Letters to the Canary: a lot of comments on Transform Politics, and assisted dying

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 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 a Canary Lowdown on new project Transform Politics, and assisted dying. 

Responses to a Canary Lowdown saying Transform Politics isn’t the answer to our problems

I am responding to Maryam Jameela’s Lowdown. I agree with you Maryam, though our backgrounds are clearly very different. We need diversity in politics and to learn from each other. A proportional voting system (PR) would be a start.

As far as I know, Starmer has never explained the reason for his opposition to PR – apart from saying that it is not a priority for him. It is easy to speculate, but as he is a lawyer it is safer not to.

Transform could challenge Starmer by organising to stand against him in Holborn and St Pancras, making it clear that PR is the issue. There is of course no chance of Transform winning the seat; the object would be to ensure Starmer loses (remember the Bermondsey by-election of 1983?).

I am only sorry that living in Dorset and having health issues, I could not join them. There is a Make Votes Matter (MVM) group in Bournemouth, some of whom might be prepared to canvass.

Read on...

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All the best

David, via email

What the fuck is this? Why are you shooting this down, it makes no sense. Attack the fucking Tories not your own people trying to make a positive change! British politics needs a left-wing voice that can bring the centre more to the left – the same way UKIP moved British politics to the right. Starmer needs to listen to left wing ideas not just assume that he’s going to get our votes because he isn’t a Tory.

Anonymous, via email

ED: Yeah, we tried to move British politics to the left with Corbyn. It ended really well. And as for Starmer being moved to the left – remember his 10 pledges? With his shift to the right, the best we can hope for with that is moving him back to the centre. 

OMG why on earth are you monstering this initiative that I am part of?

Every single one of these criticisms is utterly specious.

Of course working for parliamentary success doesn’t mean the party will not work in communities, and be active on demonstrations and protests, and in our unions.

All of our members are working class.

A call for unity is simply a call for unity – unity is strength of course – is that so wrong?

I weathered the Canary ‘stop going on about Corbyn’ storm, but now it seems like it is really set on trolling it’s own subscribers for no earthly reason I can fathom – perhaps to cause a bit of outrage, get the feathers flying? I’m really scratching my head here.

So why am I paying to receive such nihilistic and ill thought out communication from you? I can’t think of a single reason right now. The trans stuff has been excellent but this has me scratching my head, and cancelling my subscription.

Good luck Canary, you had my support, but you’ve really blown it here.

Mandy, via email

ED: You’re trying to tell us that the people running Left Unity, who co-founded Transform Politics and registered it out of their office in Islington, are working class, Mandy? Let alone “all your members”? Behave!

Dear Maryam Jameela,

In answer to your question (in your recent Lowdown), how many leftists are middle class.

In my own experience, all the people I know who are “middle class” are leftists. Not a single one has, or will, vote Tory. However, there are quite a few “working class “ people I know who do vote tory, always have, and always will.

I do not like the tribal labelling of people in this country, even though I have used it in answer.

What we urgently need is a change to the first past the post electoral system, where a party always gets voted in on a minority number of votes cast. Once that is sorted out then we can start thinking about having new parties [like Transform].

Keep on the struggle for change!

Rose, via email

Something that could do with airing

My name is Valerie Lewis Williams, a British pensioner.

I have some concerns on the way we are headed in health, especially for the elderly or infirm.

We have imported and adopted the integrated pathway points system from Canada. This applies points 1 to 9 on health and how you are managing your health conditions. At point 7 there are implications on whether you’re worth treating.

I am also aware people are not being told when GPs are collating information for the integrated pathway points system, so are not being asked to give consent.

I note Baroness Meacher as yet again presenting an Assisted Dying Bill to the House of Lords. If this passed then Britain would have adopted the full Canadian System. Without the correct parameters in place, this would have meant British people who were chronically ill might have been asked if they wished for help to die. [ED: there’s now a parliamentary inquiry into the issue]

Canada has not done well using this system, and did not stop with terminally ill patients. There is a question on human rights abuse circling around its policies.

The NHS is crumbling around us. Baroness Meacher’s proposals looked crass, plus morally unacceptable at this time, and her motives to keep pushing for this law are unclear in the current health crisis – bar stating she has widespread public support for assisted dying

Could you look at this at all?

VJ Williams, via email

ED: Thanks for this, Valerie. We can’t find out much about the “integrated pathway points system” at present – but some of us do have strong feelings on assisted dying. We will look into it all.

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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