Content warning: this article contains discussion of rape, which some readers may find distressing.
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 support truly radical and independent media, then you can do that here:
This week’s letters
This week we have people’s thoughts on our recent coverage around Jeremy Corbyn, a comment on the NHS sparked by the Canary‘s interview with Julia Grace Patterson, Israel, a letter around coverage of the deaths of the Titan’s passengers, and an open letter about Scotland’s trial of new rules on rape trials.
Responses to Joe Glenton’s article on Corbyn
Why the sudden unprovoked attack on Corbyn – under the guise of his ‘provisional wing’? Looking for jobs with the Starmeroids? I just don’t get it. Just when I thought the Canary was actually improving.
Looks like your rivals at Novara also decided to put the boot in on the old boy – by supporting the Glastonbury ban on a film about him.
Rotten decisions. Worse timing.
For goodness sake get your act together.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
John Sexton, via email
What a pointless piece by Joe Glenton.
First of all, the attack on Corbyn continues and it is only right for Corby to defend himself (better than he did at the time), and others to defend what he stood for, especially in the absence of anything in politics that could act for the betterment of the people. I expected Glenton to provide some alternatives the way that he goes on, but no, he offers zero solutions at the end, just the usual fart of mist as a goodbye.
The truth is that most of us who supported Corbyn and a fair politics can not currently see any possible hope in a fairer politics other than let everything turn to shit and see if the idiot majority learn from that – which it has and they haven’t. But that is the stupid selfish majority for you. Memories of that movement under Corbyn is all that remains, sadly. Most of those that were behind it and for it are not wallowing in it or trying to stir something up anew, we merely remember it and naturally we mention it and criticise everything else because there is nothing else to get behind of any size or force to matter.
Paul Higson, via email
All so called alternative media outlets seem to be reading from the same script at present: ‘time to move on from Corbyn… no need to investigate… I haven’t actually seen the Big Lie, but… blah blah blah’. Just another load of gatekeepers herding socialists into a harmless focus group, while keeping one foot firmly planted in the establishment themselves.
Catherine Hughes, via email
Responses to Maryam Jameela’s article on Corbyn
Another stupid article on Corbyn. As you say, your colleague Joe got a bit of a backlash for his article. He responded by calling his critics ‘cunts’. So a period of reflection might be better than doubling down. Plus the rest of the article is idiotic. You say ‘white folks on the left’ look for saviours. Well blow me down I never heard of Dr King, Malcolm X, Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh.
John Sexton, via email
I just read your article on Corbyn, and I think I am one of the left-wing white people who saw him as a saviour!
It was really interesting to read what you wrote, and I’m grateful for it because it’s helped me understand the discomfort I felt about seeing him in that way, and the hopelessness I’ve felt since he and the policies in the manifesto were so roundly rejected.
This may seem disconnected, but I listen to the ‘Conspirituality Podcast’, and through that heard about the Death Panel podcast with Beatrice Adler-Bolton. You may very well already know about it, but if not, I think you’d be interested in it.
Thanks again, and best wishes.
Emily Syme, via email
It’s hard to understand how so many of the population fell in love with Tony Blair and his abomination New Labour who, up until now 2023, were the worst party ever to include the legend Labour Party.
PPI, a get rich quick scheme for Blair and his inner (and some fringe) circles was a lifelong, grinding stone around the neck of the poor tax payer. I use ‘poor’ because the poor are the only ones who pay tax. The rich don’t pay – they evade.
Then you have Balfour Beatty handed a builders dream: a lifetime tax payer-funded cash cow. Not even Margaret Thatcher caused such destruction to the NHS. The alleged New Labour government in waiting under Keir Starmer is more of an abomination than Blair’s nightmare. This person and his gang of right-wing thugs are taking a giant shredder, and shredding what remains of the politicians who care about the people and the remains of the socialist Labour Party.
The NHS will become like a backstreet operation specifically for the working-and middle-classes. Yes, you will not be able to afford the health insurance for the private hospitals and you middle class will be in the back streets with us plebs.
Dr Patterson has highlighted the catastrophe that faces not only the NHS, but 98.7% of the entire population of Britain within not a 25- or 30-year time scale. This destruction of all we love and rely on. The NHS is fucked because we the people have allowed the right wing bullies to destroy the greatest gift given to any nation of people.
Dr Patterson is right. Listen to her, and read her book.
Patrick Mcqueenie, via email
Israeli interference in UK elections?
The image below is from “Weaponising Antisemitism” by Asa Winstanley.
Is this true? If it is, why have we not expelled complicit Israeli Embassy staff especially those with form in this area. Why is Starmer still an unreserved supporter of Israeli Apartheid?
