Sunday, 9 April 2017

Who speaks for liberal Britain?

Jason Cowley asks "who will speak for liberal Britain", but as long as the New Statesman includes pieces by such writers as Rachel Johnson, and takes such a blinkered view of the continuance of unnecessary austerity policies under May, the answer, sadly, is not "this magazine" (Editor`s note, 31st March, 2017)! Cowley rightly says that Cameron`s England "was characterised by public penury and private ostentation", but then adds that "Labour activists were sickened", as if no-one else was disgusted at the way the Tories were deliberately targeting the weakest and most vulnerable in our society.
Of course, Corbyn was seen as "an alternative", and again sadly, he has not been the "inspirational leader" for whom we had hoped, but criticising his front bench as "the least qualified" in Labour`s history is misguided (Corbyn`s failure is no excuse for fatalism, 31st March, 2017). Presumably their lack of Oxbridge honours degrees means they cannot make considered judgements based on fairness, or perhaps be taken seriously by parliamentary colleagues and commentators? This, of course, is outrageous! Can no-one else remember the complete hash made of the shadow education secretary`s job by the very well qualified Tristram Hunt, who was so out of touch with state education, he advocated teachers taking an oath, and suggested all state-educated pupils lacked "character and resilience"?  Osborne`s Oxbridge qualifications did not prevent him making mistake after mistake as Chancellor.
 At least the article did throw a challenge down to Labour`s so-called "best and brightest MPs" to "prove their worth". Instead of sulking because of their dislike of Corbyn, they owe it to the country, let alone their constituents, to oppose the Tories. They should realise Corbyn`s policies, like Stephen Bush clearly does, are not "hard-left", and can be part of an attractive election manifesto (Politics, 31st March, 2017). The Tories are not moving to the right because of the weakness of the opposition; they still have the same aim as in 2010, to "shrink the state" back to levels last seen in the 1930s, and all of "liberal Britain" should be united against them, centr-left press included.


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