Letters - June 3, 2019
Tuition fees back on the political agenda
Jeremy Corbyn unexpectedly became Labour leader because – we are told – 500,000 students, never involved with politics before, joined Labour and voted for him.
They did this, it is said, because of his tuition fees policy. If Change UK supporters and MPs join the Lib Dems before June 7, they would have a chance to vote for the new Lib Dem party leader.
There is nothing to stop Change UK MPs joining the Lib Dems now.
One of them could run for the leadership as long as they join before June 7.
Any one of them running on a free university education ticket would probably win decisively.
Lib Dem party members voted at their conference for free university education and for a cap on fees whenever asked. Many new people would join the Lib Dems just to vote for Chuka Umunna (pictured) in a leadership contest because of his stance on university fees - but he must act quickly.
Britain needs diplomacy
Last Thursday’s elections were about sending the best of British to represent us in the European Parliament.
Whatever length of time we remain in the EU, our selected Euro MPs now have the opportunity to regain universal respect by pursuing a policy of polite, constructive co-operation until referendum negotiations are concluded.
A vote for the Brexit Party will achieve exactly the opposite. Whilst accepting the lucrative pay, perks and prestige which accompany the job, its cohort of MEPs will happily take their place in the EU with the intention of causing as much disruption as possible. And the EU deserves a lot more respect than that.
With all their differences (and ours), the EU countries have formed a brilliant alliance after hundreds of years of war and strife.
Out of 28 member states, Britain is the only country lucky enough not to have been occupied by a foreign power since the year 1066.
Most of us enjoy holidays in continental Europe. My daughter works in Paris.
Until recently I travelled northern England representing fashion companies from Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. All my suppliers were a pleasure to work with and I experienced the utmost courtesy whenever I visited their countries.
Whatever your views on remaining or leaving the EU, the countries of Europe are our neighbours, their interests are closely allied to our own, and they will remain good neighbours whatever the future. It is time for real British diplomats to undo this undiplomatic mess and show the world that we are still the world’s greatest democracy.
It’s time to end the myth of betrayal
Some commentators have said that the success of Brexit Party and UKIP (34.9 per cent of the vote), as well as the greater success of the parties openly supporting a second referendum (40.4 per cent of the vote) show that the electorate values clear positions.
But does Mr Farage have a clear position? Farage has claimed that Brexit has been betrayed when, actually, it was his friends in Parliament (the Conservative ERG MPs) who have blocked Brexit by voting against Theresa May’s deal.
Farage himself has shown no consistency.
In 2016, when he thought Remain would win, he asked for a second referendum. Now he says a second referendum would be undemocratic.
Before the referendum, Farage had expressed support for a Norway-style Brexit, now he claims that only a no-deal Brexit is acceptable - this would really damage our economy and threaten peace in Northern Ireland.
Brexit has damaged our economy and paralysed our political system. We need to resolve the impasse.
Although Farage is terrified about the prospect of a referendum on a specific real Brexit proposal, and not the vague Brexit utopia of 2016, this is now the only sensible way forward. A second referendum would bring to an end the myth of betrayal of the will of the people, which is used by Nigel Farage to foster hate and anger.
Giuseppe Enrico Bignardi