This is apartheid

2:54pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Well done, Ray Davies and H Roland ap Watcyn for speaking out against Israel’s barbaric onslaught on Gaza.

Defence is just

2:53pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

As usual, we see people writing about the Israel/Palestine conflict, telling us how evil Israel is as it occupies and oppresses the West Bank and starves and destroys the Gaza Strip.

Gaza stalemate

2:47pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Reading the many letters in various newspapers, national and local, on the Palestine/Israel conflict it is clear that there is not going to be a quick end to this sad and deadly conflict.

Protecting rape victims in court

2:46pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

WITH reference to a recent South Wales Argus article highlighting a case involving the rape of a ten-year-old girl (Two boys convicted of raping girl of 10, Argus, July 15), it may help your readers to understand the legal considerations involved in bringing a case like this to court.

Car smoke ban

1:38pm Monday 21st July 2014

I WELCOME the joint statement by the first minister and minister for health and social services that the Welsh Government is preparing to legislate to ban smoking in cars carrying children. I have been putting pressure on the Welsh Labour Government to act on the overwhelming medical evidence about the harm to children caused by passive smoking for a considerable time and I look forward to legislation now. The British Lung Foundation is clear that the effect on children of passive smoking in a confined area such as a car or van is very harmful. In fact, 82 per cent of the public said they supported prohibition of smoking in cars carrying children and the same percentage said they would comply with a ban if one was introduced. This law will not be an assault on adults’ freedom to smoke. It will be a law upholding the rights of children to be free from harm.

State of paths

1:37pm Monday 21st July 2014

I WENT for a bike ride with my grandchildren along the canal from Risca to Fourteen locks. It’s great along the Caerphilly area as the banks are well maintained and there is a smooth tow path. Then we hit the boundary with Newport and what a difference! A rough tow path and the banks and canal are in a terrible state. Come on, Newport City Council, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Council pay

1:36pm Monday 21st July 2014

I HAVE read with interest in your pages about local council planned pay increases. Strange how the 1 per cent increases only ever refer to the lower grades/wage earners. When low increases are agreed, they should refer to all – senior officers, officers, councillors and all employees. Everyone across the board. A case can always be made that to have/keep the best, the pay must be high. Well, that applies at every level. I also think that no-one paid out of the public purse should, under any circumstances, receive a wage higher than the prime minister.

School closure

1:35pm Monday 21st July 2014

I RECENTLY attended my son’s leavers and school closure assembly at Pontymoile Primary School, Pontypool. I must congratulate all the staff and children for a highly emotional and enjoyable service. Watching many of the children, staff and parents in tears is a memory that will stay with me forever. What I must comment on is the lack of attendance from anybody from Torfaen Council. If you are to make such decisions regarding school closures affecting so many, please don’t be so spineless and gutless. Show your faces and witness the distress you are causing. This school was open for 104 years and has been quickly sold for less than the market value. TCBC might quote “student number decline” or “poor condition”. If only they’d maintained it accordingly.

New anthem?

1:32pm Monday 21st July 2014

THERE are two things I have learned from watching the Football World Cup: England were out of their league; They have the most uninspiring National Anthem on the planet. While other nations sing with verve and passion about their countries, the English trip out the dirge about God blessing a queen. After the unforgettable, disastrous sporting season, they should be singing God Save Our Country. Why they don’t adopt Land of Hope and Glory baffles me, but as long as they remain in that medieval bubble of kings, queens, knights etc, what more can you expect.

Vote for cause

1:30pm Monday 21st July 2014

FARESHARE Cymru, which works in Newport and across Gwent, is in the running for Best Environment Project in this year’s National Lottery Awards, and now needs your readers’ support to help it win.

No morals

12:29pm Friday 18th July 2014

WHY do some elements of the political left in this country continually resort to uttering or printing the most obscene and vile remarks they can think of when criticising the right wing opposition? The latest being the Socialist Worker newspaper comment: Eton by Bear, referring to the privileged education of a seventeen year old boy killed by a polar bear whilst on that school’s expedition near the Arctic Circle. If he had attended a bog standard comprehensive, would they have called for the culling of those bears instead? It’s on a par with the offensive remarks made about the late Baroness Thatcher within minutes of the announcement of her death. Why do a lot of left wing voters keep supporting the same party activists who sink to the lowest levels trying to get their political opinions across? Or are they morally just as bad?

