'Caroline has been a strong mentor'

SIR: To the surprise of us Tory members/voters, Caroline Nokes MP lost the whip over one vote on one area of policy; Brexit. This was in the context of Caroline dedicating herself totally to our constituency for over a decade. Supported by staff, she has contributed a lot to UK politics through her work in multiple government departments. Caroline has been a strong mentor, especially to young people who are new to politics. She was an invaluable mentor to me when I was younger.

If this were any other policy area and an MP had rebelled due to a specific, one-off point of disagreement, momentum-style Conservative deselection would be unthinkable. It is worth remembering that Romsey actually voted to Remain. As a former Vote Leave area coordinator, even I have to concede there isn’t a majority for a no deal Brexit in this constituency. Long-serving activists from the pro-Brexit wing do not support the withdrawal of the whip. There may be a few new, self-declared Tory supporters/members on social media who do. I am not aware any of them have spent years delivering leaflets and working for the local association.

Caroline has made clear her intention to stand again — with or without the whip. When she does, she will have the support of local Tory members.

JM Stokes

Linderhof, Buttons Lane, Wellow

Fish attacked

SIR: We live in Jermyns Lane and last weekend when we went over to our Koi Pond to let some of the water out as it was so high following all the rain something had got in the pond and about seven of our large Koi were lying along the edge on the grass. We originally had 18 !!!

They had been attacked and it was absolute carnage. One of the Koi we had had for at least 35 years.

Two Ghost carp were still breathing and we managed to revive them successfully. On reading the Internet we soon realised it was an Otter.

This letter is to warn people with ponds in this area to keep watch.

Sally Grahamsley,

Jermyns Lane,



SIR: Following your article on the Romsey Stream clean last week, I attach a picture of the Holbrook stream Middlebridge St. which we had cleaned.

It has taken just ten days to get back to being a rubbish dump; even a toilet seat has been thrown in.

This just shows how pathetically mindless and lazy some people are.

Everyday I collect rubbish along the street and by the stream at the bus station.

It is generally sweet and cigarette wrappers or lunch paraphernalia a tins.

I remonstrated with a young woman who threw her cigarette butt on the floor and trod on it, only to be told I was being rude!

If society thinks this is acceptable, then looking after Romsey will always be an uphill struggle for those prepared to do it and I really don’t know what the solution is, as fines seem to create hostility and school children who are taught environmental issues don’t care.


SIR: After 50 years as a voter I have finally turned, turned into a grumpy don’t know.

The shameful shenanigans of our Parliamentarians leave me yearning for a general election, but for whom should I vote?

The party that got us into this very expensive Brexit mess make me feel blue, it has been their internecine squabbling that caused all this trouble.

The opposition’s game of thrones approach makes me see red; I no longer recognise a labour party and I refuse to support the comrades.

Should I then, for lack of courage, vote for the LibDems? But they will regard any vote for them as an endorsement of REMAIN; for politicians have become adept at telling us why we voted this way or that and yet none have ever asked me. Perhaps that is why the overpopulated House of Commons has overpaid members, they have all become mind readers.

They have told me that three years ago I had a simple question to answer: a binary question - in or out. They told me that as part of the general public my opinion was both needed and that my judgement was trusted.

Sadly they, or at least most of the learned members of The House have decided that collectively WE got the answer wrong. You see WE failed to understand as they do.

So, we get a choice, be ignored or take the test again, but this time it is the other answer that is the correct answer. Not difficult with a binary choice, is it? But then, that assumes our motives for voting whichever way we did are in accord with their flawed analysis. In my case they are totally wrong.

So it is, that I sincerely hope that in any forthcoming election we get a truly independent candidate. Not a Party exile, but a truly independent candidate. Alternatively, one could harbour the forlorn hope that on the ballot paper there is a default box labelled NONE OF THE ABOVE in which I can comfortably place my mark and look forward to the whole lot of them being declared redundant the following day.

Then venturing forth into sunlit uplands you and I can enjoy the obfuscation and sophistry they deploy to excuse their collective failure to get it right.

Paul Newton,

Buttons Lane, West Wellow