Your front page asks: “What the hell is wrong with Suella Braverman?” (TNE #312). A better question is: What the hell is wrong with all of them?
It would be hard to gather together a more incompetent, self-serving group of clowns if you tried, yet here they all are at the upper echelons of the Tory party, running the country.
To say that Clár Ni Chonghaile (“A strange brand of cruel”, TNE #312) hit the nail on the head re: Suella Braverman is an understatement. I too cannot get my head round the innate disconnect from a woman who comes from a background, which should automatically give her a head start in the empathy stakes. The same backstory also applies to Priti Patel, yet their experiences seem to have hardened them.
Surely it can’t be anyone’s dream scenario to watch as desperate people, often riven with mental health issues ascend the skies, with any last vestige of hope left to rot on the tarmac below?
Yes, maybe there are a small minority who are not legitimate asylum seekers. But that assertion shouldn’t weigh compassion in the balance. Thanks for a brilliant article.
Judith A Daniels
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Braverman wouldn’t have said what she said about her Rwanda “dream” if she didn’t think she was scoring points with somebody. Plenty of people voted for and still agree with this kind of racist rhetoric. Scary stuff.
Scottish Nationalists are, wearily, used to being judged by double standards in political matters, but the faux outrage at Nicola Sturgeon “detesting” the Tories, as a party, is pathetic. What is detestable is the home secretary “dreaming” of packing refugees off to Rwanda – and we thought Priti Patel was nasty! – and the chairman of the Tory party advising those afraid to turn on their heating to “get a better job”…
Over and out Will Squire (Letters, TNE #312) asks for examples of starts as disastrous as that suffered by Liz Truss. What about Steve Harmison’s first ball widest wide ever, to set the tone for the 2006-07 Ashes?
If only we had the luxury of taking Truss off after two overs…
As bad starts go, Liz Truss’s is up there with the opening title song of Springtime For Hitler in Mel Brooks’ The Producers.
Liz Truss could not have started more badly if she’d arrived at Number 10 in a Sinclair C5, sipping from a bottle of Dasani water.
Good news about the new chancellor. His surname is much easier to find a homophone for than Kwarteng.
It’s Boris Johnson that I feel sorry for. Just over a month in and already he’s lost his record as the worst prime minister ever.
Now we have seen the apotheosis of what Brexit really means with the mini-budget of Truss and Kwarteng bringing financial instability to the markets.
Truss has done the bidding of the extremist Brexiteer far right economically and socially. We have seen where this leads. Mogg wants to tear up worker’s rights. Braverman clamp down on peaceful protesting.
If he is elected, Keir Starmer has said he will make Brexit work. Would he please tell me and the rest of the UK how he will manage this? I have my reservations. Surely it is time to face reality and reverse Brexit.
I doubt Liz Truss would have been selected as a candidate for Alistair Campbell’s TV show Make Me Prime Minister.
Most Tory MPs recognise that Liz Truss is a busted flush, but while they may tinker to get another un-leader from their ranks, they will never voluntarily pull the electoral toilet handle to empty the bowl.
Two more years of the Tories’ destructive misgovernment would be disastrous for the UK’s economy and credibility.
During this period, they will be scrabbling around for any policy that their party can unite around. With their 71-seat majority, they can still pass anti-union laws, reducing further the rights to organise.
As more union action is planned into this winter, what about this for a unifying slogan: “A General Strike for a General Election”?
Boris Johnson, as much as he could, cleared out the parliamentary Conservatives of anyone bright or talented. The leadership contest was a competition between the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel. We need a general election.
As I write, a prime minister who is unelected by the British people finds herself tearing up the manifesto that got her elected as leader of the Conservatives. She has no legitimacy remaining.
I imagine that she will soon be gone. But whoever is prime minister by the end of this week should promise to hold a general election at a fixed point in the future: six months, say. If not, we should take to the streets to demand one.
Enjoyed Mitch Benn’s “What else could we call the Anti-Growth Coalition?” (TNE #312). Could we call Truss et al the “Risible Rhetoric Resistance”?
Liz Truss’s “growth” is at the expense of the people’s health and wellbeing. Sounds like a carcinoma to me.