Stop pressure

12:29pm Friday 18th July 2014

I WAS given an informative leaflet from the National Union of Teachers entitled Stand Up For Education in Wales which made five important points regarding more funding, ending banding, etc. There was also a request to stop testing the very youngest pupils which, as a parent of a five year old, I wholeheartedly agree with. By all means, assess children’s work, but don’t put children off reading, writing and maths by making them sit formal tests. Indeed, very young children are being put under too much pressure. Education should be child centred, fun and not formalised by central government or the Welsh Assembly Government. Point 5: a good local school for every community: perhaps Torfaen Council’s superschool proposal which actually closes local community schools against teachers’ and children’s wishes could be rethought? Although, given the council’s grasp of democracy, I doubt this will happen unless we put pressure on them!

End madness

12:28pm Friday 18th July 2014

IN REPLY to Ray Davies’ letter in the Argus of 11th July, could I say that he ought to get some of his facts right. Hamas has said and always will say that they are out to destroy Israel completely. They (Hamas) put children and people in buildings deliberately to attract attacks from Jewish forces by placing rocket launchers on the rooftops of these buildings and then fire rockets into Israel. Who started this current conflict in Israel? Hamas did by kidnapping and then murdering those three young Jewish boys going home from college. One way to stop this madness is for all the European governments, including ours, to call into question what our aid money to Gaza is being spent on? It is not going to those in need, it is going to buy arms for Hamas and the like to destroy Israel which is a legitimate nation under the United Nations charter of 1947. The simplest of answers is for Hamas and the like to stop hating Israel and to start to love their own people more than the hatred that they show to the Jewish people.

No vote for us

12:27pm Friday 18th July 2014

TO USE the elegant words of Ken Brown, Newport, as a proud Welshman, I have no wish to have the laws that govern me made by a bunch of unelected, overpaid, egocentric, self-serving, inward looking little Maggie Thatchers that I am unable to remove from power. Like Scotland, Wales have never voted for a majority Conservative government who closed Welsh pits, introduced the poll tax and now the bedroom tax. Under a Tony Blair Labour government, Wales never had a vote on whether to invade Iraq or to be Robin to the USA Batman when it comes to crime fighting around the world. In doing so, Wales and the rest of the UK have become more of a target to the terrorist attacks.

Options

12:27pm Friday 18th July 2014

I WAS interested in Nick Webb’s assertion that by allocating differently the block allowance granted by the UK Government, the Welsh Government could avoid reduction to local government spending and instead reduce spending elsewhere. I am not sure where “elsewhere” might be - health perhaps or housing? Education might take a hit as well. The truth is that the funding allocated to the Welsh Government by this Tory/LibDem administration is already insufficient to allow services to run efficiently and maintain the standard of living expected by civilised people. People who are not in a position to access private social care will suffer. The family silver in the form of properties and assets belonging to the council will have to be sold or farmed out to tender, emergency services will have dangerously low staffing levels, yet only 130 miles up the M4, those who make these decisions barely know we exist. Mr Webb is quite right, however, the Welsh Government can spend its meagre allowance on whatever it chooses. So indeed can the UK Government – it too has finite resources and it chooses not to spend very much on Wales! The point is, they too have the option!

Doing the maths

12:14pm Thursday 17th July 2014

YOU would hope that the man in charge of our finances would know what 7x8 is? However in an interview with Sky News, Mr Osborne was asked that very question by a seven year old boy who started his question with: are you good at maths?

Cut councils

12:14pm Thursday 17th July 2014

IT is utterly ridiculous asking councils to self regulate their demise. These “executives” have their snouts deeply entrenched in the trough and have no desire to pull them out.

Food is a priority

12:13pm Thursday 17th July 2014

NOW that the NHS has moved up the list of priorities for the electorate, the standard of food needs to be looked at. With more and more of us getting older the stark reality is that at some point we are going to be spending a spell or two in hospital.

Correct meaning

12:03pm Thursday 17th July 2014

I REFER to my letter “Payback time” published in the Argus on July 14. Due to a typo in the last line of my letter, it subsequently makes less sense than if corrected. The last line should read “Surely this is a better way for them to “pay” for their crimes than fining them or giving them short prison sentences, which cost the taxpayer and give nothing positive back?

