Theresa May isn’t very ‘strong and stable’ when it comes to defending the Paris climate change agreement
While other world leaders have expressed forthright condemnation of this Trump move, the best Theresa May can manage is a half-hearted expression of “disappointment”.
So much for "strong leadership".
If, as many reports suggest, Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord will be harmful to American industry, perhaps a slowdown in production will do more to reduce CO2 emissions than reluctantly staying in.
With his criminally irresponsible decision to renege on the Paris climate deal – flying in the teeth of both scientific evidence and world opinion – Trump has effectively declared war on the future of humanity.
While it certainly is “an international disgrace” that Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris climate deal, we must remember that Theresa May helped clear the way by remaining steadfastly silent on the issue and even worse, recently trying to water down other EU climate policy behind the scenes. No wonder Merkel groups the UK with the US as “unreliable”. The Government is faithfully becoming the poodle of Donald Trump.
Disagreement is good for democracy
Amber Rudd tried to claim that the "squabbling and discord of disagreement" apparent in the televised leaders' debate on Wednesday was an indication that any coalition after the election would be one of chaos.
But a cabinet that engages in lively discussion would surely be more democratic and preferable to one that meekly defers to an egotistical "strong leader".
NHS asset sales
The same idea to sell off NHS assets (May backs plan to sell off underused NHS assets to property developers, 1 June) was proposed by the Government of the day in the 1990s after presentation to Parliament of the Ceri Davies report. I was one of only two external property professionals on the report team. After Parliament accepted the recommendations it proved impossible to get the NHS management to move forward and deal with suitable site disposals.
And why was this? Almost certainly because they had no incentive to take commercial risks and did not understand the process. So, irrespective of "privatisation" issues, let us hope that if the idea gets off the ground this time it is resourced with experts who know how to deal and have the required authority to do so.
Paul R Draper
Breaking manifesto promises should be punishable by law
With just days to go before the electorate decides on who will run the country, we have seen our politicians pledging everything from more jobs with higher wages, to better schools and hospitals, to friendly talented immigrants, to world peace. But we all know that once the new government is safely lodged in No 10, their assurances are usually reneged upon.
I have a suggestion that would end all this hocus-pocus. Instead of releasing their promises and policies in cosy TV and radio studios, the party leaders (and their cabinets) would be required to deliver their manifestos in a court of law under oath. This would then put them at the risk of committing perjury, which carries a seven-year maximum prison sentence should they turn out to be lies.
For the pledges they felt they couldn’t wholly deliver on, they would be free to declare these as mere “intentions”, which most of us would take with a pinch of salt. After all, we all have good intentions, don’t we?
By imposing accountability on our so-called leaders with the threat of porridge instead of perks, I feel sure they would think again when making their vows on how better off we’d all be under their management. It might even get more people out to vote.
As for the politicians who object to these rules, which most of them would, my response is: don’t make promises you can’t keep.