Letters, January 4: Divided loyalties locally for Gordon Brown
Jan 4 2010 by Sarah Bull, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
BARRY Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield, has called on Gordon Brown to resign.
But why? Was it for continuing the Conservative policy of failing to regulate the financial sector, wasting billions on the Trident missile system, the ongoing tragic farce of Iraq and Afghanistan, or even the Government’s pitiful action to address climate change?
No, it was none of these things. It was because the electorate doesn’t ‘love’ him.
In the Examiner he is quoted thus: “I think over the last two-and-a-half years he hasn’t shown that he can engage with the electorate.
“I think they respect him to a large degree but they have failed to fall in love with him. You need that mixture of love and respect.”
If the policies were right, if the economy wasn’t in such a mess, if we weren’t involved in dubious international conflicts, I am sure ‘the love and respect’ would be easier to come by than it is for Labour.
Barry is the archetypal loyalist usually, Blairite before Blair. In policy terms Gordon Brown and Tony Blair couldn’t have a better ally, but it seems that Labour has had a bit of a foul-up in the PR department and Gordon doesn’t smile convincingly enough so Barry is getting the knife out.
Of course, in the run-up to a General Election it is very convenient for Barry to distance himself from a very unpopular Prime Minister.
Given his lack of policy differences with Gordon Brown it could also be regarded as a bit cynical.
Clr Andrew Cooper
Green Party, Brockholes
Cats in a sack
THE Huddersfield Labour Party seems to be a little short of cheer and goodwill as we enter an election year.
In fact, reading reports in the Examiner (December 31), they appear like a group of cats in a sack, scratching and clawing at those nearest to them.
Barry Sheerman has clearly decided that Gordon Brown is an electoral liability while Clrs Khan and Jones are quick to state their undying loyalty towards their national leader.
There are conflicting claims about the mood of the local activists, but the position would seem to be that the local Labour Party is driven by unthinking tribalism – ‘my party right or wrong’ – with no care for what is best for their constituents, while Mr Sheerman seeks to position himself as a man of principle.
Of course, Clr Cooper, candidate for the Greens in Huddersfield, does rather prick Mr Sheerman’s ‘principled’ bubble with his point that our MP has consistently supported both Blair and Brown in the past and this is reinforced by the editorial box which indicates that Mr Sheerman’s conversion dates to June 2009.
From memory, this coincides with the growing realisation that David Cameron has, at last, succeeded in positioning the Conservatives as a very credible – indeed the only – alternative party of government.
It was, no doubt again coincidentally, also the time of the disastrous – for Labour – Euro elections which saw them hammered by all and sundry, including the dubious BNP.
Is Mr Sheerman’s conversion from party hack to ardent campaigner for immediate leadership change a genuine ‘Road to Damascus’ moment or the result of cynical political calculation? Answers on a ballot paper please.
I WAS rather puzzled to read in the middle of the recent bad weather that one of your correspondents, V Mallalieu, was surprised by newscasters and reporters referring to the current snowfalls as ‘adverse’ weather conditions.
Although V Mallalieu is correct in thinking that it is not out of the ordinary to have snow in December, does he or she actually know what the word ‘adverse’ actually means?
It means unfavourable or harmful. I would suggest that adverse is precisely what this awful weather was, judging by the carnage caused by the snow and freezing temperatures.
AN item in one daily newspaper last week told of the family of 16, with another on the way, with massive benefits of over £36,000 a year.
Dad states he gave up his job in 2003 to help his wife look after the family, thus giving him benefits of £700-plus per week.
‘So why should I work?’ he asks.
Fair enough. But why should he get the sum stated in the paper? It should be jobseekers’ allowance only, I say.
Out of order
WHAT kind of people have we running our services? The first snow of the winter and everything goes to pot.
The roads are not gritted, bins are not emptied, even the ice rink closed down.
What are the taxpayers getting for their money? Certainly not laptops.
A certain saying comes to mind about running something in a brewery.
Who knows, perhaps by the next council elections voters will remember which party was in power at this time and vote accordingly.
A climate of change
WITH the Copenhagen climate change summit now over, many are saying an ambitious deal is impossible and that we should all give up.
While the deal was far from everything we hoped for, public pressure was critical in securing the gains we did achieve – such as aid for poor countries to adapt to climate change.
The British Government was at the forefront in pushing for an ambitious deal and I know that public concern about climate change was key to that.
It’s now critical that we ensure countries stick to their pledges and work on more ambitious efforts to tackle climate change.
Public pressure will therefore become more important, not less important.
I’ve sent a direct message to Ed Miliband to show my support for UK leadership and I’d urge you to do the same at EdsPledge.com
The campaign to save the planet from climate change has only just begun, but it’s a fight we have to win.
FAROOQ Aftab continues with his almost predictable rhetoric on the ‘right-wing’ opposition to Islamic intolerance, this time in Switzerland, Examiner Mailbag, December 7.
However, he is again ignoring the facts of history, as I have laid out in some of my letters before.
Of course it is inaccurate to say that there cannot be peaceful Muslims, but you also fail to see the other side of the coin – how successive capitalist regimes have embraced and supported hardcore Islamic groups in other parts of the world, including Britain’s current government.
In addition to this, as I have mentioned in previous letters, the British National Party is not, in fact, a ‘racist’ party – I believe it is a Fascist party with disgusting, oppressive policies it wants to implement on its own people such as (support for) tuition fees to cripple Britain’s students, maintaining the undemocratic, elitist monarchy and reversing the democratic and secular progress Britain has made by restoring barbaric punishments from the pages of history – not the values of a society in which I would want to bring up my children.
The Left has clearly done more in trying to beat down Islamic fundamentalism and maintain the democratic, progressive society Britain has made and that I would like to live in.
I’m missing their delivery
NORMALLY I work full time but last year I was at home for a period recovering from an operation.
One lunch time I heard the letter box rattle and as I made my way to the front door I was just in time to see the Royal Mail delivery man shutting my gate and getting back into his van.
He had put a card through the letterbox advising me he had tried to deliver a parcel which had now been taken back to Holmfirth Sorting Office.
My point is he did not have the parcel with him. He had written the card out in his van and then just posted this through my letterbox.
I know this is true as I rang Holmfirth Sorting Office immediately and the lady who dealt with my call advised me she would contact the driver on his mobile number and get him to come back with the parcel.
When he returned I asked him why he had not brought the parcel to the door or knocked and he admitted he knew I was not normally at home during the day so had left the card advising me of the missed delivery.