admitting accepting undisclosed - ‘cash for questions’ - and being told by John Major this was ‘clearly wrong’.

What happened in the intervening two and a half years Mrs Strafford? How can this be quick or honourable?

Mr Smith wanted to carry on and BCCA let him with the ‘spontaneous vote of confidence’ reported in the Times of 22 March 1997. (I was told confidentially by a great friend present, that after the vote of confidence, a BCCA member from Hedgerley or Denham exhorted doubtful members attending, to ‘go out with our heads held high’).

Mrs Strafford has also failed to answer the criticism that Smith behaved secretly and for money whereas Grieve has acted openly, without profit, for patriotic principle.

With great respect I don’t feel Mrs Strafford has made a complete or genuine response to what I said last week, but most particularly the lady should have kept off the subject of Tim Smith.

Lawrence Linehan, Wooburn Green

Another Brexit dilemma

Without a published manifesto, how can voters tell if Mr Farage's Brexit Party is willing to get rid of unwanted metrication and return to inches, pounds and Fahrenheit degrees?

At least with the Liberal Democrats you think you know what you're voting for even if it's probably not what you want, could you but understand the units they use.

John Eoin Douglas, address withheld