Letters: Putting Tories in power is no way to save the UK

These letters appear in the 7th May issue of The Independent

Wednesday 06 May 2015 17:09
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I’m at a loss to understand your support for another Tory-Lib Dem coalition to preserve the United Kingdom (editorial, 5 May).

The only reason the Scottish nationalists have gained so much support is their hatred of Tory governments. Another Tory government, in spite of protestations by the SNP to the contrary, would ensure a demand for another independence referendum in 2016, which they would very probably win. In fact, it is very likely the SNP want the Tories to win in order to guarantee enough votes to ensure independence.

If we don’t want to end up as a couple of tin-pot nations on the edge of Europe, with our exit from the EU more or less a certainty, we must all vote Labour.

Edward Lyon

Sandown, Isle of Wight

Whoever wrote the editorial comment “In defence of liberal democracy” would do well to take a refresher course on how political systems actually work. The one guaranteed way to harm Britain’s fragile democracy and to ensure that the Scots will break from the UK is to vote in another confrontational, divisive Conservative government of the kind which has led us to the present turmoil.

Ian Flintoff

Oxford

What sort of “principled, effective politician” (as you call Nick Clegg) does an about-turn once in government and sanctions a tripling of student tuition fees?

What I have sadly witnessed over the past five years is the enactment of a radical Tory agenda, facilitated by Lib Dem ministers. If we have five more years of this government, I fear for the rapidly shrinking welfare state. In particular, the Coalition’s legislation to promote a competitive market within the NHS and privatisation of healthcare services is leading to such fragmentation of the NHS that it may not survive as an integrated collaborative public service.

A Tory vision of “hard-working families” having freedom of choice to use private education, healthcare and pension planning may be attractive to those that already have personal economic stability.

For those hard-working families who continue to struggle towards that stability, the loss of state support systems at times of need, such as health or family breakdown, or redundancy, is a recurring nightmare.

Paula Riseborough

Bath

The cat is now out of the Independent bag. We might be forgiven for thinking that your editorial had been penned by moderate Nick Clegg himself.

I have always accepted the premise that the Indy maintains its proud impartial status by publishing comment, views and opinions from across a broad political spectrum. But surely thereafter it should then be up to the readership to draw its own conclusions, without any further guidance.

We now know, for sure, that The Independent’s sympathies lie somewhere between the left of the Conservative Party and the right of the Liberal Democrats, through its endorsement of the current Coalition Government.

I find it very disappointing, but not altogether surprising, having sensed an increasingly right-of-centre bias in recent weeks.

Phil Aldridge

Worcester

In your commendable editorial you posit that the Green Party is “economically illiterate”. One supposes that the scams and scandals of the financial sector, the nation’s debt and deficit, the creeping privatisation of the NHS, the commitment to the TTIP, are all examples of economic fluency. I think not.

Lyn Atterbury

Pila, Poland

When did our home become a ‘mansion’?

Like most of our neighbours we’ve lived in our modest central London home since before the extraordinary hike in property values turned it into a “mansion”. My wife and I are the last generation of teachers able to afford to buy a home in the same community as the children that attend our school.

Some might say we were lucky to have enjoyed a 500 per cent rise in the value of our home, but I can’t see how anyone benefited other than mortgage lenders and estate agents. We can’t afford to move locally because stamp duty would amount to £153,750. When we die our children will be forced to sell the family home in order to pay £540,000 inheritance tax, and they will never be able to afford to live in the area where they grew up.

Failing to manage our economy properly, successive governments presided over this massive house price inflation without regard for the social consequences because growth in the economy depended on it. Now close neighbours who have lived on our street since 1963 are putting off buying a much-needed stairlift because they’re worried they won’t be able to afford their “mansion tax” bill.

This election campaign has been characterised by lack of detail from all parties, but I’d really like to know how our home will be valued, how much we’d be expected to pay and what we do if we can’t. I’m happy to pay tax on my income because I know I’ll be able to afford it, but a tax on my home seems indiscriminate.

Finally, as a socially minded person living and working in the community I deeply resent being branded as some oligarch who “deserves to be taxed more because they live in a mansion”.

John Grey

London NW5

What the SNP really wants

It is possible that many of us not living in Scotland have a sneaking suspicion that, while we like some of the SNP’s policies, we believe they are coming to Westminster just to cause havoc, bring down any government and go back to Scotland and say to the good folks up there: “See, no matter what we vote for up here, we are done over by that lot down there.” The implication being of course that another vote for independence is on the way some time soon.

If they really meant it at the last referendum when we were told that the vote was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”, then Ed Miliband is missing a trick. Offer the SNP a full and proper coalition. Then they cannot say they are not heard. The red line will be they have to agree to no referendum on independence for 25 years, and that will be enshrined in law. Then we will know whether they have anything to offer the UK or whether we were right all along and this push for Westminster MPs is just another step to independence.

Dennis Jordan

Horsham, West Sussex

Ed Miliband the helpful MP

Just before Christmas 2014 my wife of 52 years died after a long and painful illness. My wife for a variety of reasons had been transferred to four care homes. I became increasingly critical of the care provision in the private sector.

After my wife’s death I asked to see Ed Miliband, our MP. I spent 30 minutes with him expressing my concern on care provision. He was attentive, and listened carefully. He assured me that he would follow up my concerns and get back to me. He has done just that. To date I have received four letters from him informing me what he has done, and putting me in touch with people, organisations and initiatives to improve the level of care in this country. And that is despite having a blistering election schedule.

In my opinion he is an intelligent man who has grown in stature during the election campaign and seems to want a fairer society for all. I asked that in the near future a complete review should be undertaken of care provision in this country.

Eric Hawley

Doncaster

Hard times for small businesses

I run a small business and I have found nothing the Tories have done has made it any easier.

Like many I rely on Royal Mail to deliver my goods, and while the service is excellent I fear for the future as “profit margin” will be the only criterion that their managers will meet after the bungled and unnecessary privatisation. Red tape hasn’t been cut at all and in fact I’ve had more communications from this government about pensions, PAYE and HMRC than I can recall, almost all of it meaningless.

In the meantime large businesses continue to pay little or no corporation tax even though they undercut us as they are based in convenient European locations.

The last five years have been hard for us. Large businesses get richer, often using taxpayers’ money to subsidise low wages, whilst little firms really struggle.

Simon G Gosden

Fantastic Literature Limited, Rayleigh, Essex

The arrogant face of politics

I believe today’s front page picture (5 May) says more than many words and sums up people’s feelings in one snapshot. The total arrogance on the face of Jim Murphy when being confronted by a hostile Glasgow voter shows him grinning away with no intention of taking any notice. Is there any wonder that so many people feel so disillusioned?

Graham Fogelman

Nottingham

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