Thank you for your Editorial (“A big Tory majority won’t protect Britain from economic failure”).
You certainly reflect my long-held views, and I would hope those of many others, as to the enormous damage Brexit will ultimately do to the UK.
You ask whether Theresa May, Hammond and colleagues were prescient enough to see these trends developing. Without a shred of doubt I believe they were. Unless of course a critic is going to suggest the very people we elected to highest office, and all those highly paid advisors and heads of Civil Service are so lacking in intellect that they could not see the truth staring them in the face.
Do we really have to wait for the history books to be written to read that so many of today’s parliamentarians put themselves before the state to such an extent as to be considered treasonous?
The Lib Dems have been pushing proportional representation for decades
As a resident in the Wells constituency, I was puzzled by the quote attributed to the Green candidate about the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to proportional representation, saying that they should “show stronger backbone about electoral reform – proportional representation”.
The Liberal Democrats and before that the Liberals were advocating PR long before it became a mainstream political idea.
In coalition the Liberal Democrats forced the Tories to hold a referendum on PR. This was sadly lost because of the Labour party’s antipathy.
If Ukip are supporting the Tory candidate, I suggest that the Greens need to think about how they can get an MP who will advocate for both green issues and PR. It certainly won’t be by voting Green.
The German parliament are wrong about the niqab
I read with concern that the German parliament has supported a draft law banning women working in the civil service, judiciary and military from wearing full-face Islamic veils. Once again, a measure is being enacted to discriminate against a small number Muslim women in the name of “integration”. Surely Muslim women working in the Civil Service have demonstrated their desire to integrate into the wider culture by getting jobs? Are not those who join the military are showing their readiness to die for their countries?
Niqab-wearing Muslim women are not the “enemy”. That is evident from the number of them who have committed terrorist atrocities. The security threat that the world faces from terrorist groups must be separated from the niqab. As we move ever closer to the real threat of nuclear war, these measures seem to be a forlorn attempt to convince voters that their leaders have a grip on the dangers that we are going through now. I am afraid that nothing could be further from the truth.
We should be allowed to go back on Brexit
I welcome the powerful points in Vince Cable’s article, particularly the need for a second referendum. If I purchase, for example, life insurance, I can change my mind within 30 days, and any payments refunded. If I have the legal right to cancel commitments for modest sums, it seems only sensible to be able to do so when billions of pounds are at risk.
Malcolm L MacLeod
It is wrong to suggest the definition of anti-Semitism is the same as criticising Israel
On 1 March The Independent reported on a letter to the The Guardian by 244 academics setting out their views on the International Definition of Antisemitism. That definition was subsequently adopted by the Prime Minister following a long campaign.
It is quite wrong to suggest, as the academics did, that the definition conflates anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel. Indeed, it says clearly that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic”.
What the definition does consider to be anti-Semitic is calling Jews or the Jewish state the successor to the Nazis. That is not criticism, it is hate speech. The definition equally calls those who engage in spreading conspiracy myths about Jewish subterfuge and nefarious power anti-Semites, and of course the definition is right.
In light of academic opposition to the definition, it is no wonder that we asked students to gather evidence of anti-Semitism and send it to us so that we can take it up with universities. Today, everybody carries in their pockets a high-definition video camera and so Jewish students are thankfully able to prove that they are being intimidated and abused, and we are able to help them.
This recognition of the full spectrum of anti-Semitism comes not a moment too soon: on campuses where “oppression” is so frequently discussed, Jewish students are being squeezed out of student life. That is why the Minister of State for Universities has had to take a stand against bullying, unaccountable academics and student leaders.
The International Definition of anti-Semitism has been endorsed by 31 nations now, not out of fealty to Israel but out of recognition that anti-Semitism rots society from within, and that Jews are sadly, as ever, on the front line.
It is a great pity that The Independent did not approach Campaign Against Anti-Semitism for a comment at the time that it reported on the letter.
Gideon Falter – Chairman, Campaign Against Anti-Semitism