Carswell defies his own logic if he doesn't call a by-election

MP Douglas Carswell in Stoke ahead of the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election in February: PA

When Douglas Carswell resigned from the Conservative Party in 2014 and joined Ukip, he insisted on having a by-election, not because of who he was joining, but because he would no longer be flying the flag under which he had been elected.

Thus to try now, a mere two and a half years later, to extricate himself from a by-election because he is not joining another political party fundamentally misses this point and is inconsistent with the honourable precedent he voluntarily set himself – particularly when his electorate recently rejected independent candidates both times any stood in 2010 and 2014. (None stood in the 2015 general election.)

Carswell needs to follow his own precedent by honourably resigning his seat to re-establish his own credibility, fight the ensuing by-election under whatever flag, if any, he wishes to fly, and then let’s see whether the electorate still want him or another more genuine Ukip representative.

David Meacock


Your Douglas Carswell cartoon in Sunday’s Daily Edition reminds me of a Finnish proverb: “It is not wise to take great leaps in a rotten boat.” I wish some of our politicians would take note.

David Watson

South Oxfordshire

This healthcare defeat is the beginning of the end for Trump

Donald Trump promised a healthcare plan that would be “unbelievable”, “beautiful”, “terrific”, “less expensive and much better” and “insurance for everybody”.

Seven years of publicly denouncing the shortcomings of Obamacare, and then the repeal–replace attempt failed after 18 days. I wonder how the master dealmaker will spin this major defeat.

Thirsty for revenge, a bruised, battered and shell-shocked President Trump is now desperately looking for a fall guy to assign blame. Gone, at least for the moment, is the John Wayne-esque tough guy persona that has accompanied his campaign and presidency. The finger-pointing has started. The spinning wheel of blame and shame has stopped at Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff who coordinated the legislative strategy with his good friend, Speaker Paul Ryan.

But more and more Republicans, especially the Freedom Caucus, are blaming Trump for the debacle, complaining that he didn’t have the slightest understanding of the complexities of healthcare policy or legislature procedure. They were also offended by his vulgarity, bombast and intellectual laziness.

This was also a major setback for the legislative principal arm-twisting Speaker Ryan who suffered his first major defeat.

It’s often said that politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Trump campaigns in braggadocio and governs in shrill bombast. As more people realise that the emperor is wearing no clothes, his approval ratings will continue to plummet.

Jagjit Singh

Los Altos, California, US

Have we considered the real consequences of Brexit?

I am quite amused about Nigel Farage's disappointment over not being awarded a knighthood for his challenge to government policy which not only resulted in Brexit but in bringing down the elected Prime Minister.

To give Nigel Farage a knighthood would be little different from awarding Guy Fawkes for the gunpowder plot with a baronage.

Of course the difference between the two is that Farage was successful. If Farage's Brexit fails to deliver, I predict that in a few years there will be not only a Guy burned on the 5th of November but also a Nigel.

George Lewis

Brackley, Northamptonshire

Lord Heseltine's speech this week was not entirely wrong, as Leavers have implied. There are indeed unfortunate implications of Brexit which ought at least to be noted, though not quite as he stated.

There is a very real danger that Germany will control the EU in all but name. It is the dominant economy, and no one but the UK had the will and the might to stand up to Germany before.

Moreover it is untrue that the UK had no influence in an unreformable EU. It is owing to the UK above all that the wine lakes and beef mountains of yesteryear have now disappeared; and some EU legislation was UK-inspired.

One interesting question that was not posed during the referendum was whether the EU needed the UK. However, judging by their responses to Lord Heseltine's speech, it is clearly not a point that would have interested the Leavers.

Marek Laskiewicz

London W6

There are some who could easily save the NHS

There are 715,000 millionaires in the UK, and the NHS is desperately short of funds.

If each of these millionaires donated £10,000 it would generate £7.15bn. If they donated £100,000 to an NHS fund, it would generate £71.5bn.

There are 120 billionaires in the UK and if each of them donated £10m to the NHS fund, it would generate £1.2bn. These donations would not replace the Government NHS money from taxpayers; it would supplement it.

I am sure the Government can come up with a suitable tax incentive to encourage these people to donate. It could also give an MBE for a £10,000 donation, an OBE for a £100,000 donation, and a knighthood for a £10m donation. Britain is a mainly Christian country and this should be reflected in the support wealthy citizens give to the community in generous donations.

John Fair

County Mayo, Ireland