A fully funded NHS, education grants and services that put the public first – please do take us back to the 1970s

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Jeremy Corbyn says Labour has ‘unanimously agreed’ on the party's leaked manifesto
Jeremy Corbyn says Labour has ‘unanimously agreed’ on the party's leaked manifesto

Theresa May is suggesting Jeremy Corbyn's policies will take us back to the 70s.

As I remember it, a time of a fully funded health service, GPs who could be seen when needed including out of hours cover, grants for further education, national rail, gas and electricity networks who existed for the public and not to enrich CEOs and shareholders, introduction of equal pay legislation, not to mention a mutually beneficial trading relationship with our largest market and an absence of greedy bankers and financiers.

What's not to like?

G Forward
Stirling

The Tories have whined that Labour's enticing new policies would drag the country back to the 70s. I wonder which century their headline policies of re-introducing fox hunting and increasing the number of grammar schools harks back to?

Theresa May herself (strong and stable leader ) seems to be invoking the spirit of Boudicca in both her Brexit negotiations and stance on defence and foreign policy. She seems to think that bloody-minded sword waving is an effective negotiating skill. She’d do well to remember that Boudicca was finally defeated (at the battle of Watling Street ) when her army managed to cut off its own escape route!

Catherine Smedley
Lacapelle-Livron, France

Anthony Rodriguez describes Labour’s leaked manifesto as a “Marxist Shambles” (Letters, 11 May) despite the fact that most of the policies contained within it were practiced by every post-war Tory Prime Minister from Winston Churchill to Ted Heath. And I don’t recall either Winnie or Ted being famous for their vocal rendition of the “Red Flag”. These are also policies that have been routinely practiced for generations by our national neighbours, from whose West European traditions “Blatcherism” has artificially separated us.

Gavin Lewis
Manchester

British politics is broken

If proof was needed that British politics is broken then this general election is it. What depressing reading the leaked Labour Manifesto is. It is not their aspirations that are wrong but their proposed solutions. Back to the 50s and 60s. Labour's proposed solutions didn't work then and won't work now.

For example, I am all in favour of redressing the balance in the workplace between management and employees but having stronger unions is not the answer. This just produced industrial conflict that paralysed our industries. A twenty-first century approach might be to create employee representation on the boards of companies and to create a climate of shared responsibility.

The Conservatives are no better. They also want to return to the past, or rather their perception of a past that really did not exist. So we will reintroduce grammar schools and return to a mythical world characterised by British buccaneers freely roaming the world creating free trade deals willy nilly.

How do we get politicians who are capable of coming up with new solutions to solve today's problems for the world as it is now, rather than revisiting old solutions which didn't work the first time round?

Chris Elshaw
Headley Down

Election spending quabbles

I was intrigued to hear Theresa May claim that the SNP had been “fined for mistakes” over election spending when she was commenting on the Tory battle bus expenses scandal.

The Tories were recently fined £70,000 for election spending irregularities. In addition, the Labour party were fined £20,000 last year for not reporting national spending in the last general election and the Lib Dems were fined the same amount for not declaring certain items.

However, the SNP were not fined and May’s comments prompted an electoral commission statement which said: “(We) have never fined the SNP for any breaches of the party campaign rules at any election.”

We are sadly in an era of “fake news” and what the Prime Minister has claimed is blatantly untrue. She should clearly do the honourable thing and apologise for these outrageous claims.

Alex Orr
Edinburgh

Nicola Sturgeon is again attempting to gain political capital from recent events and in particular the furore over the failure of the Conservatives to declare election spending, despite the case being dropped.

The SNP would have the whole of Scotland believe that they are electing a legion of Titans who will descend from Arthur’s Seat to smite the corrupt of “Wastemonster” and cleanse all before them.

These MPs are free from such petty human foibles that afflict the other parties on occasion and are presented as such.

However, accusations of a “love triangle” and allegations of expense claims have proved that the SNP are as human as the rest of us.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant said that “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” This is a fair assessment. We are neither angels nor demons, although I do believe that we usually aim for the former.

The hypocrisy of the SNP in presenting themselves as being somehow above everything else, when they clearly aren’t, is what is really galling and tedious now.

Of course, presenting Westminster and other politicians as the corrupt and unredeemable “other” is a shrewd, easy and low political move, especially when contrasted with the deceitful and spurious glow of the SNP.

David Bone
Girvan

The Scottish Vote

The detailed pledges and policies contained in various parties’ manifestos, both actual and leaked, provide plenty for pundits to talk about, but in Scotland this election seems destined to be decided on a couple of very big issues.

With Brexit dominating UK-wide and then in Scotland the always present threat of an independence referendum rerun, most voters recognise a need to vote to support that which they care about most. Whichever way you view those two defining issues, each has the ability to make or break our country, depending how they are handled. The judgement is about who can deal with such fundamental matters to get the best outcome, or to put it another way, to cause the least damage.