As the prime minister sets about deciding whether Trussonomics will be about caring for the “have-yachts” or the “have-nots”, canny bookmakers will surely be offering punters odds on which among two epithets, “wonderful parliament” or “merciless parliament”, they believe will gain lasting currency in academic writings about the Truss administration.
Mandrake (TNE #312) reports Michael Gove saying of Brexit, “I ask myself all the time, ‘was it the right thing to do?’” The answer is quite clearly no, but even asking the question is the first step on Gove’s road to Damascus.
I have always thought he would be the first prominent Brexiteer to crack. I can’t believe a political animal like Gove does not see the advantage in admitting things have not turned out as he hoped and positioning himself as someone who wants to help make it better. The alternative is eternal political ignominy.
Whenever Brexit apologists like Gove admit that Brexit is going badly, but say that it is done and there is no need to discuss it further, they should be reminded of this: they themselves are so synonymous with Brexit that they cannot escape its consequences, for which they will be for ever linked and blamed.
Paul Mason (“In the fight for Ukraine”, TNE #311) gives only a partial quote of what Angelo Sanchez said at the Labour Party conference. Sanchez had asked conference to oppose a GMB composite motion pledging more military aid with Nato to Ukraine.
Sanchez pointed out that Ukraine has recently passed anti-worker legislation that removes rights for workers at small and medium-sized companies.
Workers at companies of up to 250 employees will now have to agree individual contracts rather than be covered by the national labour code (sounds familiar!). This will strip roughly 70% of the workers of collective agreements negotiated by unions that cover salary, holidays and the ability to veto dismissals.
The Ukrainian government has claimed such measures are due to the exigencies of war, but they first tried to introduce such legislation in 2021.
The delegates in the hall tried to boo Sanchez off the stage, and when he left the platform he was loudly sworn at. Healthy political debate means listening to different political views, even if you do not agree with them. Ukraine has been cruelly invaded by Russia, but this does not mean that the Ukrainian government is good and right in all that it does.
Lucy Ash (“The ghosts of Bucha: A massacre in suburbia”, TNE #310) rightly draws attention to the number of Russians fleeing their country to avoid conscription and the growing authoritarianism in Russia engendered by the war.
I can understand the reluctance of some of Russia’s neighbours to host such people, but I believe western countries further removed from Russia’s borders should welcome them and give them asylum. After all, everyone who leaves reduces Putin’s pool of potential manpower to send to be slaughtered on the battlefield.
Western countries should also consider confiscating Russian assets – both state and private – currently blocked in western financial institutions, and using the money to help towards the cost of supplying arms to Ukraine. After all, Putin wanted this war, so it is only reasonable that he should help to pay for it.
Finally, I would like to see western political parties expel members who advocate ending support for Ukraine. “Putin’s useful idiots”, because that is all they are, should get the cold shoulder everywhere.
As far as I’m concerned, they are no better than the communists who opposed the second world war until the German attack on the USSR in June 1941.
St Helens, Merseyside
Take them on
Thanks for “Haunted, High And Low” on a-ha (TNE #312). A very talented band, underrated and misunderstood. There is much more to these guys that people realise.
The recent documentary mentioned in your article goes a long way to explain this, as well as discussing the internal problems within a band with three strong characters, who often want to go in different musical directions.
Bad taste Frank Manigrasso writes (Letters, TNE #312) disparagingly of mussels picked from British waters. Our fishmonger supplies us with mussels from the clean waters of Shetland and Loch Fyne. We never hesitate to eat them.
Yet another of your correspondents who confuses what happens south of Watford with the whole of the UK.
Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire
In an era of food banks, supermarket saver deals and difficult budgeting choices, I wonder at the relevance of publishing a recipe for Mussels with Fermented Artichoke (Taste of Europe, TNE #311). As a steak and chips man (there, I’ve revealed my hand), I have to say it sounds absolutely disgusting.
However, leaving aside my obvious food prejudices and assuming there’s a demand for such an item in TNE, there must be scores of less esoteric, and affordable European meals that could feature in this section of the paper.
Potters Bar, Herts