This is what you have been writing to us about this week.
To send your own letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, any letters sent to the Bucks Free Press office are only being picked up periodically as all staff are still working from home.
Cheer or jeer Covid comments
A lot of Wycombe voters will either cheer or jeer the comments of Steve Baker, our MP.
He said he opposes his party’s decision to deploy Covid marshals to break up gatherings of groups of more than six and he is also against some of the other sudden new clampdown measures to beat the virus.
I read that he also said in a BBC news interview: “It’s time for us to start living like a free people, and not subjecting ourselves to constantly shifting legal requirements.”
In an ideal happier situation a lot of us would agree with him but we must have some firm measures to clampdown on the bovine idiots who think the virus is everyone else’s problem.
We’re all in this together. People are dying or are being left in a nasty condition as they try to recover.
It’s a bit refreshing to read of a Conservative MP criticising scatterbrain Boris and Matt Hancock.
I hope that when at last the crisis is over there is a public inquiry into all the horrid blunders which could have been avoided by them - and lives and suffering saved.
But as Wycombe voters we should still be very uneasy about Mr Baker’s statement that if necessary Britain should break firm international laws in our hopefully final negotiations with exit from the EU. It would bring shame on our country.
Is he a man of honour or a man of straw?
Name and address withheld
Our MPs? Shame on you all
In our democracy we elect MPs to represent us in Parliament, our legislative assembly: you are there to make our laws and uphold them.
On 14 September 2020 – a date which will live in infamy in our history – all Buckinghamshire MPs voted to support the second reading of the Internal Market Bill, which by the admission in Parliament of at least one minister breaks national and international law.
This act of collective madness was committed despite clear warnings from at least two former Conservative Prime Ministers and others including privy counsellors and very senior legal experts.
The Chairman of the 1922 Committee did not support the IMB: he at least has the power to send Boris Johnson on his way, as one of his predecessors did to Margaret Thatcher.
It was also not supported by Theresa May, or indeed a host of Conservative MPs, especially from the South and South-West of England.
So why are you so eager to please this Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings and the fifth column of the party who were irrelevant outcasts until Nigel Farage frightened you and most of your colleagues?
Why have you supported a totally unnecessary resolution – any unwelcome EU actions, including a “blockade”, are already covered by the Protocol – and potentially undermined both the Brexit negotiations, the NI Peace Agreement and future negotiations with the USA, and broken the law?
How do your consciences cope with the fact that the 2019 “oven-ready deal” which Conservatives promised the nation and on which it won the last General Election has now been cast aside by your action?
Have you not noticed that we are in the middle of a unique national crisis caused by the Covid pandemic, where ministers are threatening action against anyone who breaks The Rule of Six, even, say, a mother with six children?
What hypocrisy! No, you are not our MPs.
You do not break the law in our name.
Perhaps you would rather work in a country whose leaders routinely show they can do what is “against the law in a limited and specific way”? No, I thought not!
A. Bill, via email
Reconsider position on bill
I recently wrote to Dame Cheryl Gillan, MP for Amersham and Chesham to express my dismay at the government’s highly controversial proposed Internal Market Bill given some of the provisions within it directly contravene the Withdrawal Agreement and International Law.
This is the withdrawal agreement which the Prime Minister negotiated, agreed, defined as ‘oven ready’ and used as a mandate to win the general election.
It is his agreement and contravening it through the proposed Internal Market Bill breaks international law and represents a breach of trust with his party, parliament and the electorate.
As Margaret Thatcher once said ‘Britain does not break treaties.
It would be bad for Britain, bad for relations for with the rest of the world and bad for any future treaty on trade’.
I am very disappointed to say Dame Cheryl Gillan responded to my letter saying she has supported the bill so far and in her response and justification for supporting the bill she quoted Boris Johnson’s concern that the Withdrawal Agreement could be used by the EU ‘to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off; or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK’.
However, Boris Johnson’s concerns about EU tactics are without evidence and contradicted even by his own minister, the NI secretary Brandon Lewis who believes the EU ‘are acting in good faith’.
If this bill were to be brought into law with the current provisions, there is no doubt it will lead to border infrastructure being reinstated on the island of Ireland and a resumption of unrest.
I believe Dame Gillan has not considered these ramifications sufficiently.
As the longstanding Conservative MP for Amersham and Chesham, I have urged Dame Gillan to reconsider her position and oppose the bill as it progresses as I am certain she will not want to be associated with supporting a breach of international law as well as a resumption of violence in NI.
