I enjoyed reading Alastair Campbell’s column (8 July) and he is bang on the money that the England team is one to be proud of because they appreciate their good fortune and have arrived in their prestigious roles from often inauspicious beginnings.
Their humility and never forgetting the families and friends who aided their stupendous ascent has been nurtured and governed by Gareth Southgate, who has his football boots firmly planted in the soil of this diverse and multi-cultural society. He is not flashy or pretentious but true to his word and his steadfastness in ‘taking the knee’ before matches. This has been beset by detractors, which has been divisive and mean-spirited but has largely been nullified by the ongoing support.
I sense this sporting triumph has proved a much needed unifying force in this still beleaguered country and we can all, at last, agree and feel proud and patriotic, not in a governmental jingoistic fashion but in a system that still
appreciates talent and the innate desire of men and women to aim for the top, whatever their background or ethnicity and this can only have an aspirational and beneficial momentum going forward.
Judith A. Daniels
Your paper discusses the abhorrent homophobia of the Hungarian government.
Like racism and misogyny, homophobia is illogical and senseless. It is also, tragically, a useful tool for extremist populists to wield in socially conservative nations.
Rabble-rousing gay-hate assists the populist parties and organisations in their battle to instil fear and loathing among the majority.
Creating enemies both within and without is a method aimed at pushing the masses to turn to you for help, for assistance, for protection.
People will have their worries and prejudices heightened by propaganda, including homophobic propaganda.
Viktor Orbán is using the gay community to bolster his support base and to rile up his most passionate supporters.
It is a sick, despicable, tactic but it is often at least fairly productive from a party political standpoint alone. It is politics without morality and decency. It is the very worst of politics.
Since Alastair Campbell’s article in TNE #246 every week there have been letters by readers commenting about the issues raised there. Some are sad, some are angry, as we are too.
As far as we know, there hasn’t been anybody advocating what seems to us the obvious: if the main parties do not speak for us anymore, how about forming a new party? ‘Our’ party wouldn’t have to be a one issue party either: after all there is plenty that this government has done and is still doing wrong for us to campaign about.
So, Campbell and all those disaffected politicians and clever people of all parties: please put your heads together and come up with a solution to this tragedy. After all, there are at least 48% of us, or at least a good percentage of the 48%, who would be willing to support such a party.
If someone like Nigel Farage has done it not once, but twice, we should be able to do this too and much better!
M & S Keen
• Have your say by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our deadline for letters is Monday at 9am for inclusion in Thursday’s edition. Please be concise – letters over five paragraphs long may be edited before printing.