Letters to the editor

MCBT Letters to the editor
MCBT Letters to the editor

‘A view from your ivory tower’

A Knightley,


AFTER reading Thame MP John Howell’s column in The Thame Gazette recently, I was interested to see how he views his job and the part his constituents play in guiding his actions.

It would seem that, aside from placing him in office, very little.

Apparently as long as our views happen to coincide with his, then we will be represented, otherwise they will be disregarded.

It seems that our part in the process is to vote and then lose ourselves until needed at the next election.

His view on opinion polls seems to be that they can be safely ignored.

Personally, I believe that if you ignore opinion polls you risk the kind of scenes we saw in the 2011 riots

Any communication made electronically is it seems worthless because the sender used a template. Just because a constituent uses a template letter do you think it’s acceptable to dismiss what comes between Dear [INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR MP]’ and end with ‘Regards [INSERT YOUR OWN NAME]’?

Not everyone is computer literate or has secretarial support at hand.

Often they need help when trying to contact their MP using a computer.

Sadly it seems our MP has only contempt for their views if they were sent electronically.

His assertion that his role is not to represent constituents’ needs because this was a view held in 1774 is puzzling.

There were many ideas that were held in 1774 that we would consider unacceptable today. For example votes for land owners only, slavery, children working in mines.

These were all thought to be perfectly acceptable then.

However, my views on Europe are probably the same as Mr Howell’s in that we are probably better in than out.

I doubt that they coincide for the same reason.

I would hate to be left entirely at the mercy of the British government.

Almost all of the legislation we have that protects the rights of the individual came out of the European Parliament.

Our government is busy trying to dismantle the laws on unfair dismissal.

This is one of the few pieces of legislation introduced by a British government that protects employees.

That 0.1 per cent that your refer to in your article need not be a small group to be dismissed. They could represent the views of millions.

If you think it’s not your job to represent the views of your constituents then I suggest you use this argument the next time there’s an election.

I suspect that the citizens you are supposed to represent have an entirely different view.

Perhaps you would consider a suggestion.

Re-title your column ‘The View from My Ivory Tower.,

Show loyalty with new card

Sonja Francis,

Thame Loyalty Card Administrator

WITH our thoughts beginning to turn to Christmas shopping, may I urge your readers to support Thame’s smaller, independent retailers this year by ‘Trying Thame First’ and purchasing as many of their gifts as possible from our great little shops?

More small, town centre shops are facing competition from large shopping centres in the bigger towns close by. The 21st Century Thame Loyalty Card scheme with 40 local shops and services now offering some great deals for members, has really taken off.

Many of these shops rely on a good Christmas for their survival throughout the rest of year so please, ‘Use it lose it’ is the Christmas message for 2011.

Go into any participating shops (they should be displaying a sign) or visit www.thameloyalty.co.uk

Remembrance is for just that

Sqn Ldr A Garretts MBE,


I JOINED the RAF in 1941 to train as a pilot. I left 30 years later.

During the 40 years since retirement I have been an active member of the Royal Air Force Association.

I am currently President of the Oxford and District Branch.

So, how do I rate the parade in Thame? It is similar to may non-service parades – a controlled shambles.

There is no formal briefing or rehearsal and why should there be?

It does not matter where the parade marshall stands in his efforts to keep the parade in step.

With so many disparate participants it’s an impossible task. The cubs and brownies cannot be expected to march and keep up with the cadets.

There were the young from Lord Williams’ to the elderly all there. I fit into the latter group and approaching 90 ‘I don’t do marching’.

The parade is led by the Town Council. I have never attended a council meeting but I would assume that they are seldom in step.

It is not how we arrived, assembled, or departed.

It is why we were there.

For me the parades at Thame were as significant as those I attended as adjutant at RAF Cranwell, home to the RAF College with all it’s military precision.

It is a time to honour and remember those the made the ultimate sacrifice and God willing I shall join the shambles next year.

For those who want to watch a military parade I suggest they stay at home and watch the ceremony in Whitehall.