Pay scandal

12:01pm Thursday 17th July 2014

I WOULD like to respond to comments by a Labour spokesperson in connection with the senior officers’ pay scandal at Caerphilly council. I would like to remind the anonymous spokesperson that the Plaid group has always opposed the senior officers’ pay rises in CCBC. We opposed the Labour motion outlining the so-called compromise deal at the special meeting in January 2013 and have consistently done so since then.

Palestine shame

2:14pm Wednesday 16th July 2014

I REFER to the response of the present administration to the atrocities occurring in Palestine. While it would be unrealistic to expect that a collection of English buffoons, currently masquerading as the governance of this island, could ever be able to make any constructive contribution to the situation in Palestine, the sight of the obsequiously servile poodles bowing down to kiss American feet, to phrase it politely, is repugnant and vile.

Gaza solidarity

2:13pm Wednesday 16th July 2014

ALL over Britain, the bombing of Gaza has brought people out on the streets.

Burglary agony

2:11pm Wednesday 16th July 2014

I WOULD like to say a big thank you to the burglars who broke into my parents’ home in Machen.

College fears

2:10pm Wednesday 16th July 2014

RECENT speculation about the future of the University of South Wales’ Caerleon campus must be very worrying for students, parents and staff.

Taxing matter

10:58am Tuesday 15th July 2014

I REFER to an article in the national media of UNDER plans being put forward by the inept bunch of clowns at Westminster to crack down on people in this great country who are avoiding paying tax, the Inland Revenue and Customs Office would be allowed to view an entire year’s bank statements. The plan may come into force within the next year and the HMRC will have the power to take cash direct from people’s accounts.

No parachutes

10:57am Tuesday 15th July 2014

I REFER to the letter from Pat Davies of Pontywaun against the parachuting of Neil Kinnock’s son into a safe Welsh Labour seat. The comments online indicate a big support for this objection. I too am sorely against this practice.

Save the greens

10:56am Tuesday 15th July 2014

CAERPHILLY council intends to close six bowling green’s which are Oakdale, New Tredegar, Ynysddu, Senghenydd, Machen and Penyrheol. This would save the council £100,000. Local bowling clubs provide exercise, social contact and friendship for every member of the community which include the retired members. Age Concern Cymru encourages OAPs to get out more and socialise. With these closures there would be an extra stretch on social services with more cases of loneliness.

Keep campus

10:55am Tuesday 15th July 2014

IT WOULD be a catastrophe to close the Caerleon campus of the University of South Wales completely. Caerleon has the potential to become one of the most important archaeological sites in the UK. The University of South Wales could use the Caerleon campus for a School of Archaeology and Ancient History. The Caerleon campus could also host a School of Art and Design – particularly with regard to developing virtual imagery applications. The Newport City campus could host a School of IT, Statistics and Business.

Spraying danger

10:55am Tuesday 15th July 2014

GIVEN the toxic effects of glyphosate (cancer, birth defects, etc – see Greenpeace’s report) I ask Torfaen Council and Bron Afon CH to stop spraying such weedkillers around our estates.

Homeless fears

11:36am Monday 14th July 2014

THE ARTICLE about the homeless by Jocelyn Davies AM (Argus, July 8) raises many concerns, one of the most important “obviously” being accommodation.

Pay back time

11:36am Monday 14th July 2014

I KNOW many people think that community service is a soft option for people convicted of a crime, but in my experience it has a really positive effect, not only on the people who have to serve it, but also on the communities in which they work.

What a mess

11:35am Monday 14th July 2014

I AGREE with Mrs G Stewart’s letter of Monday, July 7.

It's our country

11:35am Monday 14th July 2014

IN REPLY to Mr A Nutt’s letter of July 10th, as a North Atlantic islander, I have no wish to have the laws that govern me made by a bunch of unelected, overpaid, egocentric, self-serving, inward looking little Hitlers that I am unable to remove from power.

Balls baloney

11:34am Monday 14th July 2014

I CRINGED when I read Ed Balls’ comments on the operation of the Barnett Formula.

Tour de Dock Street

11:32am Monday 14th July 2014

WITH the Tour de France not heading here, any local, ardent fans wishing to savour the atmosphere of a crowd of cyclists travelling at speed, need only to stroll along the pedestrian system between Upper Dock Street, the bridge and ex-Sainsbury’s site on a Sunday morning.

Soft on jihadists

11:31am Monday 14th July 2014

I HAVE a very simple answer to the dilemma of what to do with the people living here who go to Syria to be trained to kill us. If they obtain citizenship, then they should lose their right to be a British citizen and be refused admission back into the UK. If they are born here and grew up as citizens, they should then be tried for treason. Jihadists – cowards and murderers more like! This country is paying for being too soft.

