Letters: our democracy calls for electoral reform | Electoral reform
As a campaigner for electoral reform for many years, I was happy to see the excellent article on the subject (‘Labor manifesto must support electoral reform, campaigners say’, News). If this article were to become the stimulus ultimately leading to the replacement of our first past the post system with an alternative that better reflects the views of the electorate, then May 23, 2021 will surely be called a pivotal day for democracy. UK.
I would have preferred that decisive moment to be May 5, 2011, when we had the chance to adopt the Alternative Voting System (AVS), and then we would surely not be under the control of such a dominant Conservative government.
We can only hope that Labor activists achieve their goal and create an unstoppable popular movement towards electoral reform, both for the benefit of their party and for the greater purpose of strengthening our democracy. Other “progressive” parties seeking fairer representation would also benefit from such a development and, for me, the icing on the cake would be if the consensus within this “affiliated” group was for the introduction. of AVS.
Broughton Astley, Leicestershire
Two sides of Diana
In your editorial on the Bashir interview (“Diana’s betrayal is no excuse to destroy the BBC”) you said: “Seeing Diana one-dimensionally as a helpless young girl – weak, mentally unstable and easily manipulable – it is betraying the memory of a formidably intelligent woman ”who was“ not fooled ”. It is of course possible to be both vulnerable and intelligent.
Israel, land of shared culture
No two-state or one-state solution will emerge with Arab or Israeli leaders (“From River to Sea, Jews and Arabs Must Forge a Common Future,” Commentary). We must look elsewhere for visionaries. Palestinian Marwan Barghouti (in prison) has shown a willingness to compromise. In Israel, Ayman Odeh pointed out that Israel’s desire to project a Westernized image hides the fact that Mizrahi / North African Jews constitute the majority. Recognition of Israel as a Middle Eastern country with a common culture would help catalyze peaceful coexistence and, one day, evolution towards a one state.
Outrageous attitude towards help
Andrew Rawnsley’s excellent article omits two other important points which demonstrate that the government’s attitude towards aid is negative (“Boris Johnson, you cannot claim to be a world leader by savagely cutting back on aid. help “, How”). First, in 10 years, there have been seven Secretaries of State for International Development: Andrew Mitchell (2011), Justine Greening (2012), Priti Patel (2016), Penny Mordaunt (2017), Rory Stewart (2019), Alok Sharma (2019) and Anne-Marie Trevelyan (2020). What does that say about the commitment to development assistance, the potential for developing strategies with countries in need of assistance, and relationships with government officials if there is this constant turnover of staff? “Bosses” at the top?
Second, the merger of the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office simply means that money meant to support communities in poorer countries can be used for so-called diplomacy. It is a scandal.
Dr Nick Maurice
Help for abused women
Dr Hannana Siddiqui advocates a “Banaz Law” to ensure that if a crime is committed for alleged cultural reasons, such as an “honor” murder, it should be treated as an aggravating circumstance and not my sister was in danger. “Why race endangers victims of abuse”, Observer countryside).
The 2006 Banaz Mahmod case promoted legislation the following year to prevent such killings. Forced marriage civil protection orders allow those who are also at risk to take immediate action in family courts to protect themselves. Hundreds get such orders every year. Given the reluctance of victims of domestic violence to criminalize their family members, it is disappointing that your article does not make any reference to these civil orders, for which legal aid is available, as is the case with court injunctions. non-aggression in general.
Jan Williams, the Campaign for Effective Domestic Abuse Laws
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
Starmer and Primrose Hill
As part of a large but informal group of residents of London’s Primrose Hill neighborhood, we feel compelled to respond to your article (“Anger as Starmer calls on a door to prevent the public from entering London Park”, News). Reporting only from the point of view of a small group opposed to the permanent gates to the park, you did not consider any other point of view.
Sir Keir Starmer, our local MP, was responding to well-researched testimonies, videos and nightly diaries of disturbances that include all-night raves, drug trafficking and abuse, underage alcohol use, physical assaults on residents, vandalism, defecation in gardens and doorways. , knives and fights.
At Meadowbank, we suffer from some of the worst abuse. We have residents whose lives have been severely affected by the persistent unrest. But those negatively affected include the elderly living in sheltered housing and an adjacent municipal housing estate. Many have been terrified of the disruption and just want to feel safe. It is certainly not a class or race issue, as your article suggests, nor Tory v Labor. All of our advisers are Labor and strongly support the 10pm to dawn weekend closures as a “breaker”.
Primrose Hill Park is the only Royal Park in central London that is not closed and closed at night. This has made it a vast, open-air, unregulated nightlife destination with revelers from all over London and beyond. Police have said publicly that they are unable to effectively control the park and have requested barriers to ensure the closure from 10 p.m. to dawn only on weekends. Starmer only stepped in after Royal Parks ignored those requests. Our member of Parliament, who acted on behalf of his constituents after months of frustration and a year of suffering, happens to be the Leader of the Opposition. We are grateful to him for his actions.
Virender Khanna and Lucy Kelsey
Bermondsey is not bad at all
Interesting to see an old map of the area around Bermondsey South Station being redeveloped as the road map to hell imagined by David Mitchell and covered in Covid (“This road map takes us in metaphorical circles” , the new review). A little unfair though; it’s not that bad there.