Alan Marsden, via email
As a perpetual complainer about lack of ‘proper’ thinking… re. the Canary‘s Titan coverage
The question Eliza Egret tackles, (“why should we care about billionaires?”) is indeed more than just important, it shows the massive privilege as well as our societies’ interest when rich or famous people are concerned. In fact only two of them were billionaires, a third one was the son who badly didn’t want to go but went because it was his father’s birthday who said “it would make my father’s day” if he came; two of them are ”just” famous scientists/’adventurers’ interested in ocean diving, and pushing the boundaries of their and our scientific knowledge.
However, as a perpetual complainer about lack of ‘proper thinking’, I take issue with Eliza’s answer.
We should care about these billionaires simply because they are people.
No, please wait, let me explain.
If we don’t, if we even make one exception, we lose the main argument underlying any attempt at democracy: that all people are people, and every person has the right to our respect and care. If we don’t, we give the very billionaires the right to flip our premise and use it as a declarative statement in reverse: ‘If they don’t care about us, why should we care about them?’ And, what’s more, we also give all people the right to choose their own category of ‘unwanted’ or ‘not needed’ to dispose of without regret.
This is exactly where we are now, miles away from a universally acceptable declaration of a democracy. And there is plenty of ground to cover on both sides. Every paper, every TV news bulletin, covered the Titan rescue effort a hundred times over, but, importantly, they do so because they know that that is what people like to read or to watch, which means in fact that those people too are less interested or emotionally involved with refugees. And that has got to change. In fact the ‘No-one’ in the title of Eliza’s article ‘No-one cares…’ is quite revealing.
The message must be, of course, that it is right to make a massive effort to save five lives, but what needed to happen is that an equal, proportionate effort should have been made to save any life in danger by the Greek coast. Have you seen that argument being pushed widely in any papers?
No ifs, no buts. Every person is a person. If we don’t accept that as a principle, democracy is but a dream.
Jenny Backwell, via email
Scotland removing juries from rape trials?
I strongly disagree with the proposal to take away juries from rape trials in Scotland because of my own experiences.
In 2005, my 15-year-old daughter was raped and it went to trial in 2006. The police investigation was incompetent and they lost vital evidence. For example, it came to light during the trial that police hadn’t saved phone evidence of him setting her up to meet. The CPS barrister was useless and the DPP later apologised for this. This same barrister later became a rape-ticketed judge.
The judge was an absolute disgrace and shockingly biased in what he allowed and disallowed in court. He made comments such as my daughter’s clothes weren’t ripped, she didn’t have any bruises, and instructed the jury to disregard her age as irrelevant though she was underage and the man was 29. He told the jury that the accused was an honest man with a clean record, but we later found out that he had a criminal record, and that another girl had reported him for rape.
The rapist had threatened my daughter with throwing acid in her face if she testified against him, later claiming that he’d never left the house that day, but his girlfriend contradicted him in court saying he’d gone out. The girlfriend asked for a screen when she gave evidence because she was scared of him but the judge refused her.
The judge then directed the jury to disregard her evidence because it contradicted an earlier statement she made under duress from the rapist. It was really brave of her to give evidence but the judge undermined her testimony. He also allowed the defence to trash my daughter, accusing her of being loose and sleeping around – which was totally untrue and in any case irrelevant. Having never been through a court case before my family were in total shock at how biased the judge was. We made a formal complaint but he retired so no action was taken.
The jury were out for three days trying to reach a verdict, with the judge pushing them for a unanimous decision saying he didn’t want it to go past the weekend; then he asked for a majority. This must have been really hard for them as the police had lost factual evidence and witnesses were not interviewed. With half the puzzle missing, the man was acquitted.
Since then, as a volunteer with Women Against Rape I have been to several trials supporting victims and I have witnessed many failures. In one rape trial a witness for the accused was allowed to sit in the public gallery before she testified; when she was called she’d obviously changed her story on the basis of what the accused said in court. We gave a note to the judge explaining what had just happened, but he refused to dismiss the woman’s tainted evidence and the man was acquitted.
Juries will only convict if they’re given the evidence. From my experience the police do not gather the evidence, the CPS don’t press them for it and don’t prosecute with conviction, and the judges undermine victims. No wonder juries don’t convict.
That’s why I’m against removing juries from rape trials. Members of the public are not more sexist and biased than the police, CPS, and judges who ensure rapists walk free to rape again. Most juries are more concerned with getting to the truth than the professionals who run the system. They should be better served not removed.
Melanie (not her real name), Women Against Rape, via email
Want to get involved? Email membership(at)thecanary.co and we’ll publish your letters, too! Terms and conditions of publication apply.Support us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.