Stop Gaza killing

11:30am Monday 14th July 2014

TODAY we hear that the civilian population in Gaza – one of the most crowded few square miles in the world – is being hammered yet again by air, sea, and land.

A right to die

11:30am Monday 14th July 2014

YET ONE more symptom of the culture of death rears its ugly head. The spectre of euthanasia through the side door has been summoned up again in Parliament. Next Friday Lord Falconer’s Assisted Suicide Bill for the terminally ill will undergo its second reading, although Parliament has rejected similar proposals again and again. Advocates of the idea continuously attempt to manipulate public opinion – with the frequent connivance of the BBC – by focusing on hard cases and twisting the meaning of compassion. The Falconer Bill aims to establish the “right to suicide”. Allowing doctors – with paper-thin safeguards – to prescribe a lethal poison for a sick person, would establish the principle of a “right to die”. This would then be extended wider and wider. “Assisted suicide” would rapidly be followed by demands for full “voluntary” euthanasia. It has been stated by eminent doctors and pointed out that “every law contains the seed of its own extension”. That is undoubtedly true of the Falconer Bill. If the door can be forced even slightly ajar, that opening can later be widened further and further to permit full voluntary euthanasia, bringing in its train – as Holland and Belgium demonstrate – much involuntary euthanasia and its consequences.

Boot Davies out

11:29am Monday 14th July 2014

IT BEGGARS belief that Alun Davies AM could be so disrespectful to his officers to put them in the impossible position of having to chose between helping him against the ministerial rules or to making it known what he was trying to do – using his position to gain inside information against his opposition colleagues.

Littering or not

11:28am Monday 14th July 2014

ON SATURDAY I was in Gwent Square with my four-year-old son, eating sausage rolls and my son was feeding bits of his to the pigeons. I was approached by a member of the public who informed me that I could get fined £75 for littering. Obviously I didn’t want to be fined, so we stopped. I rang the police to find out if this was true and they told me they wouldn’t do anything if I was feeding pigeons but to contact Cwmbran Shopping if I wanted to be sure. They told me they had no problem with it, but to also ring Torfaen council.

It's self-defence

11:27am Monday 14th July 2014

IT is obvious that H Roland ap Watcyn has a very grave problem with the nation of Israel. I have to say that whilst Israel is not perfect and made mistakes they are after all a Nation that we must appreciate and commend for its inventions that have and still are of benefit to mankind!

Fine asset lost

11:26am Monday 14th July 2014

I SHARE the reactions of Mr Ian Brown. The pool was to one of the best social assets that the people of Newport had, and as he states was of great benefit to the poor.

Sofa, so awful

11:25am Monday 14th July 2014

IF the cringeworthy uniform to be worn by Scots competitors at the Commonwealth Games is an example of Scottish decision making, it will do much to swell the “No” vote in the Independence Referendum. Frankly, one would not do this to a sofa!

Big let-down

11:25am Monday 14th July 2014

I AM writing this letter in disappointment at Newport City’s lack of respect.

Nothing learned

11:24am Monday 14th July 2014

THE increase in security at airports due to a possible terrorist attack shows the total lack of understanding by our leaders who chant the mantra: “Fight them over there to make us safe at home”. While our troops have/are being killed and maimed in Afghanistan, the enemy is being born here, or are flying in, tourist class, through our major airports.

A few facts on value of EU

11:23am Monday 14th July 2014

FIRSTLY, I believe Britain should stay in the EU, but there needs to be reform.

Options exist

11:22am Monday 14th July 2014

THE article “Council cuts could be disastrous – Newport Leader” stated that the Welsh Government is having to make cuts in the money it provides to public services because the money it receives from the UK government is being trimmed away.

Save the centre

11:21am Monday 14th July 2014

WE all know that the Adult and Community Learning Departments of Torfaen are struggling with the possibility of severe financial cuts – if not immediately – then in the near future.

Escape tunnel

11:20am Monday 14th July 2014

I AM sure we all recall all too clearly the heart-on-heart promises from our beloved police force that “no disruption” shall be caused by the forthcoming Nato summit.

Regeneration is a process

11:20am Monday 14th July 2014

REGENERATION, if done right can bring real benefits to some of our hard-pressed communities.






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