Well said, Matthew Norman (Theresa May is angry about Easter eggs because she's a Christian. That's why she's standing up for her values in Saudi Arabia, 4 April). I never cease to be amazed at the crass hypocrisy shown by many politicians when they spout one thing, often as a sound bite, which appeals to the electorate and then support or enact the exact opposite because it is politically expedient.
This becomes stomach-achingly retch worthy when religion is brought into the equation. Even non-Christians are likely to be aware that Christ (if he ever existed) stood for humility, helping the poor, loving each other and certainly advocated peace.
So when any politician of any stripe wears their Christian beliefs on their sleeve yet turns a blind eye to repressive regimes in the name of commerce or expediency I want to grind my teeth to the gum level in frustration.
No Fake Love
I read Ruchira Scharma’s piece yesterday (Drake by starring in Top Boy you are appropriating British working class culture, 4 April), which asserted that by acting in the TV drama Top Boy, musician and actor Drake was appropriating working-class black British culture.
By claiming an actor is “appropriating” a culture by starring in a TV show written about an aspect of it, you seem to have missed the fundamental point of acting. To act is to play a role, a character. To become someone else in the pursuit of telling a story.
You have also missed several facts about the TV show in question that invalidate your argument; most notably to me that the show itself was written by a 61-year-old White Ulsterman. Is Ronan Bennett a cultural appropriator? Or is he an author telling a story?
You appear to be considerably misinformed about authenticity in hip hop, since authentic hip-hop music has a varied subject matter. Hip-hop songs are not all about “crime and morality” – to claim they are is stereotyping. In any event, Drake’s lyrical content covers many more topics than just his fame. His themes are much more complex than that.
With regard to the “grime artists” the piece references, it is worth noting that Section Boyz, Dave and Giggs are actually all UK rap artists, not grime.
As for the British slang mentioned, all the words and phrases referenced are examples of Jamaican slang imported to both Toronto and London by Jamaican immigrants. He's simply showing his love and appreciation for British culture while keeping it real to himself.
More than that, he's investing in this by buying the rights of the show to be able to make more episodes when previous broadcaster Channel 4 were no longer interested.
Caps off to immigrants
Very few have suggested that migration is not a good thing. In my experience people who leave their extended family and country behind to live and work in another country with a different language and culture are not average. They are special people and can make a valuable contribution to the UK in so many ways, and not just economic.
However, migration should not be an excuse not to educate and train people born in this country to do tasks that are necessary. Migration should not be an excuse to bring in people so desperate to improve their lot that they will work for low amounts of money and accept working and living conditions that many have worked hard to eliminate or reduce. The reality is that so often migration has been used in that way.
The solution already exists
I note with interest Andrea Whittam Smith's call for a new political party based on more public involvement and comprising more people from 'civil' society (After Brexit, we do need a new political party – just not like the ones we’ve already got, 4 April).
I am now a member of my third political party in my 60 years. After flirting with Edward Heath's Tories, I joined the SDP when it first launched but left when it was clear it was not organised any differently to other parties of its day. I joined Tony Blair's New Labour when the Labour Party lurched to the centre and when it lurched back under Brown, I left. After the EU referendum I joined the Lib Dems as the only pro-EU party.
The Lib Dem membership is made up of normal people, ranging from 16 onwards. Their values are very similar to Christian values of loving your neighbour as yourself, which means working for justice and equality. In the six months I have been a member, I have been invited to comment and vote on a variety of Lib Dem policies, write a manifesto, join several specialist interest groups and get involved locally. I am now an approved county council candidate and have been trained on public engagement, canvassing and postal votes amongst others.
The Lib Dem membership is growing daily – it's now around 88,000 with another surge after May signed the letter triggering Article 50. I suggest the Lib Dems are the “new” party that Whittam Smith is calling for – to me it's a very different organisation to other political parties. I am proud to be a Lib Dem Newbie.