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The government has offered no justification for pursuing a hard Brexit | Letters5h The government has offered no justification for pursuing a hard Brexit | Letters
Readers respond to Sajid Javid’s declaration that there will be ‘no alignment’ with EU regulations and standards after BrexitEstimates of the economic cost of a hard Brexit vary, but it is generally agreed that this form of Brexit will be much more economically damaging than one where the UK seeks close alignment with the EU, its biggest trading partner. How does Sajid Javid and the entire Johnson government justify the hard Brexit it so evidently embraces (
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Disruptive children need the opposite of isolation in school | Letters5h Disruptive children need the opposite of isolation in school | Letters
Isolating children should have no place in any establishment that professes to prepare them to take a meaningful place in society, says
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Is the environmental movement ageist? | Letters6h Is the environmental movement ageist? | Letters
Retired colleagues and I have regularly shared ideas and actions with young people, writes XR member
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Language lessons with a cherry on top | Brief letters6h Language lessons with a cherry on top | Brief letters
American English | School libraries | Chinese birth rate | Year of the rat | MarmaladeAlthough this happened decades ago, we haven’t forgotten the look of total incredulity on the face of an American fellow student whom our son brought home for the weekend (
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Flawed thinking behind school isolation booths | Letters30h Flawed thinking behind school isolation booths | Letters
Readers respond to our report into the increased use of booths to discipline schoolchildrenThere would be an argument in favour of the use of isolation rooms or cubicles for troublesome young people in school if there was any evidence that they worked (
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If A&E targets shame the Tories, the solution is not to scrap them | Letters30h If A&E targets shame the Tories, the solution is not to scrap them | Letters
Readers respond to the news that the health secretary, Matt Hancock, wants to abolish NHS targets for A&E waiting timesIf the government decides to abolish targets for A&E waiting times, can the medical profession get together with patients’ associations and find a way to agree their own targets and then collate and publish the data themselves? (
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Put the needs of the planet before Flybe | Letters30h Put the needs of the planet before Flybe | Letters
Both bailing out the failing airline and pushing on with HS2 will be disastrous for the environment, writes
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A Cheech & Chong style Big Ben bong | Brief letters30h A Cheech & Chong style Big Ben bong | Brief letters
Kim-Joy bakes | Supermarket refills | Bongs | MarmaladeI am as in touch with my inner six-year-old as the next person, but I nevertheless rejoiced when I thought you had moved on from
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Cambridge, where inequality rules | Letters41h Cambridge, where inequality rules | Letters
University colleges should do more to ensure that all their workers, from cleaners to academics, receive a fair wageIn an article about inequality in Cambridge, a spokesman for Cambridge University claimed that a survey in November found 21 colleges to be paying at least £9 an hour (“
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Rebecca Long-Bailey’s leadership pitch is far from perfect | Letters 17 Jan 1:01pm Rebecca Long-Bailey’s leadership pitch is far from perfect | Letters
Readers respond to an article by the Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-BaileyRebecca Long-Bailey, like all Labour’s leadership candidates, emphasises democratic movement-building as a precursor for change (
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Slip-up leaves priests rolling in the aisles | Brief letters 17 Jan 12:16pm Slip-up leaves priests rolling in the aisles | Brief letters
Oxford University | English usage | Noel Coward | Driving in cities | Flavoured crispsWe applaud the rise in state-sector intake across Oxford University and are glad to see individual colleges praised (
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Labour party must reach beyond its core vote | Letters 16 Jan 12:29pm Labour party must reach beyond its core vote | Letters
The most engaged and active members are not necessarily representative of Labour as a whole, says
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Laying down the Strava gardening gauntlet | Brief letters 16 Jan 12:28pm Laying down the Strava gardening gauntlet | Brief letters
Flybe | Strava | English usage | Getting old | Marmalade | Beards“Ministers ‘must do whatever it takes’ to save Flybe” (
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Electoral reform and making every vote count | Letters 15 Jan 11:38am Electoral reform and making every vote count | Letters
Readers respond to Polly Toynbee’s call for the Labour leadership candidates to back proportional representationPolly Toynbee suggests that proportional representation (PR) is now mainstream party thinking, but she does not elaborate on how this might be achieved in the face of entrenched opposition from the Tory party (
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Class, language and localism in the Labour leadership race | Letters 15 Jan 11:37am Class, language and localism in the Labour leadership race | Letters
Guardian readers share their views on the contest and its candidatesIn the recent statements by candidates for the leadership of the Labour party there are two expressions that deserve attention: “community” and “the working class”. Most of the candidates invoke these groupings without, it seems, giving much thought to their meaning. Communities are not the glorious locations of consensus and mutual support that they are presented as. Often they were, and are, locations of exclusion and prejudice, even coercion. “The working class” is a term that might have been appropriate for manual (usually male) workers, but quite what it means in the complex contemporary labour market is much more problematic. The protests about the 1% were perhaps rather more accurate, since they did point to extreme forms of social inequality and the fact that the vast majority of us do have to work in order to support ourselves. By all means identify inequality within paid work, but not with divisive, and redundant, labels.
