The sizeable part of the electorate with whom Corbyn has connected is unlikely to be engaged by the return of New Labour
I am baffled by Jane Merrick’s disdain for Jeremy Corbyn (“End this nightmare”, 29 November). My son was among many who joined the Labour party to support Corbyn for leader. The grass-roots have been longing for some idealism. At the general election, our left-wing candidate for York Central, Rachael Maskell, won the seat for Labour with an increased majority, and is showing herself a brilliant MP, both locally and nationally.
Is London a separate planet? Listen to the grass-roots, Jane Merrick. Pale-blue New Labour offered very little. Corbyn is learning on the job, without abandoning his principles, steering a difficult path through national and international problems.
F Mary Simpson
Joan Smith is attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his socialist principles, and only seems interested in electorability (“Labour must get rid of Corbyn – now”, 29 November). Principles endure and are just as relevant today. Tony Blair used his leadership to insist on bombing Iraq – an utter disaster. Bombing Syria will be a recruiting sergeant for Isis.
It is hard to disagree with Joan Smith that Jeremy Corbyn’s continued tenure as Labour leader is damaging the party. The question is, will his resignation, or more likely ousting, benefit Labour? The public and party members alike have little appetite for another leadership race, particularly if the slate of candidates is, as last time, uninspiring.
There is also the matter of Mr Corbyn having managed to connect with a sizeable part of the electorate who feel disenfranchised by mainstream politics. Some of these people will follow their leader into the wilderness; where will the others go? They are unlikely to be engaged by the return of New Labour.
Labour needs to have an honest discussion about what it stands for and who it represents that the party has dodged for two decades. Retreating to the false security of the centre ground is not an option if the party wants a long-term future.
The article by Joan Smith annoyed me for one particular comment. Wanting a fairer society; wanting capitalism to work for all; wanting a more democratic society and politicians who reflect the views and needs of their constituents is NOT “going back to the Seventies”. This is the typical mantra of the Labour Right – an attempt to label those with left-wing views as “out of date”.
It may be that Jeremy Corbyn is not leadership material; it may be that he fails and is replaced by someone more acceptable to the establishment but, please Joan, do not insult readers’ intelligence by resorting to crude and baseless insults.
Bromley, Greater London
With attention on air strikes against Isis in Syria, the desperate plight of the Syrian people needs to remain at the front of our minds. The conflict has claimed a quarter of a million Syrian lives, as many as 6.5 million are internally displaced and approximately 13.5 million Syrians are in need of basic humanitarian assistance. Some people have been displaced as many as seven times. We are reaching 4.5 million people a month, responding to ever increasing need with essential aid such as medical supplies, mobile clinics, food parcels, blankets, mattresses, water and ambulance services.
The London conference on Syria, scheduled for early 2016, is a welcome example of the UK leading humanitarian diplomacy. Ultimately, there needs to be a political solution to this conflict. Pending such an achievement, we must continue to focus on supporting Syrians to receive the assistance and protection they so urgently need – whether they remain in Syria, seek refuge at its borders, or beyond.
Director of international programmes and partnerships, British Red Cross, London EC2
Given how long the Chilcot inquiry is taking, can we start our inquiry into the Syrian War debacle now?
Woodford Green, Essex
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