It is understandable that Jonathan Freedland doesn’t want to waste time jostling with others for space to write a postmortem on the warm entrails of Labour’s campaign next weekend (Can Labour bring its divided family together?, Journal, 7 December). But with days to go until the general election was it too much to expect that he might write about the key messages and actions needed to secure a Labour win, or at least to prevent a Tory victory, rather than assuming it’s all over – even though the fat lady is yet to sing?
His analysis is simplistic and presents two key constituencies of past, present and future voters as if they are now, and always will be, irreconcilable. People sink their differences to support a cause they want to get behind – not just at general elections but around small-scale local campaigns; sometimes in doing so they have to accept that other personal goals will be delayed or get ditched as a consequence, but it’s a price they understand and pay. I hope and expect that many people will be making such calculations as they weigh up where to place their cross on Thursday.
• Jonathan Freedland’s insights into the divisions in our main parties aptly calls for “a compelling plan to rejuvenate the towns”. Such a plan should start with attracting investment into empty shops and under-used land, through changes to property taxation. We have so much to learn from cities such as Copenhagen, Lille or Eindhoven that have transformed their centres despite losing industrial jobs. Funding study tours would be an easy way of bringing disputing parties together, so they focus on the future, not the past.
Dr Nicholas Falk
Executive director, The Urbed Trust
• I’ve just voted for Labour for the first time since before the Iraq war. Sadly my postal vote won’t count for much (like the vast majority of all ballots cast under the UK electoral system) because it’s in a safe Conservative constituency. But still it felt important to make a symbolic statement.
I backed Labour because their manifesto begins to draw the outlines of an ecological socialism I feel I can support. Plus it seems to me that Labour has the only sensible, grown-up policy on Brexit: renegotiate a softer version and put that or remain to the vote. But the main reason I voted for Labour was to support Jeremy Corbyn, who has been most unfairly attacked from all sides since he became leader.
In the end I asked myself: “Who do you want in charge?” A narcissistic liar, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who would Trumpify the UK? Or someone who has been right on virtually every major issue of the last 40 years, who believes in collegiate leadership and who would rather tend his allotment than betray his principles or enrich himself through politics? The answer seemed very clear.
Lib Dem councillor, London borough of Camden, 2006-10
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