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Brexit bongs and for whom the bell tolls | Letters 15 Jan 11:37am Brexit bongs and for whom the bell tolls | Letters
Readers are unimpressed by Boris Johnson’s plan for Big Ben to chime at the moment the UK leaves the EUThe suggestion that repairs on Big Ben should be suspended so that it can ring out to celebrate Brexit (
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Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t sexist – it’s supportive and free | Letters 15 Jan 11:37am Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t sexist – it’s supportive and free | Letters
Readers who have attended AA praise the service it providesHolly Whitaker’s views about Alcoholics Anonymous need to be challenged (
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Knocked up due to lack of a rubber | Brief letters 15 Jan 11:37am Knocked up due to lack of a rubber | Brief letters
The Church of the Nativity | Oakham McDonalds | Monarchy | American English | MarmaladeRe your article on the dating of the Church of the Nativity (
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Can Thailand provide better dementia care than the UK? | Letters 14 Jan 12:39pm Can Thailand provide better dementia care than the UK? | Letters
Readers respond to news that British families are sending elderly relatives with dementia overseas to Thailand in a small but growing trendIn your report (
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Never too old to be making marmalade | Brief letters 14 Jan 12:32pm Never too old to be making marmalade | Brief letters
Fr Ben O’Rourke | Flavoured crisps | Marmalade | Long-playing records | Wordwheel | Moving to CanadaGiles Mercer (
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The big picture on Bafta nominations and US domination of the UK film industry | Letters 13 Jan 12:42pm The big picture on Bafta nominations and US domination of the UK film industry | Letters
The UK is to Hollywood what China is to Silicon Valley: a beneficial location to outsource production, with the bonus in the UK of substantial tax incentives, says
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Keeping your pecker up the English way | Brief letters 13 Jan 12:40pm Keeping your pecker up the English way | Brief letters
Rail travel in the UK | FirstGroup trains | English usage | Prevent strategy | Royal familyThe Travel section on rail journeys in Europe (11 January) was interesting and informative. However, next time perhaps you could add a supplement on how to get to London by train for those of us who do not live near there, as this is often the most unreliable, time-consuming or expensive part of the journey. It is easier, and often cheaper, to fly from Liverpool to Madrid and start our train journey there; and, yes, we are aware of the environmental cost, but until train journeys in the UK improve radically it will remain the preferred option.
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There’s no extremism in Extinction Rebellion | Letters 12 Jan 12:54pm There’s no extremism in Extinction Rebellion | Letters
Readers are incredulous that the police listed XR in a guide aimed at preventing terrorist atrocitiesThe Guardian’s recent revelation that Extinction Rebellion (XR) had been classed as an extremist ideology in now hastily withdrawn advice issued by counter-terrorism police (
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The limits to Boris Johnson’s recent reinvention of himself | Letters 12 Jan 12:53pm The limits to Boris Johnson’s recent reinvention of himself | Letters
Readers take issue with Martin Kettle’s assessment of the prime ministerI almost spat my cornflakes out in surprise at Martin Kettle’s deferential analysis of Boris Johnson’s premiership so far (
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Wolverhampton wanderer’s city stew | Brief letters 12 Jan 12:52pm Wolverhampton wanderer’s city stew | Brief letters
Robert Jenrick’s birth town | A person or a prince? | Gary Younge | Marriage training | Long-life marmalade | A ripe old age for bananasIt is clearly embarrassing for Robert Jenrick, born and educated in Wolverhampton, not to know whether it’s a town or a city (
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You’re no manager, Dominic Cummings | Letters 12 Jan 12:59am You’re no manager, Dominic Cummings | Letters
The prime minister’s adviser has told us what he requires of civil servants. But are his own qualities up to scratch?The prime minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, has set out what he requires of people working for him (“‘
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The next Labour leader and what party members want | Letters 10 Jan 12:18pm The next Labour leader and what party members want | Letters
The party must get behind Jeremy Corbyn’s successor, writes
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Understanding family justice and protecting the victims of abuse | Letters 10 Jan 12:08pm Understanding family justice and protecting the victims of abuse | Letters
A former judge explains how decisions are often made in family courts, while another reader believes the system needs to be better geared towards the welfare of women and childrenLouise Tickle falls into the error of generalising from two particular examples of the family justice system going wrong (
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A tuneless choir can still hit the right note | Letters 10 Jan 12:00pm A tuneless choir can still hit the right note | Letters
Readers respond to a letter writer who loves to sing but admits she cannot keep in tuneJennifer Henley (
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So long but hopefully not goodbye to Gary Younge | Brief letters 10 Jan 11:47am So long but hopefully not goodbye to Gary Younge | Brief letters
Sir Archie Marshall | Gary Younge | English usage | Bag for lifeStephen Dorril (
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Harry and Meghan’s departure may be the best decision all round | Letters 9 Jan 2:14pm Harry and Meghan’s departure may be the best decision all round | Letters
Readers respond to the news that the young couple will be reining in royal dutiesThe news that Harry and Meghan are “stepping back” from their roles is to be welcomed (
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Wise advice from a charismatic priest | Letters 9 Jan 2:13pm Wise advice from a charismatic priest | Letters
In response to Adrian Chiles’ fond memories of Benignus O’Rourke,
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Getting to know your worst enemy | Brief letters 9 Jan 2:13pm Getting to know your worst enemy | Brief letters
Retail and PPI | Ernest Bevin and Herbert Morrison | Bag for life | Wardrobe waiting listIs it possible that British retail’s “worst year on record” (
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Will Labour unite, or have one hell of a scrap? | Letters 8 Jan 1:16pm Will Labour unite, or have one hell of a scrap? | Letters
Guardian readers share their views on the Labour leadership contest and the future of the partyDoes Lisa Nandy seriously believe that Labour lost the election because voters carefully considered the issues and studied the records and manifestos of the two main parties before making a decision (