Selina Kerr, Chalfont St Peter
PM does not speak for ordinary conservatives
I am deeply concerned by the government’s plan to break promises made in the Withdrawal Agreement; an international treaty signed less than a year ago.
The Northern Ireland Secretary admitted this would break international law.
The Internal Markets Bill would renege on commitments to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and would set negotiations with Europe back to square one.
This Bill has already passed its second reading with a sizeable Conservative majority.
The Conservatives pride themselves on being the party of law and order, of economic stability and of the Union.
Now the government is openly breaking international law and paving the way to a no-deal economic disaster.
How can the Conservative and Unionist party jeopardise the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland?
The Prime Minister does not speak for ordinary Conservatives.
He was elected to deliver a comprehensive, ‘oven-ready’ deal with Europe, which would help communities and businesses like mine.
Yet his actions threaten not only the reputation of the Conservative Party, but the global reputation of the UK as a trustworthy nation.
Name and address withheld
Mosque elections of huge importance
I am writing this letter in connection with the article in your paper about the mosque elections.
Steve Baker is right to raise this issue because it concerns his voters.
As a member of Parliament, it is his duty to speak about the issues which matter to his constituents, just as the mosque elections is a local issue.
Over one thousand of his constituents have signed a petition regarding the mosque elections asking Steve Baker to help us with resolving the democracy back inside our mosques.
The management committee of Wycombe Islamic Mosque and Mission Trust (WIMMT) was elected in November 2015 for a period of two years.
The current trustees have not held an election since these were due at the end of 2017 or at the latest in February 2018.
Following the judgement in 2011, elections were held in 2011, 2013, and November 2015, which is when the last elections were held.
Apart from not conducting elections in 2017, the management committee has failed to hold an extraordinary general meeting about governance matters with little or no communication with members of the Trust.
At present the management committee is unconstitutional, undemocratic and a ‘de-facto’ committee.
I know that due to the pandemic, elections are not possible at present.
However the committee are still able to make an announcement stating that elections will be held once the Covid-19 situation has gotten better.
The council elections have also been postponed to next May.
There is a date set for these council elections despite the current Covid-19 situation, and if the council are able to set a date for their elections, then the management committee for WIMMT should be able to also.
The management committee state the delay in calling elections is due to the matter of drafting a new constitution for the Trust.
This would no be a legitimate process on their part as the current management committee’s term has ended at the end of 2017 and they have therefore become a ‘de-facto’ committee.
The management committee have also lost the confidence of members of the Trust to be involved in the drafting of any new governance documents.
I have tried to explain how important this issue is.
The Wycombe Islamic Mission and Mosque Trust is a big Islamic faith organisation in this town and it is essential that it is run by its constitution.
Zafar Iqbal, former WIMMT chairman
Track and Trace is ill-conceived
Hundreds of local primary school children, struck down with back-to-school colds, have been forced to stay home today because some of their symptoms correspond with those linked to coronavirus (temperatures and coughs).
The government and NHS description of the key indicators of coronavirus are deliberately vague (‘high temperature’ ‘new persistent cough’) and require subjective assessment - by the parents or school.
Schools aren’t willing to take the risk, even though parents are convinced they are just dealing with common colds.
Some children are being forced to stay away just because their siblings are ill.
Parents know their children are suffering with typical childhood colds, as they build their natural immune systems.
Yet parents are powerless to force the schools to take their children, with many being turned away at the school gates.
Many schools hadn’t anticipated the scale of the crisis.
What is worse is that the parents are then unable to access (local, or any) testing facilities.
The government’s website for booking an NHS test keeps crashing, the 111 service is overwhelmed and it seems that there are not enough tests available, either locally or further afield, to get these children tested so that they can get back to school quickly.
The promise of tests on school premises hasn’t materialised.
The government’s assurances that our children’s education will be safeguarded has fallen at the first hurdle.
Their strategy for getting children back into full time education this autumn has failed to take account of a simple truth: kids get ill.
Name and address withheld
Assisted dying laws need to be looked at
The majority of people are fit and active and so can find it difficult to appreciate the unhappiness linked to living years of advanced old age.
In 2018 national statistics reported 500,000 UK citizens living in their nineties and a further 13,000 a hundred years old or more. This now warrants some new consideration.
For example, assisted dying has been legalised in some countries on both sides of the Atlantic and in parts of Australia, but not in UK.
Some MPs are now seeking a re-examination of this UK policy governing assisted dying.
If you would like to support these MPs please send a short note to this paper, stating your age, name and your support for making assisted dying more easily available.
The paper will withhold your name if you prefer it not to be published.
Elsa Woodward, High Wycombe