Labour in Trouble

4 minute read

To say that the “downturn forced Labour to dump its tarnished rule” and splurge on public spending is generous, to say the least [June 22]. Gordon Brown spent his years as Chancellor spending beyond his means — even as the country seemed to prosper — and desperately breaking Labour’s manifesto promise not to raise tax rates to cover his tracks. The severity of Britain’s current recession can surely be partly blamed on years of recklessness and a failure to prepare for the slightest possibility of less sunny days to come. The “golden rule” was a cipher from the beginning of the Labour administration.
James Campbell, PROVIDENCE, R.I., U.S.

I am disappointed that you said that Gordon Brown does not communicate well. This is a fallacy that has been perpetuated by the British press, which has never hidden its dislike of Brown since his days as Chancellor of Exchequer. The British are educated people. Does one really need a special skill to communicate with them? His main problem is the biased and hostile British press. The press should concentrate on the issues that separate the political parties instead of character assassination. People should vote because of the issues and not be swayed by media bias or the looks of the leaders. I believe that when the chips are down, the British people will vote for the right leader and for the right reasons.

America and the Middle East
In his article, Peter Beinart didn’t mention the best reason for Obama to keep the heat on Israel: because he can [June 22]. It doesn’t look good for the President of the U.S. to be dissed by Iran and North Korea, but since Israel is tiny and surrounded by people who want to wipe it off the map, Obama can make it tremble with one hand tied behind his back. This makes everybody feel better about America’s standing in the world, and if twisting Netanyahu’s arm to make concessions he considers to be against Irael’s interest doesn’t work out, and instead of a grand peace deal the country is wiped out, hey, you win some, you lose some.

Beinart’s comments finally expose the problem blocking the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Getting Netanyahu to back down will be quite a feat but Obama has set the bar high, and rightly so. The Israel lobby has always managed to get the U.S. to kowtow to Israel but if Obama is resolute he may force a freeze on the settlements. The Palestinians have had their land stolen for long enough and they deserve it back. Not only that, they deserve to take over the settlements as they stand today as well as receiving back all the refugees who were forced to leave. The U.S. must no longer feed another apartheid. If Obama stands firm perhaps Netanyahu will stop saber-rattling and calm down.
James Mc Donald, MILAN, ITALY

If I understand Joe Klein’s article “… and Start Talking to Hamas” Israelis should talk with Hamas, whose aim is to kill them [June 22]. How many Americans would advocate talks with Bin Laden?
Salomon Yves Cohen, PARIS

Understanding Mormonism
Re your report “The Storm Over the Mormons,” on the issue of Proposal 8 in California [June 22]. Indeed, the LDS Church went to great lengths against same-sex marriages in California. However, the church is no longer as monolithic as it likes to depict itself. Many LDS members in California joined the other side, supporting the right to marry without discrimination. Also, in the International Church, as the LDS Church is called beyond the U.S. and Canada, the issue is viewed differently. Morals are the legitimate domain of a church, but any public action on it is political, and politics is defined as an individual choice in LDS theology. For instance, in the Netherlands, LDS members feel completely at ease with broad marital options.

Your article clarified the characteristics of each side: on the one hand are people who are peaceful, caring and serve their community. And on the other, people who lie, throw packets of urine at buildings and are generally aggressive in an effort to achieve their purpose. From now on I will back people who are doing good.

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