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Politicians should study the theory of fear | Letters 8 Jan 1:01pm Politicians should study the theory of fear | Letters
When fearful, we turn to friends and family, to those in the caring professions and to our political leaders, writes
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Social media’s contribution to eating disorders | Letters 8 Jan 1:00pm Social media’s contribution to eating disorders | Letters
I have had consultations with young people where this has been a primary driver of body dysmorphia, writes
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A bag for life that’s keeping its promise | Brief letters 8 Jan 12:59pm A bag for life that’s keeping its promise | Brief letters
Patriotism | Geography | Longevity | WordsearchReading Gary Younge (
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Dominic Cummings’ maths doesn’t really add up | Letters 7 Jan 1:23pm Dominic Cummings’ maths doesn’t really add up | Letters
Readers give their views on plans by Boris Johnson’s adviser to shake up the civil service by employing more oddballs and maths geniusesChris Webster (
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Folk music is still living in the present | Brief letters 7 Jan 1:22pm Folk music is still living in the present | Brief letters
Folk music | English usage | Cars at 74 | ChoirsNo, Sue Grainger (
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7 Jan 6:57am Guardian Weekly Letters, 10 January 2020
Australia burns; Boris beliefs; Big Ben
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The purpose of the monarchy and the problem of inequality | Letters 6 Jan 12:53pm The purpose of the monarchy and the problem of inequality | Letters
Readers respond to Rev Richard Coles’ proclamation that he is now a monarchist, and that he sees the royal family as a bulwark against the rise of tyrantsI was disappointed to read that Richard Coles is now a born-again monarchist (
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Keir Starmer is no comfort blanket | Brief letters 6 Jan 12:48pm Keir Starmer is no comfort blanket | Brief letters
Take a break | Keir Starmer | Getting old | MinimalismCoco Khan’s column is an insight into a world I can barely comprehend (
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How Labour can make itself electable again | Letters 5 Jan 12:39pm How Labour can make itself electable again | Letters
Readers respond to a piece by Martin Kettle in which he says the party needs to take time for judgments to settle about its descent into the electoral abyssI read Martin Kettle’s article (
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We’ve reached out since the Brexit vote – it’s a shame Johnson hasn’t | Letters 5 Jan 12:38pm We’ve reached out since the Brexit vote – it’s a shame Johnson hasn’t | Letters
Boris Johnson has made no attempt to reconcile leavers and remainers, says
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Satsuma gives hope to smaller people | Brief letters 5 Jan 12:34pm Satsuma gives hope to smaller people | Brief letters
Competency tests | Satsumas | Trump and Shakespeare | Getting old | Folk musicRachel Wolf, a Conservative party policy adviser, recommends that civil servants should take regular exams to prove competence in their jobs (
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Letters: democracy is at risk, as well as Labour | Observer letters 5 Jan 1:00am Letters: democracy is at risk, as well as Labour | Observer letters
The party must choose wisely in its leadership election, for the sake of itself and the countryIt does not need a committee to determine the reasons for Labour’s election defeat: a divided party, an unpopular leader too sympathetic to leftwing autocrats, dithering over Brexit, failure to deal with the charge of antisemitism, an ill-thought-out manifesto. The list goes on (
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Faith in the church and its ability to survive | Letters 3 Jan 11:08am Faith in the church and its ability to survive | Letters
Readers respond to Simon Jenkins’ suggestion that churches need to learn from cathedrals and become cultural and therapeutic hubs, and point out the importance of social actionSimon Jenkins writes about booming cathedrals and failing parish churches (
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Hot cross buns are popping up early | Brief letters 3 Jan 11:07am Hot cross buns are popping up early | Brief letters
Paul the Apostle | Bush fires | Labour | Flowering daffodilsRabbi Dr Barbara Borts calls Paul the Apostle “a troublesome character” (
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Inspirations for the codpiece comeback | Brief letters 2 Jan 1:04pm Inspirations for the codpiece comeback | Brief letters
Jeremy Corbyn | Officially old | Missing folk music | Antonio Navagero | Th’Lone Groover | Flowering daffodilsRichard Burgon MP says Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity rating was not the major factor in the election defeat (
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How truth gets lost in the BBC’s search for balance | Letters 1 Jan 1:13pm How truth gets lost in the BBC’s search for balance | Letters
The broadcaster must countervail the rightwing-dominated print media, writes
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Our honeymoon that never ended | Brief letters 1 Jan 1:08pm Our honeymoon that never ended | Brief letters
Slad valley | Philip Larkin | The Bull, Ambridge | Boris Johnson | The 2020s | G2David Parker rightly enthuses about Swift’s Hill and the surrounding Slad valley (
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Can Rebecca Long Bailey’s vision revive Labour fortunes? | Letters 31 Dec 2019, 12:54pm Can Rebecca Long Bailey’s vision revive Labour fortunes? | Letters
Rebecca Long Bailey’s apparent pitch for the Labour leadership is found wanting by
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No southern comfort at the Rovers Return | Letters 31 Dec 2019, 12:53pm No southern comfort at the Rovers Return | Letters
Queen Vic or Rovers Return? | Codpiece comeback | John Bercow | Ageing | A better new yearYour
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How we can escape the Tories’ mesmerising rule | Letters 30 Dec 2019, 12:22pm How we can escape the Tories’ mesmerising rule | Letters
Readers respond to Andy Beckett’s article on how the Conservatives are kept in power by collective deferenceAndy Beckett is right to say the “media’s impulse to take incoming Tory premiers at their word” is echoed by the “inclination of many voters to trust Tory governments”, but this is hardly a surprising phenomenon (
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Questions over Tom Watson’s decision to quit | Letters 30 Dec 2019, 12:21pm Questions over Tom Watson’s decision to quit | Letters
The reasons the ex-MP gave for leaving parliament don’t satisfy
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There’s no honour in it for Iain Duncan Smith | Letters 30 Dec 2019, 12:19pm There’s no honour in it for Iain Duncan Smith | Letters
The MP’s knighthood shows the contempt Theresa May had for the underprivileged in society, says
