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John McDonnell is right – the treatment of Labour members is shameful

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Saturday 13 August 2016 15:42 BST
John McDonnell condemned the High Court's decision
John McDonnell condemned the High Court's decision (AFP/Getty Images)

Labour’s NEC should surely determine the leadership voting rules. John McDonnell, though, is surely right to speak of the rules imposed as shameful. Shameful because they were imposed after accepting new members, implying they would be eligible to vote; shameful because 12th January 2016 deadline is retrospective; shameful because the supporters’ £25 charge cuts out the poor; shameful because only a 48 hour window was given for such supporters’ applications — and most shameful because no good justification, reasons or explanations have been given for these eligibility rules. How, for example, was £25 chosen?

There is such a thing as natural justice. Ought not an emergency NEC meeting be called in the hope that certain NEC members will feel sufficiently shamed to change their vote and allow all Labour members to vote? True, that runs the risk that they may be so unashamed that they make eligibility apply only to those who were members before Corbyn ran in 2015 or only to MPs or, indeed, only to those who pledge not to vote for Corbyn.

Peter Cave
London W1

Leave Rio's green pool alone

Ian Herbert is far too quick to leap to contemptuous judgement about Brazil's competence to stage the Olympics on the basis of the green water in the diving pool.

Anyone who has ever had the thankless task of maintaining a swimming pool in a tropical climate could tell him that a perfectly blue pool can be turned green overnight by a thunderstorm. They could also tell him that the overnight change of colour makes no difference whatever to the safety of swimmers.

David Maughan Brown


A second referendum is entirely justified

I would like to put forward my reason why – in the name of democracy, common sense, and the very future of the United Kingdom and its citizens – a second referendum should be held. Please bear with me.

Let us imagine that the UK still has the death penalty for murder (thank goodness it does not). A man has been judged by the majority of the jury on the evidence presented to be guilty of murder and duly sentenced to death. Days later, fresh evidence is presented to the judge which disproves the guilt of the condemned man. A grave error has been made. Because the jury has sentenced the condemned man does the judge allow the sentence to be carried out OR order a retrial?

I rest my case for a second referendum based on all the lies told to the 'jury' and factual evidence proving it would be a gross miscarriage of justice to carry out the sentence.

Rachelle Hughes

Benalmadena Costa, Spain

Savers are suffering

I was interested to learn that Nationwide is maintaining rates on so called "regular savings accounts". What wasn't said was that the society is cutting many other rates for existing savers such as pensioners. Many low income society members are unlikely to be able to afford to make regular monthly savings but will of course have the privilege of contributing to the eye watering salaries now being paid to the Directors.

Robin White


Having your cake and eating it too

In response to hearing that Philip Davies is complaining that feminists want to have their cake and eat it, my female partner expressed justified outrage. "What's the point of cake otherwise?" she retorted, almost choking on a particularly moist piece of lemon drizzle. She then asked me to write this letter for her.

Paul Flint

An alternative to zebra crossings

AR and KA Wainwright (Letters,12th August) make a very contentious point in claiming that the police should ignore drivers with incorrect documentation in favour of other aspects of the Highway Code, not all of which are mandatory. Since the usual instances of incorrect documentation are lack of insurance and/or driving licence that would be a very retrograde move.

I find it ironic that car drivers are demonised as the rule breakers when pedestrians and cyclists obey the Highway Code only when it suits them to do so. Traffic light jumping is not confined just to pelican crossings and is potentially much more serious at junctions. If the Highway Code is followed pedestrians are only inconvenienced, not harmed, since the advice for all crossings is “always check that the traffic has stopped before you start …”

Those using a zebra crossing have a dilemma since the Highway Code states “Remember the traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing”. The additional advice “If necessary put one foot on the crossing” has not appeared for more than 10 years, presumably deleted on the grounds of safety. Perhaps it is time for zebra crossings to be replaced by safer alternatives.

Roger Chapman

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