Saturday, 8 August 2015

M Star letters: Cameron`s "swarm" and "hatchet job" on Foot

Well done for devoting so much space in your paper to the disgraceful comment made by Cameron about the "desperate and vulnerable people" in Calais. (Morning Star,31/07/15)  When such words are spoken by a prime minister, and, no doubt, a man who considers himself a world leader, they deserve as much criticism as possible. This "awful de-humanising language" reveals a lack of compassion, which is well known, but also a complete lack of understanding of the situation, giving the impression that all refugees are heading for Britain, when the truth is much different: not only did the UK receive 24.000 "asylum applications last year" , as you reported, compared to Germany`s 175000, it ranks mid-table when comparing asylum claims relative to population.
    Instead of using such "emotive" and dangerous language, it would be far better if Cameron stuck to giving the public the facts. For instance, there is no invasion threat similar to 1940, which is the impression given by the "gutter press". Similarly, the claim by Eurotunnel that 2000 migrants tried to enter Britain in just one night is incorrect, because many repeated attempts were made by the same, desperate group. 3000 were rescued in the Mediterranean in two days last week by German and Italian ships, whilst HMS Enterprise has rescued no-one in over a month.

    He hasn`t the bottle to admit that dogs and fences at Calais will not solve the problem, or that the country over which he purports to rule has to follow the example set by poorer countries like Italy and Greece, and adopt a more humanitarian approach to the situation. Helping fellow humans escape war and torture should never be deemed a problem.

Keith Flett`s analysis of the election defeat for Labour in 1983 rightly includes mention of  the "1981 SDP split from Labour" which significantly split the anti-Tory vote, but it surprisingly omits a number of other important factors(Morning Star,29/07/15). The majority of 144 gained by Margaret Thatcher`s Tories had much to do with the "hatchet job" done on Michael Foot, by the right-wing media. Who will forget the criticism he received because he wore, at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day in 1981, a short blue-green overcoat, bought for him by his wife, "at  considerable expense" at Harrods according to Foot`s official biographer, Lord Morgan? His enemies, many of whom were in the Labour party, had a field day, saying how he looked like an "out-of-work navvy" in his "donkey-jacket", even though the coat lacked the necessary leather shoulders.
       Is it not true, also, that Thatcher had to resort to an unnecessary war in the Falklands to bolster her own, and her party`s, support, so badly was she doing in the polls prior to the election? Such factors strengthen Flett`s argument that it is wrong to blame the defeat on the "manifesto dubbed the longest suicide note in history", and it is also worth remembering that the same manifesto included pledges to raise living standards by a minimum wage, and to introduce a National Investment Bank, with a commitment to "attract and channel savings, by agreement, in a way that guarantees these savings and improves the quality of investment in the UK". 
      Many of the 1983 pledges were enacted, such as the Freedom of Information Act, a ban on foxhunting, and devolution to Scotland and Wales, 

     A Labour party misled into mimicking the Tories by its own right-wing, because it fails to understand its own history, could well be writing its own "suicide note", but this time, for real!

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