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Down with the kids in Tunbridge Wells | Brief letters 30 Dec 2019, 12:17pm Down with the kids in Tunbridge Wells | Brief letters
Music in Tunbridge Wells | Film review | The Boulevardier | WI cliches | King William’s College quiz“If you’re a kid from Tunbridge Wells … where’s the music for you?” asks Sports Team frontman Alex Rice (
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Most Britons weren’t hostile to migrants | Letters 29 Dec 2019, 12:11pm Most Britons weren’t hostile to migrants | Letters
Most Britons were not hostile and helped south Asians and east Africans to settle, says
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Honours snub for John Bercow is petty | Brief letters 29 Dec 2019, 12:10pm Honours snub for John Bercow is petty | Brief letters
New year honours list | NHS gobbledegook | Pedants and pendants | Feelgood factorsHe presided over the House of Commons for 10 years, defending parliament against an overbearing executive, and he has his critics. But excluding John Bercow from this year’s honours list (
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Stand up for Labour’s record in office | Letters 28 Dec 2019, 4:00pm Stand up for Labour’s record in office | Letters
The party’s credibility has not been helped by a failure to point out what it got right about public spending As a Labour party “moderate”, I broadly agree with the analysis of
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Religious traditions and our common humanity | Letters 27 Dec 2019, 12:12pm Religious traditions and our common humanity | Letters
Former bishop of Oxford
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It’s unfair to blame the Ministry of Defence for all of its problems | Letters 27 Dec 2019, 12:10pm It’s unfair to blame the Ministry of Defence for all of its problems | Letters
The Ministry of Defence has been hit by factors outside of its control, writes
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Fawlty memories of Basil’s rectitude | Brief letters 27 Dec 2019, 12:07pm Fawlty memories of Basil’s rectitude | Brief letters
Social care | Nicky Henson in Fawlty Towers | Pedanticus pronunciation | Trump and windmills | Sprout recipesAlongside its account of five independent commissions and four government white papers on social care funding, your
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Charismatic leaders and the left’s electoral failures | Letters 26 Dec 2019, 12:15pm Charismatic leaders and the left’s electoral failures | Letters
Readers including Labour peer
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Taking back control of political slogans | Brief letters 26 Dec 2019, 12:13pm Taking back control of political slogans | Brief letters
Conservatives | Labour | Life mantras | Latin correctionsThis article (
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Footballer v nurse: who is valued more? | Brief letters 25 Dec 2019, 12:00pm Footballer v nurse: who is valued more? | Brief letters
Salary comparison | Racism and hope | Rebuilding communities | Labour party joiners | Sprout recipesI was disturbed to read that Tammy Abraham was seeking a weekly salary of £120,000 (
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Labour must act locally to beat Tory populism | Letters 23 Dec 2019, 12:30pm Labour must act locally to beat Tory populism | Letters
Local politicians and activists are increasingly important in the fight for progressive policies in the face of UK populism, argues
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Friends in need are no friends of Boris Johnson | Brief letters 23 Dec 2019, 12:29pm Friends in need are no friends of Boris Johnson | Brief letters
Living wage | Michael Billington | Alexa | BrexitRafael Behr asked how long it would take Boris Johnson to betray his new friends in the north (
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Labour team needs new style of play to win again | Letters 22 Dec 2019, 1:15pm Labour team needs new style of play to win again | Letters
Readers react to Andy Beckett’s prediction that party policies might sow the seeds for success aheadAndy Beckett (
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Royal Christmas cards drive home the climate crisis | Brief letters 22 Dec 2019, 1:12pm Royal Christmas cards drive home the climate crisis | Brief letters
Peerages | Cars and the climate emergency | Boris Johnson | Forgiving Tony BlairI am no supporter of peerages, but unlike Iain Ferris (
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Recycling is the option of last resort | Letters 22 Dec 2019, 1:00am Recycling is the option of last resort | Letters
It’s a delusion that by putting mountains of packaging in the recycling bin our profligate lifestyle is somehow neutralisedIt’s about time people began to call out carbon offsetting for what it is (“
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Tony Blair needs a further period of reflection | Letters 20 Dec 2019, 12:51pm Tony Blair needs a further period of reflection | Letters
Readers react to Tony Blair’s advice to ditch Corbynism and the party’s ‘brand of quasi-revolutionary socialism’Your report on Tony Blair’s speech referred to the election result being Labour’s worst defeat since 1935 (
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The failure of leadership behind Labour’s general election defeat | Letters 20 Dec 2019, 12:50pm The failure of leadership behind Labour’s general election defeat | Letters
Readers respond to an article by Owen Jones in which he said that Labour faced a remorseless assault but Corbyn and the left must own their mistakesOwen Jones (
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Time to resurrect the Anti-Lies Bureau | Brief letters 20 Dec 2019, 12:47pm Time to resurrect the Anti-Lies Bureau | Brief letters
Mên-an-Tol | Zac Goldsmith | Anti-Lies Bureau | Boris Johnson’s fancy dress | A space suit for Dominic Cummings | Lady Margaret HallFriday the 13th was a very strange day, with only a walk around Stourhead gardens lifting the gloom. However, the front cover of the Travel section last Saturday really cheered us up! We can confirm that
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Boris Johnson can’t escape the Northern Ireland issue | Letters 19 Dec 2019, 1:23pm Boris Johnson can’t escape the Northern Ireland issue | Letters
Readers respond to an article by Fintan O’Toole in which he said that the PM’s false claims about the withdrawal agreement reveal an utter lack of interest in the consequences of Brexit for Belfast and DublinFintan O’Toole is of course correct that “Johnson has no real knowledge of or interest in the consequences of the withdrawal agreement – and of Brexit itself – for Northern Ireland” (
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Vote share paints a different picture of election results | Letters 19 Dec 2019, 1:21pm Vote share paints a different picture of election results | Letters
Readers point out that the first past the post system distorts the scale of Labour’s electoral losses and the extent of the Conservative party’s popularityIn last week’s election, candidates for remain-supporting parties received 16.5 million votes, while candidates for leave-supporting parties received 14.8 million. The 14.8 million gave the leave supporters a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons.
