Readers have their say on the week in news.
Boris Johnson told us Brexit would be easy, then we’d sort out this virus in three months and now he tells us he’s pumping billions into the economy and there will be no austerity. As they say ‘third time lucky’.
Have your saySend your letters for publication to The New European by emailing email@example.com and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.
As Mark Sedwill resigns and David Frost is appointed as National Security Advisor, perhaps Messrs. Johnson and Cummings should heed the words of Michael Gove who, in his recent speech on the civil service, challenged ‘group think’ and is quoted by the BBC as saying: ‘Government departments recruit in their own image, are influenced by the think tanks and lobbyists who breathe the same London air and are socially rooted in assumptions which are inescapably metropolitan.
‘An important part of bringing government closer to people is making sure we have not just a wider spread of decision-making across the country but a broader and deeper pool of decision-makers.
‘Group think can affect any organisation – the tendency to coalesce around a cosy consensus, resist challenge, look for information which confirms existing biases and reject rigorous testing of delivery.’
As they further centralise power in No.10, surrounding themselves with the team behind Vote Leave, are they not making this same mistake?
It must now be clear to those infatuated with the fantasy of lost sovereignty, that ‘taking back control’ was merely an exercise in handing it to a single individual – Dominic Cummings.
They must now own the infamy of being facilitators of the biggest transfer of power by democratic means to the smallest group of hand-picked individuals in British history, an act of colossal betrayal.
We can only hope that our incompetent prime minister will wake from his narcissist ambitions in time to rid us of the unelected megalomaniac to whom that sovereignty has actually been ceded.
Many of us see the Labour Party, with Keir Starmer as leader as the only real hope for setting our country on a new and better course. But if he is to make progress then he needs to create a new vision based on core values.
He could do worse than to try to spell out what a good society looks like, much as Compass is attempting to do. This would include a society which promotes greater equality, caring for all people and ensuring everyone has enough money to satisfy fundamental needs as well as access to key services such as health and education, actively protecting and nurturing the environment, and developing proper participative democratic processes across all levels
Gavin Esler succinctly summarises the challenge facing both Keir Starmer and all opposition parties in Westminster. The British voting system does not ‘work for most of us’ because first-past-the-post is undemocratic in principle and unjust in effect.
The 2024 general election should be the last one ever fought using this system. For this to happen there will need to be a binding agreement between opposition parties that a government will be formed to immediately introduce a bill to bring in proportional representation. Once passed, the government would resign and a new election called using this system.
To achieve this ‘Great Reform’, the 2024 election campaign will require an electoral pact between opposition parties on what seats they will stand candidates in to defeat the Conservatives.
A fair , just and democratic voting system depends now on the qualities of the leaders of all opposition parties and their members. Will they have the courage to work together to provide alternative accommodation for the politically homeless, and make every vote really matter at last?
Ian G L Jones
Looking at the myriads of people crowding onto beaches from Bournemouth to Southend-on-sea, reminded me instantly of an apocalyptic novel I read many years ago as a teenager: On The Beach by Nevil Shute, which I understand has also been adapted for the big screen.
We can only but hope that the real-life outcome is far more conducive to human well-being than the book…
• Have your say by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our deadline for letters is Tuesday at 9am for inclusion in Thursday’s edition. Please be concise – letters over five paragraphs long may be edited before printing.