Letters - 22 November 2019

From loss of trust to the secular and spiritual

Loss of trust

Tony D’Souza’s article on populism (11 October) adopts the narrative that our current political conflicts originate in the activity of ‘populists’ who manipulate public opinion by telling lies to undermine powerful ‘elites’ who have excessive influence over public affairs. There can be no doubt that such elites exist in our public life, including politics, the law, academia and the media. An analysis by the Mail on Sunday of ITV presenters on a typical day revealed that only one out of more than twenty was other than white. Probably few of them live outside the M25. An analysis of high court judges would reveal a similar imbalance in terms of social background.

Any accusation of lying must be based upon an analysis of the alleged lies, and when we take them on a case-by-case basis we often find that they are not lies but perfectly true. For example, although ridiculed as invention, there are EU regulations governing bananas – as there always have been for international trade. Whether or not we need rules to regulate the shape of bananas is a different matter.

Some of our current MPs are career politicians who have never and probably will never have any other form of employment. In many cases they are behaving in opposition to the wishes of the people they claim to represent and the manifesto promises upon which they were elected. This has led to an understandable loss of trust in our public life, political system and the elites which dominate it.

Clive Ashwin

Local circumstances

In the article ‘What’s the value of a Meeting house?’ (25 October), one sentence offers a heartfelt plea not to own and run a Meeting house. To my mind it all depends on local circumstances.

Here in Ipswich, in a just off-centre location with limited parking, our income from room hires covers all running costs, pays for a resident warden and provides a social asset to the town. Yes we need a premises committee, which might be stopping more creative things happening, who knows? So it all depends.

Eric Walker

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