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Rhyming review of Cats sparks Memory | Brief letters 19 Dec 2019, 1:20pm Rhyming review of Cats sparks Memory | Brief letters
Peter Bradshaw | Boris Johnson | Scottish independencePeter Bradshaw’s review of the Cats film (
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The Liberal Democrats’ place in progressive politics | Letters 18 Dec 2019, 11:42am The Liberal Democrats’ place in progressive politics | Letters
Readers respond to opinion articles by Vince Cable and Simon JenkinsI would not be averse to being described as “centre-left, social democratic, liberal and moderate”, but I am unable to agree with Vince Cable (
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Glossing over the challenges of adoption sets families up to fail | Letters 18 Dec 2019, 11:41am Glossing over the challenges of adoption sets families up to fail | Letters
Two adoptive parents describe their own experiences of the process and aftermath, and the problems for which they were poorly preparedIn response to the letter “
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Lessons in Toryism from the past | Letters 18 Dec 2019, 11:41am Lessons in Toryism from the past | Letters
Charly Lomas
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From election gloom good news sprouts | Brief letters 18 Dec 2019, 11:41am From election gloom good news sprouts | Brief letters
Throwaway cups | Tamara Ecclestone | Boris Johnson | Child poverty | Dominic Cummings | Brussels sproutsWhen I travelled by train in India in 1982, tea was served to passengers at railway stations through the open windows, in earthenware pots just like the Minoan one (
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Should Labour’s next leader be a woman? | Letters 17 Dec 2019, 11:25am Should Labour’s next leader be a woman? | Letters
Readers debate Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore’s argument for a female-led oppositionSuzanne Moore says she wants “an opposition led by a woman” (
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Why no news would be good news for the BBC | Letters 17 Dec 2019, 11:25am Why no news would be good news for the BBC | Letters
Post-election attacks on the BBC have exposed its lack of political independence, suggests
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Christ would be a Tory press villain | Brief letters 17 Dec 2019, 11:25am Christ would be a Tory press villain | Brief letters
Suicidal starlings | Labour’s worst result | JC and the media | Operatic pugilism | Pope a CatholicSome years ago, driving through farmland in Wiltshire, I became aware of a murmuration of starlings over fields to my right. Suddenly, the flock swooped towards the road ahead of me, and down into the path of an oncoming lorry. Many dozens, perhaps hundreds, were killed, and left lying on the road. I have often wondered how unusual this incident was. Very, it seems, from your coverage of this recent “mystery” (
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Dreaming of a green, gift-free Christmas | Brief letters 16 Dec 2019, 12:48pm Dreaming of a green, gift-free Christmas | Brief letters
Joe Hammond | Spring | Tory lie-ometer | Labour’s Strictly leader | Boris Johnson | ConsumerismMy husband is dying of cancer. In the 40 years-plus of our marriage we have done so many lovely holiday journeys together, by road, by rail, by ferry (rarely by air). I’m trying to hold my life together. Then I read Joe Hammond’s final article (
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Roots of Labour’s failure to connect with voters | Letters 15 Dec 2019, 1:22pm Roots of Labour’s failure to connect with voters | Letters
Readers reflect on what went wrong for the beleaguered party and how it can move forward after its election defeatJonathan Freedland suggests we skip grief at the election results and move on to anger (
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If Boris Johnson is to heal Britain, telling the truth would be a good start | Letters 15 Dec 2019, 1:21pm If Boris Johnson is to heal Britain, telling the truth would be a good start | Letters
Readers respond to the prime minister’s victory speech outside Downing StreetKaty Balls may well be expecting Johnson to use his “newfound freedom to accommodate the Labour leave areas that have gone blue” (
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A new name for remainers | Brief letters 15 Dec 2019, 1:21pm A new name for remainers | Brief letters
The New Working Class | The Guardian in Manchester | Scottish independence | Comma placement | Rejoiners | Get Christmas done | John Crace and Marina HydeAfter the disaster
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Delivery drivers are treated like slaves | Letters 15 Dec 2019, 1:00am Delivery drivers are treated like slaves | Letters
Politicians are quick to condemn other nations that trample on workers’ rights but ignore it when it happens in the UKYour article on the inhumane working conditions encountered by some of Britain’s numerous delivery drivers was shocking (“
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Is Jeremy Corbyn to blame for Labour’s defeat? | Letters 13 Dec 2019, 12:12pm Is Jeremy Corbyn to blame for Labour’s defeat? | Letters
Readers respond to the Conservative landslide in general election 2019The general election result confirms Jeremy Corbyn as a symptom but not a solution to the crisis of social democracy in the Labour party. This has been apparent since his election as leader when he first turned down the offers of electoral alliance with the Scottish and Welsh nationalists and Greens, leaving Labour a unionist party in Scotland. His subsequent tergiversations over Brexit then sought to “unite the country” with a stance of Wilsonian neutrality only masking his persistent Bennism. And, unlike the Greens and Extinction Rebellions activists, and contrary to the hopes of his enthusiastic supporters, neither Corbyn nor John McDonnell clearly explained why a profit-dedicated system is incompatible with human survival. Instead, they tried to advance a reforming socialism at a time when the class basis for mass action has collapsed with the disintegration of traditional manual working-class culture and organisation. In Scotland a new demographic may have come together in a progressive nationalism, but in England it follows Boris Johnson’s nostalgic escapism.
