Philip Hammond would make a great Prime Minister

Letters
The Chancellor has a good appreciation of the dire mess his colleagues have pushed UK into: AP

While the speculation rages about the duration of Theresa May's tenure and possible replacements, may I suggest a hitherto less regarded possible PM – Philip Hammond.

He seems to have no doctrinaire approach, such as "Brexit for Brexit's sake", plus a good appreciation of the dire mess his cabinet colleagues have pushed UK into, together with enough wit to see off the poseurs on the Labour benches, who can't decide one vote to the next how they want Brexit pan out.

Tim Brook
Bristol

Can British politics get any worse?

So, this week has been a typical week in 2017 Britain.

The rate of GDP growth, it was announced, is now the lowest in decades. As a result, the UK has been overtaken by France as the world’s fifth largest GDP while the pound remains stuck at its lowest level for very many years. Meanwhile, the Chancellor delivered a do-nothing budget "for future generations", as if he has already written off today's citizens. Britain will still, he also told us, not pay off the national deficit, which dates back to the bank crisis of 2008, until 2031 at the earliest, a mere 23 years of debt. And just as a side issue. Britain lost its seat on the International Court of Justice, a seat which it had held since the ICJ's founding in 1946.

And that was just one week. I wonder what next week will bring?

And who is to blame for this omnishambles? If I were a cynical man, I would not be too impressed by the May Government’s performance.

Chris Payne
The Philippines

We need more centre ground politics

There seems to be no common sense and little honesty when it comes to politics. The way in which this country ambles along is by swinging from left to right on the political spectrum. Most people would acknowledge that there are good policies on both sides – so why is there such a void on the centre ground?

The recent news exposing the offshore accounts of the super-rich is, without a doubt, gross! When these people have such large amounts of money, which they would struggle to spend, it is without doubt just pure greed on their part. A capitalist society should be fair; one that benefits all. They should willingly pay their taxes as the poorest do. It is an absolute disgrace that a member of the House of Lords has avoided paying tax by having off shore accounts. What with the past expenses scandal and sexual harassment claims it brings into question the integrity of today's Members of Parliament generally.

We can learn an awful lot from history. When it comes to the EU they should be reminded that without this country and our allies there would be no EU – just fascism and dictatorship. Surely we have paid all that is due to Europe in blood protecting democracy. It is obvious that the EU itself is now a dictatorship and this is the main reason for our exit. Germany is only so powerful today because of foreign aid after the war allowing the rebuilding of their industry and economy.

From events over some period of time there appears to be little or no integrity shown by elected politicians or their parties both in our Parliament or the European Parliament. It is always one side against another. Surely the people are owed far more by the politicians out of respect for the people they represent.

The people of our nation are probably the most considerate, caring, generous and democratic in the world today and this seems to be to their detriment.

If one looks back in history virtually all the major conflict that has arisen is the result of politics, greed or religion in one form or another. If the people of the world stood together serious conflict could be stopped virtually immediately. All that most people want is to live a normal life with family, children and friends. The only things that always stand in the way are politics, greed and religion. Only the people can remedy this by casting out those that abuse and breed dissent. Working for the common good should be the main priority.

Of course large companies are responsible for various aspects of greed. Automation and technology should be very carefully used because what will man do? This is reflected by Dr Stephen Hawkin who has already warned of the rise of artificial intelligence and robots – so what are we doing? Is it better for people to be employed therefore having a purpose in life?

There are huge hurdles for mankind to overcome including the most important, that of global warming and our environment, so what are we doing?

It is frustrating that people listen but do not hear and look but do not see. Perhaps man does not deserve to survive? It is man’s inhumanity to fellow men that is the real problem.

C Norman
Devon

We must challenge First Past the Post

Further to Joe Sousek’s letter on our voting system, I’d like to add a few points.

In 2005 Labour got 35.2 per cent of the vote and a 64 seat majority in the House of Commons. In 2015 UKIP got 12.6 per cent of the vote and one seat.

In the last 100 years there has only been one occasion when a party has had more than 50 per cent of the vote (the Conservatives in 1931 when ironically, we had a National Government).

Is this democratic? Not particularly. Will we change? Unlikely, but worth trying.

Hugo Horsfield
Marnhull

Bregret

Do you think the failure of the UK to retain a place on the International Court of Justice for the first time since 1946 will show the two Little Englanders, Johnson and Gove, just how stupid it is for us to leave probably the strongest club in the world?

Jim Knight
Cuckfield

Congratulations to Angela Rayner

When I heard the news I thought I must write and congratulate the Labour MP Angela Rayner on becoming a grandmother. I know some people will focus on her age, but I shall not mention it at all. I shall only praise the Shadow Education Secretary for her undoubted ability and hard work which has resulted in her career success.

We should all applaud people who have got ahead without the benefit of privilege and patronage!

Best wishes to all three generations.

Robert Boston
Kingshill

The EU referendum is done and dusted

Here we go again with another round of Remainer whack-a-mole! May I respond to your anonymous contributor?

The EU referendum always was the “will of the people” whatever the result. That is the way that referendums work, not just because the Brexiteers won.

Narrow win? True but irrelevant, that’s also the way referendums work. Yes it was a majority of those that voted, again that’s the way, etc. If you don’t vote you don’t count. Finally whatever happened to the “sovereignty of our elected Parliament?” It voted by a majority to pass the decision to the electorate in the same way as it gave the electorate the decision on the way into to the EU in the first place, that’s the way Parliament – well you know the rest.

And yes I’m a Remainer but I abide by the majority, that’s the way I work.

Mark Thomas
Histon

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