Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

The wrong choice

Sir: Sebastian Vella's new-found interest in politics is to be commended, but he has made the wrong choice ('Letter from a Corbynista', 1 July). He praises Jeremy Corbyn for being 'politically consistent and transparent' but believes that Corbyn and John McDonnell do not 'aspire to a one-party socialism or a communist state'. If you check their record, that is exactly what Corbyn and McDonnell do aspire to.

He also trusts the democrats in Labour to rein in its leaders. Corbyn and McDonnell's record over the decades includes extra-parliamentary activities such as demonstrations and marches, support for strikes, and even (as Charles Moore reminded us) for terrorist bombers. It is surely likely that if they were to gain executive power, they would be tempted to use it to make parliamentary opposition an irrelevance. Perhaps Sebastian could check out what happened in Russia in 1917 and in Germany in 1933 before trusting the likes of Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall to save us from the consequences of his voting decision.

Richard North

Hayling Island, Hants


Sir: I read James Bartholomew's article ('To a young Corbynista', 24 June) and the replies (especially Alex Scholes's excellent letter) with great interest. Like many of your readers, I assume, I know far too many young relatives and friends who are being seduced by Corbyn-mania. As Alex Scholes said, they 'want what we had', which is fair enough. What they don't realise is why we had what we had, viz: a Conservative government which, from 1979, rolled back the state and set the economy on a growth track that lasted until 2007. The challenge for us all is to make this argument again and again, so that enough of them are sufficiently convinced that they don't have to suffer five or more years of a genuinely socialist government that would prove our point in the worst possible way.

The Tories do need to sort out housing and lower the cost of student loans, perhaps while reducing the number of students.

Johnny Cameron

Pewsey, Wilts

For James Bartholomew's response to his nephew's letter, see bottom.

Home truths

Sir: James Forsyth makes some very valid points about the UK property market and its impact on the voting preferences of the young ('This uneasy dawn', 24 June). The Conservative party needs to offer hope to the young, not protect the status quo. So why are foreign nationals without a visa, and indeed foreign firms, allowed to buy UK property and rent it back to UK citizens, both decreasing housing stock and increasing rental prices? Where are the homes for the young? Too many young people have no ability to afford to buy or even to rent in certain areas of the UK, and have almost given up hope. Labour will say that property is seen by the Conservatives as an asset to be repackaged and sold to the global wealthy and rented back to our poor and young. This is what Corbyn will focus on next. He is appealing to those who have no memory of Labour in the 1970s and for whom the ladder of aspiration is an illusion.

Without affordable housing this country will revisit the polarity and economic stagnation of the 1970s through Corbyn and his cronies. Affordable housing for all is the 'exam question' conservatism must answer -- failure to do so will finish the Conservatives as a party of government.

Andrew R. Keeling

London SW11

Beyond our Ken

Sir: 'Has any [tennis] player in history been as much loved by the Wimbledon crowd as Federer?' asks Simon Barnes ('Andy's ace', 1 July). He is perhaps too young to remember Ken Rosewall. When Rosewall lost to Connors in the final in 1974, I recall the loser receiving a warmer and longer ovation than the winner. In those days Wimbledon spectators were better-mannered and less overtly partisan -- except on that occasion -- than they are today. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.