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Andy Burnham should take the lead | Letters 13 Dec 2019, 12:12pm Andy Burnham should take the lead | Letters
Readers on why the mayor of Greater Manchester is the ideal person to succeed Jeremy CorbynA better successor to Jeremy Corbyn than your front-runners (
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All lies to the right, and noes to the left | Brief letters 13 Dec 2019, 12:11pm All lies to the right, and noes to the left | Brief letters
Food banks | Feast of Saint Lucy | Dick Tuck | Labour manifesto | Momentum | Lies | David CameronI’ve just resigned as a volunteer with my local food bank. Until the Trussell Trust makes it clear to users, donors and volunteers that it is the previous and future Conservative governments that are solely to blame for the need for food banks then they are merely acting as a fig leaf for the government. I waited until the election results to act, but five more years of covering up Tory failures is five years too many.
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The advantage of life in the slow train | Brief letters 12 Dec 2019, 1:25pm The advantage of life in the slow train | Brief letters
Virgin Trains | Letters | Partridges | Christmas hits | Election break | PoetryYou say the Advanced Passenger Train had been canned “partly because of the motion sickness it allegedly induced” (
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Boris Johnson’s record of bigotry, antisemitism and far-right politics must not be forgotten | Letters 11 Dec 2019, 1:20pm Boris Johnson’s record of bigotry, antisemitism and far-right politics must not be forgotten | Letters
A group of Jewish academics and campaigners voice their concerns about the prejudices of the Conservative leader, while residents of Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency express their full confidence in their representativeBoris Johnson has invoked some of the oldest and most pernicious antisemitic stereotypes in a book he wrote when he was a Conservative shadow minister. He describes “Jewish oligarchs” who run the media, and fiddle the figures to fix elections in their favour. He portrays a Jewish character, Sammy Katz, with a “proud nose and curly hair”, and paints him as a malevolent, stingy, snake-like Jewish businessman who exploits immigrant workers for profit. There is nothing subtle about this. We know what antisemitism looks like.
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Conservative road to climate catastrophe | Letters 11 Dec 2019, 1:19pm Conservative road to climate catastrophe | Letters
Labour is the only major party with viable plans to tackle the our environmental emergency, says
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Protecting society’s most vulnerable | Letters 11 Dec 2019, 1:18pm Protecting society’s most vulnerable | Letters
Readers call for more compassionate and caring politics and urge voters to back Labour on 12 DecemberRhiannon Lucy Cosslett unfurls a travesty of wanton dereliction perpetrated by Conservative party governance regarding disability care services (
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The threat to our democracy buried in the Tory manifesto | Letters 11 Dec 2019, 1:18pm The threat to our democracy buried in the Tory manifesto | Letters
Boris Johnson didn’t like it when MPs and judges stood up to him, writes
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If I ticked Blair’s box, you can Corbyn’s | Brief letters 11 Dec 2019, 1:17pm If I ticked Blair’s box, you can Corbyn’s | Brief letters
Little Dorrit | New Labour | The will of the people | Emma Dent Coad | VotingIf the result of Thursday’s ballot goes the way Guardian readers will be fearing, it might be accounted for by this observation, in my grandmother’s copy of Little Dorrit, “He had a certain air of being a handsome man – which he was not; and a certain air of being a well-bred man – which he was not. It was mere swagger and challenge; but in this particular, as in many others, blustering assertion goes for proof, half over the world.”
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This old Etonian is no harmless buffoon | Letters 11 Dec 2019, 1:16pm This old Etonian is no harmless buffoon | Letters
The nickname ‘Boris’ is misleadingly cuddly, says
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Tactical voting is our only hope of toppling the Tories | Letters 10 Dec 2019, 1:32pm Tactical voting is our only hope of toppling the Tories | Letters
Guardian readers respond to the looming general election, and contemplate ways to get the Tories outTimothy Garton Ash’s article on campaigning in Putney (
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EU pride, and the view from 1970s Brussels | Letters 10 Dec 2019, 1:32pm EU pride, and the view from 1970s Brussels | Letters
The EU has allowed me to treat 27 other countries as if they are, in a small but important way, my own, writes
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Look to the future and vote for Labour, says Antony Gormley | Letters 10 Dec 2019, 1:32pm Look to the future and vote for Labour, says Antony Gormley | Letters
With Labour’s vision we have the opportunity to use our democratic power to take a new direction, the artist writesOn Thursday, I will vote Labour. This is why: I am tired of Boris Johnson’s blustery rhetoric, lazy policymaking and mendacious, cuddly Churchill act. The Conservatives have simply run this country into the ground. They have no new ideas. They have failed the most important creative test any of us are set: to think about and make a future. Instead, they choose to look back, resting their policies on the nostalgia for a patriotic and sovereign Britain that is delusory. When I was at art school we were encouraged to be fiercely forward-looking. Our horizons were ever widening, and questioning the status quo was the norm. I was given the tools to critique the inherited power structures that determined my own, the country’s and the world’s future. This spirit has waned as education itself has become a service industry. Now students are clients paying for a service rather than the seekers of inspiration but more than ever we need creativity and new ideas in a world divided and threatened by climate change.
