I read the article by Jamie Reed MP (“Ed’s era of magical fabulism is over”, 26 July) and, while he might be correct about a delusional Ed Miliband, it is clear that, along with other senior members of his Party, he does not appreciate what the real problems are that clearly face Labour.
The question Labour should be asking itself is why did it contrive to lose an election quite so badly, and this to the party which had led an unpopular coalition? A number of theories have been propounded but I would suggest that the one that makes most sense is that Labour is no longer delivering to its natural constituency.
While Labour continues to allow the Conservatives to set an agenda which is designed to protect the economic, commercial and cultural advantages of London and the South-east, there is little chance that they will be asked to form a government.
If Labour takes anything from its 2015 defeat it should be that it cannot rely on the unpopularity of the Conservatives. Mind you, it still might be its best hope. The Conservatives have five years in power, and five years is more than enough time for them to make a mess of things!
Roger Barstow Frost
DJ Taylor writes that the answer to the declining population and ageing of rural communities is to set up a new think tank called the Centre for the Countryside (“The city’s pull is emptying rural England”, 26 July). Unfortunately, the countryside doesn’t have that much time.
A Centre for the Countryside may be a good idea for the longer term, but right now rural communities need the help of MPs to create rural exemptions from the extension of Right to Buy in the Housing Bill that is promised for October.
If rural areas are exposed to the full force of Right to Buy, the construction in the countryside of affordable, rentable homes by housing associations will dwindle, and the growth of the rural deserts that DJ Taylor envisages is sure to be accelerated.
In all the outcry about the problems in Calais caused to truck drivers and holidaymakers, less and less is heard of the conditions of the migrants who are being blamed for the disruption. No one seems interested in their plight, or has any ideas of what to do with them.
Something has to be done with the people who have braved unimaginable hardships to have got to our borders. Is it not time to consider an amnesty for the relatively small numbers now living in “the jungle” and offer them asylum in Britain while more compassionate and effective long-term measures are put in place to discourage others from following them?
Sadly the realities of what they find in Britain are unlikely to live up to the myths and expectations that have persuaded them to come. This may ultimately prove a greater deterrent than a fence, though it is not something that we should be proud of.
I cannot agree with Jane Merrick (“Save chauffeurs for special days”, 26 July) that John Bercow should be entitled to use a chauffeur on special occasions. If he caught a cab, he would be showing us all that he is no different from us and is serious about cutting the costs of parliament. A Speaker should be humble, not ostentatious.
West Bromwich, West Midlands
I was hugely enthused by your report (“Oh, aren’t we so very clever? Actually, yes”, 26 July) of the research findings that the use of sarcasm can generate creativity. No, honestly, I really was… not that your esteemed organ is in any way deficient in that regard, of course.
Perhaps we can all look forward with equal enthusiasm to further pioneering work, such as the study of the possible productivity-enhancing use of irony and satire in the workplace.
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