Britain is in a mess, says March man, who has had 130 letters published in national newspapers

Ashley Smith of March

Ashley Smith of March - Credit: Archant

A 43 year old writer has built a portfolio of letters published in national newspapers to get his views aired about what he feels is wrong with Britain.


Montage - Credit: Archant

Ashley Smith began writing after he said he felt: “life was passing me by completely, and all I was looking for was a place to air my views, where they would be read and considered.”

He said: “I write about anything that is right or wrong about the country, more often than not, what is wrong with Britain, also anything that causes celebration or commiserations.”

Mr Smith, of Hundred Road, has worked at Tesco in March for seven years, but in the last four has also spent his time penning letters to the editors of a range of national newspapers where he has had more than 130 published.

“I’ve had positive feedback from customers and colleagues who congratulate me for speaking out,” he said.

Ashley Smith is an avid letter writer to national newspapers

Ashley Smith is an avid letter writer to national newspapers - Credit: Archant

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“I guess I’m a passive activist. I just wanted my views to be heard.”


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My name is Ashley Smith, a lot of people may know me, many will not as I have led something of an unspectacular life with a very few highs, but quite an amount of regrettable lows, the lows and regrets have stayed with me in my mind, and shaped my brain into what it has become in the last couple of years, more of that later.

But, for now, a return to the back-story, I was touted as some kind of a child brainiac when I was little, that came to little as I was, and still am, easily distracted, and ended up with low-ish exam grades, and not a lot of prospects, I then went to college in Wisbech, but got booted out for a terrible attendance record.

Since then, my life has been a succession of short-lived jobs, some fantastic opportunities, some dead-end, back-breaking, or mind numbingly tedious manual work, none ever lasting for more than a few weeks or months, and the result was always the same, always back to a life of regret, signing-on, and the inevitable bout of self-worth deprivating depression.

Then, I started working at Tesco’s in March, I kept the job for a few weeks, then months, soon it became a year, then two, three, and now, next month I will have kept my job for seven years, I am still in a state of shock at lasting so long.

But I do enjoy it, working with my colleagues, and being evaluated daily by my bosses and customers, you don’t that in many jobs!

Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to take you back to the issue of my mind and it’s thoughts, to be honest, it isn’t always a nice place to dwell, dark and gloomy, but it does mean ever so well, sometimes it will allow me to say things to brighten up someone’s day, or make them laugh, and that does help dispel some dark clouds.

I have always had the mind of an activist, the passion, the words, but never the drive, determination or the will to try and turn nothing into something, that is until one day a couple of years ago, during a period of illness, which meant me being signed-off from work by my GP, I had read my daily tabloid newspaper from back to front, and with no other option, I decided to read their letters page, with comments and thoughts submitted by members of the public.

Prior to this I wrongly thought these tomes would have penned by retired people with too much time, and that they would moan about last night’s TV or the weather being rubbish. How very wrong I was!

The people who write these letters have ideas, many have plans that could transform this country, so shabbily run, and left to, virtually decay and rot by a succession of governments and politicians more worried about celebrity, money, self-preservation for when their political careers come to an end, or taking us into, more than one ‘illegal’ war, (the latest left the world facing up to the monstrosity that has become ISIL), and ministers that care only about how they look abroad, so they have to pledge billions and billions of pounds into ‘foreign aid’, while the British pensioner is left to rot in a hospital corridor, or patients in 21st century are losing their lives to dehydration, bad food, or needless infections that would be eradicated by cleanliness, and common sense.

The people running our, once Great Britain do not have a clue how to do their jobs, adequately, and after some horrific recent head-lines, a lot of them do not seem fit for purpose, and should not be allowed anywhere near an office again.

But an army of news watchers, decypherers of the garbled code news platforms are told to show or print can see what is happening to this country, they can see many options, many fixes to restore our countries pride, they scream at the politicians and law-makers to make the changes that would save lives, they care about what is happening to our country, it’s people and it’s animal population, but largely they get ignored by the government, they are rebuffed as being ‘Jo Public’, some yokel that never went to Eton, or Cambridge, they no nothing about decisions, but they learned their views living, watching, caring, listening and understanding.

I found a place that day that I could try and join their ranks and add my voice to their growing consternation and anger at what is happening to our beloved Britain, and at the the gluttony and debauchery shown by many of our so-called ‘Peers’, so I wrote a letter to the paper, two days later, my joy was unbridled, and my pride levels shot through the roof at seeing my name followed by March, Cambs in a national tabloid, that they allowed myself and others in quaint little market-towns to call our commander-in-grief, David Cameron a dictator, I was so happy, and in that moment I had been bitten and eager to make up for lost time, that here I am, nearly two years later, and having more than 120 letters printed in several newspapers, I feel I have joined a group of people that I feel I belong too.

I have never met these people, may never meet them, but we are a growing army of voicers and dissenters challenging the establishment with the truth, and once that army gets big enough, and the voices grow loud enough, then maybe, just maybe rulers of the land will have no option but to sit down and listen to us?

So, at the risk of seeing less of my letters being printed, I would urge anyone that has a gripe, or a complaint about being trodden on by a succession of celebrities, politicians, millionaire or oligarch, take out your sword/pen and write like you have never written before, the satisfaction of potentially being heard is so unbelievably rewarding.

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