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No 2 bus gives new spin on crap service | Brief letters 10 Dec 2019, 1:31pm No 2 bus gives new spin on crap service | Brief letters
Theatre funding | Methane buses | Apostrophes | Amazon health | Election moonI suspect I am the Arts Council employee referred to in Michael Billington’s fascinating reflection on theatre over the years (
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This election is our final chance to end austerity | Letters 9 Dec 2019, 12:47pm This election is our final chance to end austerity | Letters
Readers urge voters to consider the impact of Conservative economic policies over the last decade, and back Labour or other progressive parties on 12 DecemberIt was no accident that the explosion of creativity and iconoclasm in the 1960s coincided with economic expansion and the relaxation of fiscal austerity (
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Hillsborough, failure and the British criminal justice system | Letters 9 Dec 2019, 12:44pm Hillsborough, failure and the British criminal justice system | Letters
Readers react to a piece by David Conn, in which he comments on the acquittal of David DuckenfieldDavid Conn (
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Mince pies for pets take the biscuit | Brief letters 9 Dec 2019, 12:40pm Mince pies for pets take the biscuit | Brief letters
Local theatres | Gina Miller | Festive food | Climate crisis | General election | Boris Johnson | Christmas hitsI read your editorial with a wry smile (
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Privatisation continues to threaten our NHS | Letters 8 Dec 2019, 12:23pm Privatisation continues to threaten our NHS | Letters
With the National Health Service a prominent issue in this general election, readers air their viewsRob Delaney’s deeply moving account of his son’s illness and the family’s experience with ill-health, seen from the perspective of a US citizen, reminds us that it often takes somebody from the outside to see things clearly (
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The bells are ringing out for a better Christmas song list | Brief letters 8 Dec 2019, 12:18pm The bells are ringing out for a better Christmas song list | Brief letters
Christmas songs | Apostrophes | Daily Mail | Feast | Boris JohnsonMariah Carey at No 1 above The Pogues (
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Save our coastline and scrap HS2 | Letters 8 Dec 2019, 1:00am Save our coastline and scrap HS2 | Letters
Government’s job is to keep its citizens safe. So why does it prioritise a rail extension over flood defences?Your article about the threat to the coastline caused by rising sea levels estimates that less than £2bn is needed to protect our most vulnerable places such as Looe and Fairbourne (“
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Too little has been done since the Grenfell Tower fire | Letters 6 Dec 2019, 12:58pm Too little has been done since the Grenfell Tower fire | Letters
Readers respond to an article stating that a lack of action means thousands of people in the UK still live in towers with combustible claddingMy heart goes out to Sandra Ruiz and I welcome her support, and that of others, who are trying to get the government to recognise a huge national problem (
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Of course Labour’s policies can work – they used to be the norm | Letters 6 Dec 2019, 12:52pm Of course Labour’s policies can work – they used to be the norm | Letters
Jeremy Corbyn’s proposals were once widely accepted in pre-Thatcher Britain, says
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All hail Princess Anne: the Scottish people’s princess | Brief letters 6 Dec 2019, 12:37pm All hail Princess Anne: the Scottish people’s princess | Brief letters
Scottish Rugby Union | Boris Johnson | Nancy Banks-Smith | Nato summit | Don’t give a damYour description of Princess Anne in
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The BBC cannot dodge accusations of Tory bias | Letters 5 Dec 2019, 12:48pm The BBC cannot dodge accusations of Tory bias | Letters
Readers respond to articles by Peter Oborne and Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs
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University pension crisis is result of mania and mismanagement | Letters 5 Dec 2019, 12:48pm University pension crisis is result of mania and mismanagement | Letters
Defined-benefit pensions could always be afforded, argue
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The joys of regional theatre may be lost | Letters 5 Dec 2019, 12:46pm The joys of regional theatre may be lost | Letters
The funding crisis for regional theatres has been building for some time, writes
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Nature conservation is in danger as experts quit | Letters 5 Dec 2019, 12:45pm Nature conservation is in danger as experts quit | Letters
Britain’s once-esteemed agencies are being starved of management funding, writes
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Keeping protest alive in Cornish folk songs | Brief letters 5 Dec 2019, 12:44pm Keeping protest alive in Cornish folk songs | Brief letters
Folk music | President Trump | Larry the cat | CommasCaroline Davies (
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We must continue Jack and Saskia’s progressive work with prisoners | Letters 4 Dec 2019, 12:55pm We must continue Jack and Saskia’s progressive work with prisoners | Letters
Guardian readers respond to Dave Merritt’s tribute to his son Jack, who, along with Saskia Jones, died on Friday at London BridgeI am in awe of the courage that it must have taken for Jack Merritt’s father to write his tribute to his brave, intelligent, beautiful son (
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President Macron is right: it’s time Nato came to an end | Letters 4 Dec 2019, 12:55pm President Macron is right: it’s time Nato came to an end | Letters
Nato now provides the US with a captive market for its weaponry, writes
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Politicians can learn from Turner prize togetherness | Letters 4 Dec 2019, 12:55pm Politicians can learn from Turner prize togetherness | Letters
Readers respond after all four artists shortlisted for the 2019 Turner prize were named winnersMy first reaction to the news that the Turner prize would be divided four ways was that it was bit of a stunt, but I now see it as a unifying metaphor for the polarisation of our country and world (
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When an apostrophe turns into catastrophe | Brief letters 4 Dec 2019, 12:55pm When an apostrophe turns into catastrophe | Brief letters
Country diary | Apostrophes | Nancy Banks-Smith | Yates’sI was a dyslexic child and during the school holidays my mother used to put me through the daily chore of reading out the
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Can Labour reach across bitter regional divisions? | Letters 3 Dec 2019, 1:12pm Can Labour reach across bitter regional divisions? | Letters
Readers look at the problems Jeremy Corbyn needs to overcome for his party to win back voters in post-industrial former heartlandsAs usual John Harris provides thoughtful testimony to Labour’s difficulties in working-class areas of the Midlands and north (
