Letters to the Canary: more on white men, Trump, Gabbard, and some dodgy Russian oligarchs

Letters to the Canary
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The Canary is excited to share the latest edition of our letters page. This is where we publish people’s responses to the news, politics, or anything else they want to get off their chest. We’ve now opened the letters page up so anyone can submit a contribution. As always, if you’d like to subscribe to the Canary – starting from just £1 a month – to continue to support truly radical and independent media, then you can do that here:

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This week’s letters

This week we have people’s thoughts on the Canary‘s ongoing Jeremy Vine/white men saga, Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard, and musings on the case of two Russian oligarchs. 

More on the Canary and Jeremy Vine

I thought I would just write, not necessarily for publication, because I find it sad that one of the only news vehicles that many of us can tap into, communicate with, have an affinity with should set out to piss off its readers to the extent that your latest members’ letters appears to do.

Whether I agree with the writer re ‘white men’ or not is irrelevant. It is surely beholden on your editors/editorial team to at least not set out to alienate any adverse opinion – even if you don’t agree with it.

I can take or leave the letter from the subscriber – it is merely somebody else’s opinion and that is what the letters page is there for – but the response to it was frankly unprofessional and unworthy of a journalist.

I am sad, because it leaves me with very few other vehicles to get accurate news that reflects my views, but arrogance in a journalist with a socialist stance is as bad as arrogance in a journalist working for the Beeb, the Torygraph, or the S*n. It becomes not opinion-based which is perfectly fine, but intolerance-based and so not really ‘news’ but rhetoric and bombast.

Read on...

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Anyway enough said. I apologise if I too am being bombastic but it just made me sad. Much worse than my reaction to another reader’s opinion which might merely make me angry and reach for the laptop! If people cannot express a view without being made to either quake, or leave, or want to burn the Canary, then there is no point in having a letters page since all views would merely represent the editorial in the paper itself. Normally I do ‘agree’ with the editorial and have written a few ‘letters’ myself that have been printed, but to use those immortal words, trite, but true, ‘it is the principle’ of the thing that offends me.

Eileen QW, via email

[Ed: We had 3 or 4 emails in the same vein as Eileen’s this week, so we thought we’d address it. We’re very proud to be a socialist, radical, and abolitionist media outlet. We work very hard for our members because everyone here believes in a radical alternative to oppression. Part of our socialist and left-wing mission is to dismantle white supremacy. Whiteness is privileged at every conceivable turn and making a flippant joke is not intolerant, racist, or prejudiced. It’s not possible to be racist, or ‘reverse racist’ to white people. There are plenty of white people who understand this. For the rest of you whiny babies, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. For everybody else who is committed to punching up, stick around.]

Trump and Gabbard: no solutions

You probably don’t have very many subscribers in the US, but I’m one, and I just want to confirm that Joe Glenton has accurately described both Donald Trump and Tulsi Gabbard.

While it’s correct that Trump talked a good game regarding war and peace before the 2016 election, once in office his actions spoke louder than his words. He did nothing to undermine the grip the military-industrial complex holds on American power and unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear agreement – an incredibly damaging move that has increased the risk of a wider Middle Eastern war by orders of magnitude. Worse, he did this primarily to spite his loathed predecessor Barack Obama. He also chose to employ such uber-hawks as Mike Pompeo and John Bolton in important ‘national security’ positions. Why would someone supposedly against going to war put two borderline sociopaths in positions of power? Because Trump is no more a peacenik than George W. Bush.

As for Tulsi Gabbard – she fooled a lot on the left for a while, but her constant cosying-up to Narendra Modi, the BJP, and the RSS in India was also a red line for me. Since leaving the Democratic Party, she’s shown herself to be just another censorious right-wing culture war warrior.

John G M Seal, Oakland CA, via email

London remains a playground for Russian oligarchs

Those who follow legal news may have experienced an unexpected flashback to the early 2000s while reading the recent news about a legal fight between two Russians. Two Russian oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Chernukhin, are duking it out at the UK High Court just like in the ‘good old days’.

While the entire world is trying to fight corrupt Russian elites, the UK legal system seems to continue offering them a platform to spew vindictive bile and fight over stolen Russian assets. Both men have been reported to have links to Vladimir Putin, both men in one way or another have been or are still part of the Russian elite.

Deripaska’s misdeeds abound and are all over the news; Chernukhin, while a holder of a British passport, was a minister under Putin and too seems to still retain connections to Russia in one way or another as multiple investigations suggest. A Chatham House paper on the UK’s kleptocracy problem, the Pandora Papers, and numerous media reports give a glimpse into his ties to the Russian political elite and cover in granular detail corruption and embezzlement schemes that he was part of.

The mere fact that a British citizen prefers to keep all his allegedly ill-gotten wealth in offshores suggests he hardly cares much about giving back to the country that he chose to live in. At the same time, he is cozying up to the Tory leadership with generous donations that apparently could be coming from yet another sanctioned Russian oligarch (source, Daily Mail) Suliman Kerimov. In any case, people who made their fortunes working as government officials under Putin’s rule, let alone sanctioned oligarchs who still live in Russia, hardly deserve much trust. Surprisingly, no one cares, and no one questions his murky past.

The vanished deluge of Russian money is undoubtedly hard to replace and is greatly missed by the City lawyers who never cared much about the provenance of their clients’ funds. However, as long as we fail to demonstrate integrity and stick to our very own principle, all efforts of putting pressure on Russian elites in an attempt to put an end to the atrocities happening in Ukraine will be undermined.

I am surprised that hardly anyone talks about it and that no one is doing anything about an obvious threat to our national security.

Phil, via email

Want to get involved? Email membership(at)thecanary.co and we’ll publish your letters, too! Terms and conditions of publication apply.

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