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Journalists have a duty to report the news, not make it

This should remain a mantra for all honest journalists who seek to speak the truth

The Mail has a long history of anti-foreigner rhetoric stretching back to the 1900s

Wow! “Hate Mail” was a stunning and accurate piece by Liz Gerard. Journalists have a responsibility to report the news, not make it by inciting hatred. This article should remain a mantra for all honest journalists who seek to speak the truth.
David Nelson
Wilmslow, Cheshire

Fickle Tories

I would not be at all surprised to see a future Conservative government backing a return to the EU (“The Tories’ future is rejoin”). Jonty Bloom says the party exists for only one reason – to win elections – but also to get one over on Labour any time in the cycle.

I’m sure the less bonkers Tories would far rather Labour broke the ice and started making serious overtures towards the EU, but if they won’t, and trade is hurting enough to damage the Tories’ electoral and fundraising prospects. So no doubt at least some of them would put pragmatism above ideology. Interesting times.
Chris Foden
Via Facebook

I hope that the EU27 would turn down any Tory-led approach to rejoin. It will not be possible to trust that party to stick to a pro-EU position in the longer term – they might back Leave again if they think it will win them an election. The EU27 should not be interested in a prospective member with such a fragile commitment to the European project.
Tony Stopyra

Con Party?

Mandrake suggests the Conservatives are considering a relaunch under a new name. The Deporty Party?
K Macdonald
Watford, Herts

I enjoyed Mandrake’s titbit about renaming the Conservative Party – or more fully, the Conservative and Unionist Party. My initial thought was that they would drop the Unionist bit – to sever the direct link with a troubled Ulster. But as Mandrake rightly notes, “Conservative” has increasingly negative
connotations, too.

At this rate, the only word they’ll have left is the “and” – to which I would add
Neil Mitchell

Why don’t the Conservatives merely shave the last 10 letters from their name
and split into male and female sections? They could then stand, truthfully, as the Con Men and Con Women.
Emma Pack

Poll problems

There seems to be little concern over the possible problems faced by polling staff if things go wrong with ID (“How to beat the great voter ID con”). I have been a poll clerk in peaceful Cumbria and still had a very nasty encounter with an ex-BNP voter who was very threatening.

Are the government going to provide bouncers at the thousands of polling
stations? No, I thought not.
Janet Mansfield
Aspatria, Cumbria

Are Labour going to reverse the voter ID changes if they win power? If so, why aren’t they saying so, instead of highly dodgy ads misinterpreting what Rishi Sunak thinks about crime? There are open goals on election and Westminster reform that Labour are constantly missing.
Wade Harrison


Nail on the head again for Paul Mason on Suella Braverman (“Vindictive
). We have had uncaring people in high office before – Margaret Thatcher seemed to think it a virtue – but rarely have they been both as uncaring and incompetent as Priti Patel and now Braverman.
Bel Smith
Glasgow, Scotland

Who made the people Suella Braverman thinks will vote for her despise refugees? People are not born hating others. But years of drip-drip poison from the government and its client journalists have taken their toll. When you strip people of hope and replace it with fear, you can control them.
Lorraine Schneiter
Via Facebook

The irony is that the Conservatives can use people like Braverman to sustain
their rhetoric, while she also serves as a window display puppet for emancipation. Grotesque.
István Zöld

Welcome mat

Rarely do you see Mobutu Sese Seko mentioned anywhere nowadays. So thank you Alastair Campbell (Diary) for giving me the opportunity of writing in about the late dictator of what was then Zaire.

I was just the right age (12) when an eclectic army of people descended on said country in 1974 to watch the boxing duel between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. One of those present was the writer Norman Mailer, who later wrote about Mobutu: “As soon as I met him I knew he was a sadist.”

Mailer was correct, and it was correct then for any civilised country to welcome people fleeing his murderous regime. The names may change, but
today it is just as vital for the UK to welcome other desperate people escaping perilous countries, wherever they may be.

Suella Braverman take note.
Robert Boston
Kingshill, Kent

Mega slow

I was shocked to read in Lucy McCormick’s thought-provoking article “Left Behind” that “in some regions of Scotland (download speeds) drop as low as 26mbps”. Could you please let me know which regions these are so that I and my neighbours can consider moving there from our rural location in Shropshire (maximum download speed 4.2mbps)?
Ian Hankinson
Craven Arms, Shropshire

Scottish voices

As always, Allan Little (Carousel) delivers rare sobriety, sound research and credible analysis. His case that we have entered a new age of “slow burn” gradualism towards independence is wholly credible. But the voters may have other ideas.

The SNP has time to recover before the general election, particularly if the
Tories take this parliament to the bitter end. Recent polling suggests that voters would return the SNP as by far the largest party at the next Holyrood
elections, so reports of its demise may be exaggerated.

