Bad system IT’S happened yet again!

The political views of the electors have not been represented in the House of Commons, due to our defective electoral system.

I set out the seats won below, with the number they should have according to the total votes cast for each party in brackets:

Conservative    318    (276)

Labour              262    (260)

Lib Dem              12      (48)

Greens                  1      (10)

UKIP                      0     (12)

SNP                     35     (19)

Others                 22    (25)

How anyone can say we are a representative democracy is beyond me.  All modern democracies use some method of Proportional Representation (PR) - why? - because all votes count and it results in a representative parliament according to voters’ views, which never happens in the House of Commons.

The political make-up of the UK government is decided by a few hundred thousand voters in about 100 marginal constituencies, because practically all the others are so-called “safe seats”, meaning that most votes are wasted.

When the old communist countries became democracies they looked at different systems of voting, all of them choosing some system of PR, because they considered our system to be rubbish.

It is about time the UK abandoned an archaic, deeply flawed voting system and entered the 21st century.  

ERIC FITCH Upper Field Close Hereford

Change ahead

MAY I, through the pages of the Hereford Times, thank all those people who voted Labour and supported me (and my colleague Roger Page) on June 8.   Not only did Labour take second place in Hereford and S Herefordshire but we polled more votes than the combined total of all other opposition candidates.

This result was partly a response to Theresa May’s opportunistic and unnecessary snap election but also a response to Labour’s positive manifesto and Jeremy Corbyn’s excellent national campign.   To move from 20% behind in the opinion polls at the start of the election period to gaining 40 % of the national popular vote six weeks later is no small achievement.

The next election may come sooner than we think.   It will be a two-horse race and to quote a recent Nobel prize winner (Bob Dylan) ‘the times they are a-changin’, even here in Hereford.

ANNA CODA Labour Candidate Hereford and S Herefordshire June 2017

Green thanks

THANK you to everyone who voted Green in the general election and for helping Ellie Chowns in North Herefordshire achieve one of the best Green results in the country.

We’d also like to commend our opponents on their campaigns and to thank Herefordshire Council officers for their very efficient administration of the election.

It was tough for us to see the Green vote squeezed by tactical voting both locally and nationally.

But, despite this squeeze, the Green Party gained more than half a million votes across the country. Regrettably that won us just one seat - Caroline Lucas was returned as MP for Brighton Pavilion with a much increased majority.

In contrast the Democratic Unionist Party, which looks set to prop up Theresa May, had 10 MPs elected on fewer than 300,000 votes.

This is another clear indication of the unfairness of the First Past The Post voting system used to elect MPs.

A system that means millions of votes are wasted and which leads people to vote tactically instead of for their best candidate.

A system which can allow the Conservatives to form a government when only 29% of the electorate voted for them.

Under a Proportional Representation system, as used, for example, in Germany, parliament would more closely reflect the wishes expressed by voters, and far fewer votes would be wasted.

As a way of countering the unfairness of the voting system, Greens across the country sought in this election to make alliances with other progressive parties.

Green candidates stood aside in dozens of marginal seats to help better placed progressive candidates, Labour or Liberal Democrats, to win.  We took a hit for democracy and made a difference.

Unless progressive parties build on this and continue to work together, making local tactical alliances and pushing for electoral reform, the country will be stuck forever with a parliament that is not representative.

This is a dreadful prospect and we invite all who share this concern to become politically active and fight for change.

DIANA TOYNBEE Hereford & South Herefordshire candidate

ELLIE CHOWNS North Herefordshire candidate

The Green Party

It’s your right

TO the 58,103 people who voted Conservative in this county, which is absolutely their right to do so, you should fully own that decision.

Every time: - you see a homeless person on the street - you hear of another person dying after an ATOS assessment - you hear of another hospital closure or NHS sell-off to fund specialised equipment - you read of elephants being slaughtered for their tusks or foxes being ripped apart by the hounds of a revived hunt - there is a terrorist attack on these isles as consequence of ridiculously reduced policing - you read of millionaire bankers receiving huge bonuses while some nurses must rely on food banks - you hear of the fire service being further compromised or failing to respond in sufficient time and putting lives at risk - you hear of an elderly person dying for lack of winter warmth - you hear of another graduate with £30,000 debt say to yourself, - Yes! I voted for that!

Simon Burnett Clehonger

Hope given

IF nothing else in this election, our young people have given us hope that we might be able to look forward to a time when it is considered unacceptable for an MP to work for an investment advisory company based in an offshore tax haven.


Assure us

DEAR Jesse Norman, You have been our concerned and committed MP here for long enough for us to respect your opinions.

Is it possible that you support and approve of Teresa May’s hurried jump into bed with the DUP members of Parliament?

Their bigoted opinions are too well known to need to be listed.

Please assure us that you do not approve.

