Is Rees-Mogg another Trump?

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Sunday 04 February 2018 13:02
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Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg

Despite the veneer of public school manners, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s unfounded accusations of politically biased analysis by civil servants is not so different to the crude accusations Mr Trump directs at any public servant whose professional findings disagree with his own uneducated opinions. If this is allowed to continue our democracy is on a very slippery slope indeed.

Patrick Cosgrove

Shropshire

Messrs Rees-Mogg and Baker rubbish civil servants and accuse them of fiddling the figures to keep us in the customs union and single market.

Personally, I’d like to see their analysis and evidence-based projections for how well we will do outside the EU. If loudmouthed Brexiteers don’t feel sufficiently confident to put forward their own projections then why should anyone follow them into the unknown? The phrase “put up or shut up” comes to mind.

Joe Hennessy

Address supplied

Knowing what to value

With trust there is respect; with respect there are values. Without values there is nothing. Donald Trump has spent his life investing in (thus, valuing) a nation he now leads. He trusts, he respects and he values freedom. His stance is gathering traction… worldwide.

Howard Hutchins

Victoria, Australia

Don’t assume that you speak for all of us

Naz Shah MP recently criticised the appointment of a fellow Muslim to head the Government’s anti-extremism commission (report, 26 January). Who gives Naz Shah the right to speak on behalf of Britain’s Muslim community? Naz Shah is an MP who happens to be a Muslim; she is not the MP of the Muslim community.

We witnessed an identical scenario last year, when the newly elected Sikh MP, Preet Kaur Gill, took upon herself the task of representing the British Sikhs – notwithstanding the fact that such a task was already assigned to Lord Singh of Wimbledon, a cross-party peer.

Preet Kaur Gill and Naz Shah are members of an all-party parliamentary group for the British Sikhs and the British Muslims. Such groups, however, have no official status within Parliament. This raises a fundamental question: do British MPs represent constituencies or communities? If it is the former, then Naz Shah and Preet Kaur Gill have no right to speak on behalf of their co-religionists who do not live in their constituencies.

Randhir Singh Bains

Essex

The changing face of Hong Kong

Theresa May promised to raise Hong Kong with China’s leaders (“Theresa May pledges to raise Hong Kong human rights violations in China”, 31 January). However, I don’t think May’s “kindly” reminder of Hong Kong will work.

Currently, Hong Kong is moving towards an “illiberal democracy”. Despite its short-term intrusion into Hong Kong’s political liberty, it may be beneficial in the long term. There is an inevitable trade-off between political freedom and economic progress in Hong Kong. If Hong Kong people choose to continue the squabbles and even ask London for assistance, the political instability will diminish its economic value for mainland China. Consequently, Hong Kong’s desire for democratisation will be likely to be completely ignored by Beijing.

It might be a better choice for Hong Kong people to set aside political dissatisfactions and focus on taking advantage of its internationalisation to accelerate its economic growth. When it can demonstrate its indispensable economic value to Beijing, the real democracy will be easier to achieve. If this is the long-term plan for Hong Kong’s democratisation, leaving the Hong Kong issue aside rather than confronting this problem with Beijing’s hardliners will be a better option for May.

Jiaxuan Lu

China

Remain to save us from Marxism

The conundrum is simple. Brexit: Conservatives lose power, Marxism rules. Remain: Conservatives pull the rug from underneath both extreme right and left and continue in power.

Forget the economic and social ideals: this is simply a battle of ideologies. Time for decisive statesmanship and leadership. Who will jump first?

Gareth Powell

Cheshire

A history lesson worth remembering

Regarding recent letters and films about Britain “standing alone”, it is often forgotten that Greece stood with Britain against the Axis powers after much of mainland Europe had been occupied. Greece successfully defeated the Italian invasion in October 1940, the first Axis setback of the entire war according to the historian Mark Mazower. Greece then remained unoccupied until the German invasion of April 1941. Greece stood with Britain during those fateful months, and her partisans continued the fight against fascism under occupation, as they did in many other occupied countries. Let’s not forget that Britain wasn’t the only country in Europe that stood up to fascism after May 1940.

Mark Pedlar

Wakefield

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