I was heartened by Paul Nuttall’s election as the new leader of Ukip.
Firstly, Nuttall’s election gives a clear and credible answer to the existential question: what after the Brexit referendum is Ukip for? There is a real need for a political party to represent working-class people, now that the Labour Party has reduced itself to little more than a virtue-signalling middle-class cult. The success of the SNP suggests that replacing Labour in England and Wales is a realistic aim for Ukip.
Secondly, the new leader is likely to bring an early end to the infighting and factionalism. Paul Nuttall commands the support of Ukip’s MEPs, as deputy leader was close enough to Nigel Farage to bring Farage loyalists with him, and by his astute early appointment of Patrick O’Flynn MEP shows he intends to bring those close to Douglas Carswell MP and Suzanne Evans back into the fold.
Thirdly, Paul Nuttall’s championing of an English parliament shows that he recognises the need to rebalance our constitution to take account of devolution to the Celtic parts of the UK.
British politics can only benefit from Ukip mounting a challenge to a Labour party, which under Jeremy Corbyn seems to be stuck in a 1970s university sociology department.
I understand that Ukip, whose members apparently call themselves Kippers, have elected Paul Nuttall as their new leader. Does that mean a majority of Kippers are Nutters?
Philip de Jonge
Politics still needs Ed Balls
Having read Grace Dent with interest (29 November), I feel I must disagree with her assessment of Ed Balls and his fitness for a return to politics. As a shadow cabinet minister, his time for a sabbatical came after an electoral defeat he had not sought. If he devoted part of that sabbatical to discovering his “inner maverick”, then that need not tarnish him for more serious stuff.
Today’s populist surge persuades me we desperately need to retain the thoughtful and wise ministry of those political stalwarts who embodied parliamentary democracy.
Ministers of religion, also, take sabbaticals from time to time, and the idea is that they return refreshed to their calling. I sincerely hope that Ed Balls will find a way to return to his life of political service.
Rev Peter Sharp
Chapel-en-le-Firth, High Peak
I think that Grace Dent is being a bit hasty in judging that Ed Balls ought to leave politics forever. I always thought he was an excellent shadow Chancellor – truly considerate and compassionate. Indeed, even to this day, whenever I cross myself, I always run through the mantra: "Ed Balls, Heart and Wallet."
Heathrow Airport's expansion has a neo-colonialist edge
As someone living in close proximity to Heathrow, I welcome the letter sent by the Climate Change Committee to the Business and Energy Secretary, pointing out that plans to expand the airport will breach the Government’s climate change laws.
It is certainly good to have the backing of this high level committee for the concerns some of us have been expressing. As a prospective county candidate for Staines, I feel bound to point out how this fine and historic town is absolutely in the front line on the air pollution issue. The report by the Airports Commission itself was quite candid about how the community will suffer.
However, the effects locally are not the only issue. It is deeply concerning that the Government appears to be planning to solve the aviation overshoot by buying permits to pollute from poor countries that have low levels of CO2 emissions. Frankly this has a somewhat neo-colonial “white imperialist” ring about it. Also it is clear that the credits may not be available in the future and they may not be cheap.
On all these counts, Theresa May and her colleagues should surely bite the bullet and cancel the third runway project.
Comparing Scotland to Greece shouldn't be seen as an insult
It beggars belief that Nicola Sturgeon can say that it is “deeply offensive to people in Scotland to hear their economy compared to Greece”. Sturgeon tells us that Scotland is a world leader in various areas, including tourism. Does she think that Greece, with its cultural treasures and Mediterranean climate (and food), attracts fewer tourists than Scotland? Is she not aware that Greece, with a population more than double Scotland’s, has a deficit that is lower than Scotland’s? And does it not occur to her that, if she wishes to impress EU members, the opinion of Greece might be worth cultivating?
Evidently not, as she blusters that it is outrageous to compare us to Greece. I’m afraid Nicola Sturgeon is becoming an embarrassment to Scotland.
We shouldn't stop at Brexit
As I understand it, Brexit is all about reclaiming the sovereignty of Britain and the British people. Then should we also not be claiming back other things we have been robbed of – like our railways, our utilities and our Post Office, so any proceeds benefit services to the British people, instead of private shareholders, many of whom are not British?
'Jams' need to get their own back on post-truth elites
If people are bewildered by the term “post-truth politics”, who can blame them? The current battle between factions of the global wealthy elites for control of countries full of “Jams” (Just about managing' people) is confusing to say the least.
However, this spate of plutocratic bellicosity is giving us new insights into how for centuries we've been hoodwinked by the elites' guile to protect and increase their riches. By virtue (or vice) of their wealth, the rich have always had power over everyone else. Nothing exemplifies this more than wars conducted ostensibly for “king and country”, or nowadays “to promote and protect western values”.
In this battle of the elites, where politicians are mere agents, people are being urged to take sides. But support of one faction or another will not change a thing. It is time for 'Jams' to be on their own side by understanding what is really going on. A necessary preliminary for real and beneficial change.
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