When the COP26 Conference opens in Glasgow, China has indicated that president Xi will not attend.
It is time to remove Britain and Europe’s over-reliance on Chinese factories. We should be bringing industries back to Britain, opening new factories which use automation and robotisation to manufacture a wide range of products.
This will reduce the number of large container ships on the high seas which add enormously to global carbon dioxide.
It will also make us far less reliant on China and have the additional advantage of resulting in the closure of Chinese factories and therefore reducing China’s carbon footprint.
When I am running a very important meeting which involves some critical decision-making, I spend most of the preceding days and weeks talking to the attendees to try and gain some consensus.
Without doing this the meeting could turn into a bun fight and agreement would not be reached.
Can someone explain to me why Boris Johnson isn’t spending his waking hours talking to world leaders about climate change before the COP meeting? Are we now surprised that Xi Jinping isn’t attending and the Queen is expressing her irritation at world leaders?
James Ball in his interesting article poses the question “Why are the Tories so keen on punishing young people?” (TNE, #264) and answers it by concluding that older voters vote Tory whereas younger voters do not.
He asserts that this is a “poor long-term political strategy” as “older voters die” whereas younger voters simply get older.
The underlying assumption is that younger voters retain their voting habits even though they get older and do not adopt the voting habits of older voters. However, there seems to be no evidence of this (certainly not in his article) and may in part explain the Tory party’s continued electoral success.
Leaders off the pitch
Alastair Campbell’s article (“Footballers are the best defenders of our values”, TNE #264) explained why those footballers were good defenders of our values.
I can think of others in football who have been terrible examples to follow. It’s not just being a footballer that makes this group a strong example to follow, it’s the character of the men themselves as good leaders.
There are many others, in other careers and professions who are just as good a set of examples and defenders of our values.
I read Alastair Campbell’s column with interest and agreement, with one caveat: I was surprised Gareth Southgate didn’t receive a mention.
Surely he is the compassionate architect/manager of a diverse and socially aware team of England football players and has promoted and protected their relevant and far-reaching stance, on many occasions.
Judith A Daniels
Cobholm, Great Yarmouth
Polexit would not pose an existential threat to the EU (“Poles apart”, TNE #264). The troublesome countries would be gone (the UK, Poland, possibly Hungary) and with that the other 24 remaining countries and any that wish to join, so long as they can play by the rules and officially sign up to doing that, can focus on consolidating and working together.
But the most likely result is that Law and Justice is voted out for annoying so many Poles with their actions
Gavin Le Boutillier
Eighty per cent of Poles do not want to leave the EU. It is only the right wing government that is against the European Commission over issues ranging from LGBT rights to judicial independence.
Unlike their government, Poles are among the most euro-enthusiastic nations in the bloc. In the 2003 accession referendum, 74% of voters backed joining the EU, and they’ve become even more pro-EU since then.
That’s not much of a surprise: Polish people have greatly benefited from the perks of the single market and EU funds. Since 2004 Poland has received a net 127 billion euros.
That money has transformed Poland, paying for roads, bridges, schools, sewage plants and football pitches. Since 2004, more than two million Poles have taken advantage of the freedom of movement to work abroad.
Your recent article about Albania and subsequent correspondence (“Communism’s untold story”, TNE #263, Letters, #264) brought back memories of listening to Radio Tirana and such enthralling programmes as Marxism-Leninism: An Ever-Young and Scientific Doctrine, songs about glass workers or electrifying the villages, news of the Steel of the Party metallurgical combine and the Enver Hoxha tractor factory, sycophantic articles from obscure Stalinist parties, and endless praise for the Party of Labour (“with Comrade Enver Hoxha at the head!”).
All were accompanied by denunciations of American imperialism, Soviet and Chinese social-imperialism, British neo-colonialism and the traitorous actions of the Yugoslav revisionist plotters and their lackeys. It would have been hilarious, had thousands of people not been living under such a ghastly system.
I went to Albania in 1996 and there were still signs all over the place dedicated to Enver – it was a full-blown personality cult.
Keep the EU flag flying
Further to Roger Bayston’s experience with his EU mask (Letters, #264), could not local councils in Remain-voting areas fly the European flag on their town halls on Europe Day next May? It could be flown side by side with the union flag, St. George’s cross, the Red Dragon or the Saltire, as deemed appropriate in the area concerned.
Also, I would respectfully suggest that Scottish ministers display the European flag alongside the Saltire at ministerial press conferences and other public events as is the norm in EU member states and those wishing to join the EU. It would remind the media generally of Scotland’s European ambitions on a continuing basis. It might even have an impact south of the border. Also, perhaps, they could make Europe Day a bank holiday in Scotland.
Chris Grey quotes Boris Johnson as saying that “we’ve sucked the Brexit lemon dry” (“Doublethink PM is playing us for fools”, TNE #264).
Is this Johnson speak for ‘Brexit has failed, been seen to fail; it is no longer possible to represent Brexit as anything other than failure’?
As an Irish person (from the ROI), what I find astonishing about the post-Brexit debate on the Irish border nearly six years on, is that no one seems to have asked, ‘Where did the claim that there must not be a border on the island of Ireland come from and why have politicians in Washington, London and Brussels swallowed that line?’
The line started when before the Brexit vote and after it, Sinn Fein warned about the implications of a vote to leave on the peace process and that it would result in a border on the island of Ireland.
Then the Irish government, not to be out-nationalised by nationalists, issued statements that it would actively oppose any border on the island of Ireland and somehow, it became an accepted fact that there could be no border, even though the claim has no basis in fact.
The reason the Protocol can’t work, or any other fudge, is because it is not based on reality.
The only solution is for both sides to admit that the only workable outcome is for the border to be acknowledged, where it is, on the island and that the ROI/NI border is the international border of the UK and EU.
Of course, Sinn Fein won’t like it and that’s OK, just as Unionists don’t like the Protocol.
It is as valid to aspire to a united island state, as it is to wish to
remain part of the UK, but they are political issues that will be addressed in due course by the voters in both jurisdictions and as democrats we’ll all have to accept the outcome.
Canary Wharf, London
‘Brexity’ lacks gravity
I was unconvinced by your correspondent’s invention of the word ‘Brexity’ (Letters, TNE #263). It seems to me that the addition of the ‘y’ makes everything seem lighter and more cheerful. Try “I had a Covidy disease” or “I may deploy a mass destructivy weapon”. To me, they sound almost like fun.
I favour the re-definition of the existing term ‘Brexpert’ – to mean ‘someone who hasn’t the foggiest idea what they are talking about or, if they do, chooses to lie about it’. The internet is full of them and they need to have a name. Personally, I am tired of Brexperts!
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