Corbyn’s convictions won’t save the Labour Party, but resigning will

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Thursday 16 August 2018 14:32 BST
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Jeremy Corbyn: I was “present” when the wreath was laid “I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Having read some very thoughtful and intelligent comments (both in your recent editorial and in Matthew Norman’s article) relating to the matter of Corbyn and that wreath, the similarity with Theresa May prior to her disastrous general election campaign seems striking.

It is generally now considered the reason why Ms May ran such a poor campaign was due to the so-called experts who she chose to listen to, with total disregard to all other counsel. Not surprisingly, her two best buddies were sacked post-election.

So who is it that Corbyn is listening to? I fear that it is only ever himself. He cannot perceive that he does not know everything, and seems incapable of understanding that no one is an expert on everything. For this reason, I fear he does not seek to test his arguments and strategies in open debate and discussions with anyone other than perhaps the reflection in his shaving mirror. I fear he is unwilling to seek out expert guidance, even when he embarks on journeys he probably never contemplated being forced to take.

This is a very dangerous situation for us all. In relatively recent history, Britain was lumbered with a poor Tory government, with ineffectual opposition as a result of the Labour Party’s choice of leader. Just remember (or if necessary ask your grandad) about the Michael Foot years. We appear to have gone back to a very similar situation today, with a Labour leader who listens to no one, acts on old outdated idealisms and animosities, and is either incapable or simply unwilling to offer a real opposition to probably the worst Tory government in living memory.

What would he be like as a prime minister? It is a very worrying thought.

For the sake of the Labour Party, and for the sake of the nation, Corbyn must do what May did when she finally realised she had been following bad advice. He must sack his advisor. And then he must resign.

David Curran
Feltham, Middlesex

World’s most liveable city?

Vienna may well be the world’s most liveable city, but before anyone moves here they should know that my thrice-weekly rubbish collection was 20 minutes late yesterday.

Dr John Doherty
Vienna

The self-righteous, not the right, have a lot to learn

R Kimble’s hysterical diatribe (The right needs to learn that free speech doesn’t excuse the promotion of hate) encapsulates the grave problem of a smug, spoilt brat society intoxicated by its own zealotry. Proudly blind, deaf and dumb to all views and evidence contradicting their own brittle worldview, hell bent on gagging and bludgeoning all dissent by legal or literal violence, these tinpot Hermione Grangers would burn every Luna Lovegood at the stake after trial by Twitter.

Saying “having a few people from other cultures or ethnicities in your government doesn’t mean the rich, white, male majority aren’t racists”, is demonisation at its most vicious: it doesn’t mean they are racists either, and anyone coming out with the old lie, “I support free speech, but…” doesn’t believe in it at all. A society where cohesion is dependent on coercion is no society at all.

Current affairs are now a ceaseless clickbait feeding frenzy for hyper-simplification and hyper-vilification from those longing the return of lynch mob justice; where Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn find themselves accused and condemned all in one breath of being evil personified, untrustworthy to ever hold high office to one half; to the other half, they are wronged Sir Galahads. Yet no one espies the obvious analogy, or dares not when to play devil’s advocate today is to risk accusation of being the devil itself.

Indeed, such is the emotional and intellectual bankruptcy, we have the absurdity of left and right regarding themselves as the exclusive chosen people to pass comment on Israel, inculpable of any antisemitism resultant. But if their opposite numbers make the same comments, that is culpable antisemitism. For Israel, one may substitute Islam or any other contentious topic, with the same result. O tempora, o mores!

No, it is not “the right” which needs to “learn”, it’s “the self-righteous” – left, right and centre – who would destroy pluralism in the name of “liberty”.

Mark Boyle
Renfrewshire

More than one definition of antisemitism

Dissent is permitted – especially when the ex-cathedra statement of a party with an interest is so overtly tendentious.

The IHRA position on antisemitism, no matter how meticulous the scholarship, is not the last word on the matter. Other definitions are available. The subject is of great importance and unrestricted further debate is essential. Attempts to close off discussion are profoundly sinister, especially when used to distort political discourse and distract from epochal events in the UK and must be resisted.

The denigration and slaughter of groups such as Armenians, Kurds, Mexicans, Native Americans, Uyghur, Rohingya, Bosnians, Rwandans and many others is usually held to have a racist element.

Thousands of Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli government. The kill ratio is many hundreds to one. It is sobering to measure the actions of the Israelis against the US Department of State’s eight stages of genocide, and pertinent to ask which community is the more terrorised.

Perhaps racist and genocide are the wrong words to use but it is incontestable that something hideously evil is going on.

Steve Ford
Haydon Bridge

I write in relation to your Ash Sarkar feature in Voices. I have one word. Wow.

I’ve never seen this conflict put so succinctly and accurately. Thank you for a fact based analysis.

Iram Naz
Address supplied

We need a new transport secretary

I don’t pretend to know the full remit of Chris Grayling’s job, but from what I have seen and read about him and his role, I can say one thing: I believe he’s useless and clearly out of his depth. Replacing him won’t fix all the problems overnight, but at least it would show that the prime minister accepts that there are problems with the railways and she doesn’t currently have the right person in place to deal with them.

Steve Mumby
Bournemouth

India still has a long way to go

A day after its 71st independence day, about 25 per cent of India lives below the poverty line of $2 per day. India’s infrastructure in the cities is collapsing. And, the new culture of religious bigotry and vigilante lynching with no fear of the law are undermining the police and law machinery. Indian leaders are increasingly becoming demogogic in their pronouncements. Poverty and unemployment stare India in the face.

India has many more miles to travel before being a strong democratic nation.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai

Respect will save us

One of the key reasons the UK has to be under a severe threat from terror is the failure of our society to teach respect. Foreigners are not the only ones to blame for their attitude and consequent behaviour such as shown in the event in Westminster this week.

We have failed to teach respect to generations of British children. Leadership by example from our political classes has failed all too often. Encouraging materialism, consumerism, individualism, a lack of integration by many immigrants and a general decline in religious observance have all led to lower levels of trust and respect, the loss of community and a breakup of society.

Increasing levels of police to monitor, hopefully to prevent terror, and deal with the aftermath of events is not enough. The government also needs to consider how it can restore a sense of respect for other people and their property.

J Longstaff
Buxted

Early lectures aren’t so bad

In response to the outraged Durham students complaining about lectures starting at 8am, when I began my apprenticeship aged 16 in 1964, my start time was 7.30am, which necessitated my leaving home at 6.30am. They are delicate flowers.

Name supplied
Colne

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