I have just one question following the alleged assault on Steven Woolfe by a fellow Ukip MEP: why exactly are Ukip MEPs still attending the European Parliament? I will assume that, seeing as they have collectively complained about the money we send to the EU, they are now working there without drawing a salary or claiming any expenses. Surely having got the outcome they wanted from the referendum, their work is now done.
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These must be indeed worrying times for everyone involved with Ukip.
We should all of course wish Steven Woolfe a speedy recovery from his injuries and hope that normality swiftly returns.
I do feel, however, that he may well not stand for the leadership, and could even leave the party altogether after such an unfortunate incident. The last leader threw in the towel after only 18 days; the favourite to take over is in hospital. Only one person can bring discipline and authority to such a debacle – I suggest Tyson Fury. After all, I believe that he may well need a job shortly himself.
Theresa May's inconsistencies
What an extraordinary Prime Minister Theresa May is turning out to be. First, she presents herself (repeatedly) as a politician who is “for the many” – including the “just about managing” – and not the “privileged few”. Her friends consistently describe her as a woman driven by strong principles.
How, then, can she have sat around a cabinet table for six years, supporting, it would seem, a host of policies with which she must have profoundly disagreed? Why did she not at some point resign out of principle? She didn’t, however, and now she tells us (repeatedly) of her personal commitment to tackle low levels of social mobility.
To demonstrate this, she announces a change in policy to increase the number of grammar schools – when there is overwhelming evidence about their role in privileging children of the middle class and not improving the education opportunities of children from poorer backgrounds. While this is happening, May remains silent on the distressingly high number of closures of children’s centres across the country: more or less half are up for closure near where I live because the council cannot fund them.
She really ought to realise that children from poorer backgrounds have their life chances compromised from very early in their lives, not when they get to the age of 11. Equally she should have acquainted herself with research by the University of London and published by her own Government’s Department for Education in 2012. If she had, she would have read of how promising the evidence was about the impact of Sure Start centres on children from poorer backgrounds.
Judge me by my record, she tells us. Good advice.
I thought the normal definition of the political centre ground meant the gap between the right wing of Labour and the left wing of the Conservatives. Ms May's idea of the centre ground appears to be that between the left wing of Labour and the right wing of the Conservatives.
Saffron Walden, Essex
Spare me a world where pop stars influence politicians
Who cares whether Kylie Minogue and Joshua Sasse get married or not? Do these relatively insignificant people really believe that they are in a position to influence the government of a country and cause them to change their decisions about same-sex marriage? Can you imagine a government where policy is decided on the whims of celebrities?
Where are the moderates in Syria?
Would someone please explain how the West proposes to engineer regime change in Damascus while retaining Syria's secular state structures? (In memory of Jo Cox, the White Helmets must win the Nobel Prize, 7 October.) This is surely mission impossible. The least bad thing the West can do now is to drop its support for Syria's “moderate” insurgents.
Winterborne Houghton, Dorset
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