Michael & Mary Ernest.

Lower Bullingham Hereford

We elect them

DO you know what! All this blame and shame of the Prime Minister Theresa May.

The reality, in our democratic way of life, is that it is the people who choose the government. MPs do not elect themselves, it is the voter who decides.

The Prime Minister was clear about her reasons for calling a snap election, and why she asked for a bigger mandate from the people. She made no promises and warned that it would be a tough time ahead.

So the fact that we now have a bugger’s muddle of a parliamentary situation is down to the people who voted and who were beguiled by an extremely biased media, especially the BBC whose chief political reporter is acting more and more like a vigilante whipping up a hanging.

It’s very easy to make promises, words are cheap – actions speak louder than words.

One of our greatest leaders, Winston Churchill advised:  Manifesto is a lighthouse, not a shopping list.

Ask any responsible mum what she is going to buy and she will first look into her purse to see what she can afford, and she will only spend what is there safely to spend, because her family’s future is dependent on her decision.


Under scrutiny

COUNCILLOR Johnson is wrong to say that It’s Our County did not get back to him about his scrutiny committee chair offer until two days before the annual meeting of full council (HT, June 8).

The fact is that, five days before the meeting, IOC was told that the offer had already been withdrawn.

Chairs and vice-chairs of council committees should not be offered like this, or under these conditions, anyway.

The council’s constitution is clear that nominations can be made at any time, by any councillor or group, up to and including during the annual council meeting: these nominations are not ‘offers’ in the gift of any political group.

The leader’s letter inadvertently reveals his group’s proprietorial tendency to gift committee chairs as favours.

With only one place for IOC on the new general scrutiny committee – whether as chair or not – our group will be giving close scrutiny to the committee’s effectiveness.

And we will continue to accept the administration’s back-handed compliment of no appointment to chair or vice-chair of any council committee.

As far as communication within IOC being the “joke”, as he puts it, after the chaos of their General Election campaign I think the whole world now knows that it’s Cllr Johnson’s Conservative party who are the undisputed experts in communication failures.

IOC does not need a lesson on information-sharing or group-working from this quarter thank you!

ANTHONY POWERS Group leader It’s Our County

Unhappy sight

UNFORTUNATELY today I witnessed a lorry full of chickens being driven into Cargill Meats in Hereford.

As the crates they were in have no solid flooring, the chickens on top were messing on the poor creatures below.


Ideal world..

It would be nice if, High Town had a wash and litter bins were cleaned and emptied.

It would be nice if, Someone got a grip of the burnt-out building defacing High Town, for so long.

It would be nice if, Our premier civic building, the Town Hall, could get the cladding repaired to its main door.

It would be nice if, The topiary at Aylestone Hill ,”Welcome to Hereford”, could have a haircut and the 150 metres of Aylestone Hill, matched the resurfaced areas.

It would be nice if, Money spent on a road to nowhere was spent on the rest of our poor roads.

It would be nice if Hereford looked as smart as Ludlow, It would be nice if, I will not hold my breath.

Les Wilkinson Sutton St Nicholas

Public interest

I REFER to your report in June 15 edition concerning Madley Parish Council.

Ex-Councillor Corcoran, presumably as spokesperson for the defunct parish council, drew selective attention to specific items of the code of conduct for parish councillors adopted in 2016.

If he wishes to be credited as a bringer of “informed opinion” he would have done well to read the remainder of this code.

In particular the section “Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends”.

Offering £13,000 in an attempt to re-instate a previously withdrawn planning application for a 20MW gas-powered generating station in close proximity to a residential area (Planning No. 162770) would seem to clearly breach the code. In particular, the application was vigorously opposed by many local residents and the very same parish council of which the landowner was a member.

Public interest?

Is ex-councillor Corcoran now in favour of the power plant?

I would also refute the claim by ex-Councillor Corcoran that “we have been getting personal abuse, including the clerk”.

All correspondence on this matter has been filed in hard copy and I would challenge him to present any evidence of abuse.


Fitting tribute

AT the 60th Anniversary Concert of The Hereford Police Male Voice Choir, the first choir banner was on view, centre stage, for all to see.   Commissioned by the Ladies’ Committee of the HPMVC with those initials emblazoned across the top, the banner not only showed the choir badge with resplendent head of a Hereford Bull, but also a photograph of its outstanding founder/secretary since 1957, Hereford-born Brian Stewart Williams MBE.   Honoured by Her Majesty in 2010, I doubt if there is any choir founder/secretary anywhere in the UK who can emulate that total commitment.

Unfortunately Brian is now a victim to Motor Neurone Disease in a Droitwich nursing home. When I visit him this week I can convey those fond wishes of both choir and audience, and I can also say what a fitting reward for his service is displayed in his banner.

Mike Kidd Founder member Hereford Police Male Voice Choir