The SNP pitch is to believe in them to find the best way through, both in terms of leaving the UK and then in turn rejoining the EU. Meanwhile, all the critical services we depend upon are showing the increasingly negative effects of ten years of the SNP being in charge. This will surely be a “hard-sell”, in both senses of those words.

Keith Howell
West Linton

Five more years of disaster

The economy's faltering; growth forecasts are down; inflation is on the rise; employment is insecure and low-paid; nearly a million people are on zero hours contracts; real wages are falling; the NHS and social services are in crisis; schools face £3 billion cuts; parents are asked for direct debit contributions; prisons are a tinderbox; food bank usage is at record levels; homelessness, suicides and poverty are all rising; benefits for the most vulnerable and disabled are slashed; inequality is growing; violent crime is increasing; consumer debt is soaring; the energy market is dysfunctional; the housing market is broken; young people are priced out of home ownership and rental properties; students face massive university debts, the triple-lock protection for pensioners could disappear; even more damaging austerity and higher taxes are on the way. And on top of all that, the frightening uncertainty of Brexit is around the corner.

Yet according to the polls, the electorate cannot wait to re-elect the party responsible for this dreadful state of affairs. Strange, that.

Norman Evans
East Horsley

Family fortunate

I enjoyed reading Holly Baxter’s jokey report about the interview with the Mays (Just like Theresa May, I used my childhood as an opportunity to get an insight into 'ordinary people', 10 May) but can anyone tell me how Mr and Mrs May got to be on this teatime show? I thought the BBC was supposed to be impartial. Are Mr and Mrs Corbyn coming on soon? How about Mr and Mrs Farron? Mr and Mrs Sturgeon?

It seems totally unfair that the British public get to see the warm, cosy side of May without the chance of seeing other politicians “in the flesh” so to speak. Especially when May seems to be doing everything she can to avoid actually meeting the public!

Pauline Edwards
Stoke Golding

Looking after the ageing population

For years successive governments have consistently failed to reform health and social care to cater for our ageing population, leading us to this current state of crisis.

It is encouraging that social care appears to be high up the political agenda, as it’s important politicians address this critical issue for thousands of today’s older people as well as future generations.

We hope that all parties will acknowledge the importance of retirement housing by making it easier for providers to build more of such properties while, at the same time, supporting existing housing schemes. These help prevent accidents among older people and, consequently, see fewer older people using the NHS.

Any new government will face immense pressure to turn its words swiftly into action. It’s time that the word “crisis” stopped being the norm when referring to sectors that are fundamental to the wellbeing of our country’s most vulnerable people.

Jane Ashcroft
London, WC1E

Fox hunting and Labour

In the light of Theresa May’s deplorable support for the re-legalisation of the vile and unpopular practice of hunting, Labour still have time before the official release of their manifesto to upgrade their stated support of the ban, to a firm commitment to strengthen it.

At the present time the ban is being blatantly defied by arrogant hunters who believe themselves to be completely above the law, and woe betide anyone who tries to stop them. A tougher Hunting Act would not only – at last – protect the hunted animal, it would respect the overwhelming wishes of the people, and demonstrate Labour's refusal to allow the powerful to defy the law when it suits them.

Come on Labour, for goodness’ sake don’t miss this golden opportunity to show both compassion and fairness.

Penny Little
Great Haseley

No such thing as the “older generation”

I share the frustration expressed by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett in her opinion piece today (Young people, here's what no one is telling you about the general election: you could swing it, 12 May), but generalised attacks on “the older generation” will achieve nothing positive. For a start, there is no such thing as “the” older generation. I am 65, and there are at least two generations alive today who are older than I am, and more than two who are younger.

The only useful generalisation about human beings is that generalisations about them are usually unhelpful, and in fact generalisation is the foundation of the sort of prejudice that Cosslett would doubtless find highly objectionable if applied to her own generation.

I have no personal recollection of pre-1950s Britain to hark back to. The first election in which I was able to vote was the general election of 1974. I did live through the upheaval of the decade from about 1975 which was undoubtedly a watershed. The miners’ strike, in particular, marked the end of any serious resistance to the full implementation of a political philosophy that is fundamentally at odds with what preceded it for three decades from 1945.

The “older generation” has no single view of that process. It is not difficult to find people for whom it represented a critically important break with an approach that had manifestly failed, but nor is it difficult to find people like me who lament it. When Thatcher said “There is no such thing as society”, she meant it, and for people like me that was, and remains, beyond the pale.

In terms of left and right, which I consider increasingly unhelpful, the political spectrum has moved so far to the right since the 1970s that people like me, who would have considered themselves in the 1970s to be in the centre, would now be considered by many Conservative commentators to be firmly on the left.

I resent bitterly the suggestion that the whole of my generation is responsible for the policies of various Conservative governments since 1979, and especially what has happened since 2010. I resent also the equally objectionable assumption that everyone over about 35 years old voted to Leave the EU.

Philip Morgan
Llanelli

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