Neither Rishi Sunak nor Keir Starmer have much traction here, and the appeal of a party “on Scotland’s side” may still have legs. Scotland’s abundance of low-cost renewable energy and the high prices consumers and businesses pay for electricity is rekindling an “it’s Scotland’s oil” mood.

Then we have Europe. The disaster of Brexit and Labour’s support for it mean remain voters have few other credible options. Polling in Scotland has seen rejoin touch 69%. The pro-EU side in Scotland is united, well-spread across the land, organised, resourceful and articulate. Scotland’s pro-EU voices will not be quiet before and during the general election campaign.
Martin Roche
Glasgow, Scotland

Border line

I imagine that Ukrainian readers will have choked on their cornflakes reading Charles Cronin’s letter, in which he called for “compromise and a
retreat to a settled eastern border”. Ukraine thought it had got that from the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, whereby it gave up former USSR nuclear weapons in exchange for international guarantees on its security, independence and the integrity of its borders. One of the signatories to that
agreement was… er, Russia! That went well didn’t it?
Bob Hale
Portishead, Avon

We’d all like the war to end, but I’ve a feeling that Mr Cronin, who gives his address as London SW11, would be offering a more nuanced view if that particular postal district was being razed to the ground by cruise missiles
and he was having to spend his nights down on the platform at his local underground station. What’s more, I don’t believe the words compromise and retreat feature anywhere in Vladimir Putin’s dictionary.
Ed Lewis
Potters Bar, Herts

Quick delivery

Anna Rossetti’s letter in the last TNE cannot go unchallenged. The minority
party in the 2010- 2015 coalition government did NOT ditch all its manifesto promises. I draw to mind the intention to provide a pupil premium to help education – delivered; the promise of a triple lock on the state pension – delivered; and the promise of a referendum on the alternative vote method of electing MPs – also delivered. Some manifesto promises inevitably did not get fulfilled. That is the nature of negotiations.

To suggest that those actions led to the current appalling situation (I agree with that description) is not a fault of the Liberal Democrats. They urged David Cameron not to include the promise of a referendum on EU membership in the Tory manifesto. He did not listen as he was fighting the usual internal war on Europe.

The Lib Dems canvassed vigorously in favour of the EU in the referendum. Tories were split, and Labour under Jeremy Corbyn were ineffective, and the
strident anti-EU press who were not interested in a fair discussion helped to
carry the day.
Malcolm Caporn
Aston on Trent, Derbyshire

Anna Rossetti is unfair. A coalition formed under FPTP cannot be compared with a coalition formed under PR. The single transferable vote ensures that ALL votes matter.

No voting system is perfect, but some are much fairer and more representative than others. PR has definitely moved up the agenda in recent years due to several organisations working together. Cannot come soon enough for me (and, I suspect, very many others).
Diana Park


I was sorry to see the loss of WideAngle, your European country graphic, from the latest edition. This was a very effective tool to show how the UK is
faring compared with other European countries. There are so many subjects to compare – sewerage discharge, health service, renewable energy, economic growth and many others.

The Carousel addition of shorter-form articles on European subjects is a welcome interval from the long-form articles. Keep up the good work.
Martin Rayner
Windermere, Cumbria

I was dismayed that the arrival of Carousel seemed to have come at the
cost of WideAngle, which was always the first thing I turned to. As well as
being a quick, punchy read it opened my eyes to many odd facts, was a great
conversation starter and felt very in tune with the paper’s identity.
David Morgan
Grantham, Lincolnshire

Hallelujah, I can see! I nearly cancelled my subscription because I had trouble reading the pale grey font. New font solves that problem. Thank you!
Dagnija Innus
Penryn, Cornwall

Carousel is a great new development that works very well in capturing a pan-European zeitgeist (as TNE has always attempted to do), and which is perfectly book-ended by Tanit Koch.
Neil Mitchell

Signal failure

Re: “A view to a kill”. The book of The Day Of The Jackal explains why the real-life assassination attempt at the start of the film failed.

When planning the attack, the plotters had used a previous year’s almanac to see at what time the sun would set. In the twilight, the gunmen could not see the signal given to them by their lookout and De Gaulle’s car was almost on them when they opened fire.
Gwyn Meredith
Via Facebook

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See inside the Rishi Sunak’s war on the elites edition

An image from Iranian photographer Tahmineh Monzavi’s project in the Baluchistan region in the south-east of the country, where she lived among the African Iranian Zangi women. Photo: Tamineh Monzavi

Pictures from the shadows in Iran

After a brutal clampdown on their freedom, Iranian photographers have had to find new ways to express themselves

Credit: Tim Bradford

From the Royal Tat Collection