Sir: The customer attempting to have a good time in a gloomy pub (cartoon 03/06/17) should consider himself lucky. Here in rule-ridden New South Wales he couldn’t even be accompanied by his dog.
Sir: I do not often disagree with Charles Moore but I really have to make a comment about his column in the Spectator 27 May edition.
He says that it requires immense bravery to blow ones self up with a bomb and I totally disagree, given what the bomber believes. He has convinced himself that at the press of a button he will be instantly delivered to paradise and his share of virgins. He knows that the event will be instant and that there are no consequences.
In my opinion it is a bit like a young lad entering his first knocking shop, except that the lad in the knocking shop at least knows that he still has to answer for any consequences later.
Corbyn & Co.
Sir: Corbyn’s Labour Party were soundly beaten in the British elections. Corbyn and Co. will be gracing, some would say disgracing, the opposition benches for another five years.
Many folks seem to forget that only a couple of years ago Labour under Miliband were overwhelming favourites – according to all the polls – to win a huge victory over Cameron’s conservatives.
Corbyn lost the election – talk of his great ‘triumph’ is just silly twaddle. Theresa May has a comfortable majority in coalition with the DUP.
Coalition governments are not at all uncommon here in Australia or in Europe indeed in many countries they are the norm.
The British Labour Party needs to recognise the election result for the loss it was and dump Corbyn and his cronies.
Dr Bill Anderson
Surrey Hills, Vic
Sir: Please congratulate Rod Liddle on being the only commentator who accurately forecast the uncertain general election result (‘This is the worst Tory campaign ever’, 27 May). His prediction of the ‘stickiness’ of the Labour vote and the likelihood that Ukippers would return to the Conservatives in the south, where they mostly were not needed, were especially prescient. Mr Liddle goes to show that instinct, common sense and a sceptical nous are worth more than all the pseudoscience of polling. Well done him. Poor old us!
Dr Barry Moyse
North Petherton, Somerset
Our lefty deplorables
Sir: An astonishing 41 per cent of the British electorate voted for Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister. Last year in the US, Hillary Clinton unwisely spoke in public about the ‘deplorables’. But she was on to something, and the general election result has shown that we have plenty of our own ‘deplorables’ — they’re just concentrated on the left rather than the right. Corbyn is truly our Trump, even if he didn’t secure power. British politics looks set to become as bitterly polarised as American politics, and our head of government as weakened as the US President. What a shambles.
Sir: Roger Scruton (‘Post-truth, pure nonsense’, 10 June) states that the theories of Marx and Foucault are partly responsible for the erosion of the distinction between facts and fabrications. But the seed of the post-truth mindset was sown much earlier. Jesus tells Pontius Pilate that He has come into the world to ‘bear witness to the truth’ (John 18:37). (Note that He says ‘the truth’, not any old subjective truth.) Jesus adds, ‘Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate responds with the famous rhetorical words, ‘What is truth?’ That, with its deliberate indefinite, is where it all went wrong.
How to boost trade
Sir: Martin Vander Weyer (Any other business, 10 June) is right that ‘sending token civil-servants-turned-salesmen’ to nine trade commissions scattered round the world will not rejuvenate Britain’s sluggish exports. We have had UK trade and investment spending of £400 million or so for each of the last 25 years to little effect. Civil servants do not understand business, let alone exporting, but still presume to tell small companies how to do it.
In essence, we have too many grandees and too few practical advisers making the commercial links exporters need. The British Chambers of Commerce could take care of the UK side of the equation; and overseas, our embassies would benefit from a mass exodus of all those Brits bored with trade. The people best placed to make local connections are local people.
For big companies, missions are indeed important and that needs ministers and senior civil servants both in the UK and in our embassies — but that would still leave Britain’s international trade HQ far smaller than it is now. In short, we need a major revamp, not nine new commissioners.
Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute, London SW1