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Disabled people are still facing barriers | Letters 3 Dec 2019, 1:11pm Disabled people are still facing barriers | Letters
Loneliness and isolation is a critical issue, writes
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There’s nothing a bucket of cold water can’t fix | Brief letters 3 Dec 2019, 1:09pm There’s nothing a bucket of cold water can’t fix | Brief letters
Giving Tuesday | Attendee debate | Bad sex awards | Jacob Rees-Mogg | BrexitLamenting Black Friday, Hilary Wakeman suggests a “White Friday” as a day of giving to balance things out (
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Labour needs to shine a light on Tory failures | Letters 2 Dec 2019, 1:37pm Labour needs to shine a light on Tory failures | Letters
Readers respond to a piece by Andy Beckett, where he argues that the Conservative party is avoiding blame for the dire state of Britain todayWell done, Andy Beckett, for trying to refocus electoral debate towards the record of the incumbent party of government (
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How to manage money you don’t have | Brief letters 2 Dec 2019, 1:32pm How to manage money you don’t have | Brief letters
Food bank use | Peerages | Nigel Farage | Climate crisis | Attender/attendee | EyewitnessRe the letters from
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Tories can’t be trusted to look after the NHS | Letters 1 Dec 2019, 1:25pm Tories can’t be trusted to look after the NHS | Letters
Only Labour’s policies can help solve the healthcare crisis, write 12 nurses. Plus,
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Brexit and the state of the union | Letters 1 Dec 2019, 1:24pm Brexit and the state of the union | Letters
Boris Johnson would be wrong to block a second referendum on Scottish independence, argues
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Influencers pose a threat to democracy | Letters 1 Dec 2019, 1:24pm Influencers pose a threat to democracy | Letters
Rightwing thinktanks are tarnishing British politics, writes
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Media bias is a gift to the Conservatives | Letters 1 Dec 2019, 1:24pm Media bias is a gift to the Conservatives | Letters
Sweeping reforms are urgently required to prevent pro-Tory media bias, writes
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Will motoring make me steer to the right? | Brief letters 1 Dec 2019, 1:24pm Will motoring make me steer to the right? | Brief letters
Celebrity biographies | Motor voter | Attendee debate | White Friday | Jonathan Miller“Home Work is sweetly old-fashioned and the perfect present for the in-law in your life,” your piece on celebrity books of the year says (
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Baby boomers, give the young a chance | Letters 1 Dec 2019, 12:59am Baby boomers, give the young a chance | Letters
Most people in their 60s and 70s have led a charmed life. Now it’s time to listen to our children’s generationYes, that’s me, one of those over-65 baby boomers (“
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Boris Johnson’s absence said it all | Letters 29 Nov 2019, 12:07pm Boris Johnson’s absence said it all | Letters
Readers take the prime minister to task for ducking out of the party leaders’ debate on the climate crisisMichael Gove, interviewed by a Channel 4 journalist, said he should be allowed to replace Johnson at the leaders’ climate debate because he was “a” leader (
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SNP’s Scotland is no progressive paradise | Letters 29 Nov 2019, 12:07pm SNP’s Scotland is no progressive paradise | Letters
Some London-based progressives have mistakenly connected with Nicola Sturgeon’s politics of national identity, says
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Let’s help Boris Johnson take second place | Brief letters 29 Nov 2019, 12:06pm Let’s help Boris Johnson take second place | Brief letters
Home economics | Shortest-serving PMs | Logistics | Attender | Brexit anagramHow my mother would have loved to be called a beatnik (
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Why on earth are the chore wars not done and dusted? | Gaby Hinsliff 29 Nov 2019, 2:00am Why on earth are the chore wars not done and dusted? | Gaby Hinsliff
Even in couples with egalitarian ideals, women still do the bulk of housework. The time may have come for direct action Going on strike has always been a secret fantasy of mine. Not from the day job, obviously, so much as from its dreary invisible twin. How else do you make a family understand the point of the unpaid household drudgery that otherwise everyone breezily takes for granted: the daily slog of getting dinner cooked, sheets changed and school letters signed, and stopping trails of other people’s carelessly abandoned crud from clogging the arteries of a house? There’s something unbelievably tempting about the idea of just leaving everyone to stew in their own mess, and seeing how long it takes for the penny to drop that dishwashers don’t automatically stack themselves. Yet for most women it remains just a fantasy, partly because it’s faintly embarrassing to admit to having fallen into domestic martyrdom and partly because if you didn’t feel irrationally guilty about what might befall a household left to fend for itself, then you’d never have become a slave to it in the first place.
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Sad loss of Clive James and Jonathan Miller – modest, witty, intellectual giants | Letters 28 Nov 2019, 1:10pm Sad loss of Clive James and Jonathan Miller – modest, witty, intellectual giants | Letters
Readers remember warmth, talent and self-deprecating humourIn a world increasingly populated by charlatans and idiots, we have just lost two outstanding intelligent, funny and talented individuals in one day –
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Can Buddhism solve the NHS’s problems? | Brief letters 28 Nov 2019, 1:07pm Can Buddhism solve the NHS’s problems? | Brief letters
Food banks | Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral | Attendant Liam Fox | Avanti trains | Buddhist saying | Electoral neutralityFurther to
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Andrew Neil can still grill an absent Boris Johnson | Letters 28 Nov 2019, 1:05pm Andrew Neil can still grill an absent Boris Johnson | Letters
In response to the news the PM might duck an interview with the BBC journalist,
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Letters: Jean Fergusson obituary 28 Nov 2019, 12:18pm Letters: Jean Fergusson obituary
The mini-skirted Marina in Last of the Summer Wine could show only a fraction of the depth and range of
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Labour, antisemitism and the chief rabbi | Letters 27 Nov 2019, 1:46pm Labour, antisemitism and the chief rabbi | Letters
Readers respond to a rare intervention in politics by Ephraim Mirvis, the spiritual leader of the UK’s 62 orthodox synagoguesThe chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, is entitled to take the Labour party and its leadership to task over its track record on dealing with antisemitism (
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