Theresa May’s gamble and a changed political landscape

 

Sir, – Despite the best efforts of the mainstream media, the results of the UK election have demonstrated that a significant proportion of the UK electorate will vote for a democratic socialist mandate that puts society first.

Jeremy Corbyn consistently put forward policies that looked to reverse the societal damage resulting from 40 years of neoliberal economics. Trickle-down economics has been repeatedly discredited in the years since the crash, but centre-right parties across the EU and the US persist in propping it up by preferring to protect corporate finance at a cost to any social dividend.

The results from the UK, and the continued growth of the progressive movement started by Bernie Sanders, indicate that there is an appetite to return to an economic model that puts society first.

Mr Corbyn deserves great credit for staying consistent to his beliefs and retaining his dignity, despite the personal nature of the campaign waged against him. – Yours, etc,

BARRY WALSH,

Blackrock,

Cork.

Sir, – It is surprising that talk of a national government is so muted after the decision of the UK electorate on Thursday. The UK was, of course, governed by national governments during the war years, 1915-19 and 1939-45. However, it is sometimes forgotten that Ramsay McDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain all led grand coalition national governments from August 1931 to the outbreak of the second World War in September 1939. The challenges to the British economy and to British society from all aspects of Brexit are every bit as severe as those they faced in the 1930s. The major UK political parties should come together again for the sake of all their citizens. – Yours, etc,

DICK REEVES,

Kilmacanogue,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Will we now be regaled with “explanations” from the same political columnists for the election result they so manifestly failed to anticipate or predict? – Yours, etc,

CIARAN McCULLAGH,

Bishopstown,

Cork.

Sir, – Ironically an historic left-wing surge at the UK polls has led to a probable right-wing coalition of the nasty parties, the Tories and DUP, taking power. Perhaps the only consolation is that there will quite likely be a second election very soon at which Jeremy Corbyn can finish the job of winning an overall majority and forming a properly socialist Labour government. – Yours, etc,

JOE McCARTHY,

Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – The Tory disaster can be attributed in large part to the siren voices of unelected advisors whispering in the ears of their political masters to interpret what the electorate wants. This has proved to be fatal, not only in the UK but in other countries, not least here in Ireland, where all parties are infested with so-called special advisers; in France, with Hollande’s clique; and in the US , with Clinton’s cohort of sycophants. – Yours, etc,

DONAL DENHAM,

Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Watching the British public seize this opportunity to shoot itself in the other foot brings to mind HL Mencken’s description of democracy. The “theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard” seems to encapsulate its preparations for the forthcoming negotiations with the EU. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale, Co Cork.

Sir, – A kingdom but hardly a united one. – Yours, etc,

FERGUS JORDAN,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – No chance of a snap election here so? – Yours, etc,

PAUL DELANEY,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Given the current mood of the British electorate, is it not time for them to consider a referendum on exiting the Commonwealth? – Yours, etc,

NEIL BLACKBURN,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – The results of the UK general election have led to the probability that the DUP will prop up a minority Conservative government. Surely now is the time for Sinn Féin to reconsider its traditional stance of not taking their Westminster seats? They should go there to represent the people who elected them. The concerns of all sections of Northern Ireland need to be heard in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, and Sinn Féin should not leave it to the DUP to be the voice of Northern Ireland in Westminster at this critical time for Ireland. – Yours, etc,

JACINTA McLOUGHLIN

Ashbourne,

Co Meath.

Sir, – The fact that the Democratic Unionist Party will hold the balance of power that could keep Theresa May as the British prime minister makes me sick.

I am almost equally as sick by the fact that Sinn Féin will refuse to take its seats, thus denying support to Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn was ahead of his time when he brought Sinn Féin in from the cold, and by refusing to take its seats, Sinn Féin will, by default, side with the DUP, and make way for Theresa May and her Brexit fiasco, against its own policy, and the wishes of the majority of people in Northern Ireland.

It’s time Sinn Féin grew up, and stepped out of its 20th-century bubble, if only to burst the DUP’s. – Yours, etc,

ROY HOLMES,

Rathmines,

Dublin 6.

Sir – In the aftermath of the UK elections, one wonders what the result will mean for “Breggsit”. It might be hard, it may be soft, or perhaps, with a pinch of salt, it could be scrambled, on toast. – Yours, etc,

CLARE BALFE,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – Is the hung parliament outcome as a result of the UK election proof that there was no Russian involvement in this election campaign? – Yours, etc,

DERMOT O’ROURKE,

Lucan,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The dramatic shift in party representation after the British general election gives the smaller parties an almost unprecedented opportunity to exercise real political power. In particular there is an opportunity for Sinn Féin to abandon its traditional abstention from the House of Commons, and instead take the seats given it by the electors in Northern Ireland and influence the future of the place.

There will be diehards who would object to that in principle, but Sinn Féin has already changed political tack following the Belfast Agreement and developed great influence in Northern Ireland public affairs. An additional step to take its seats at Westminster could well give it a level of political influence it has never experienced. The DUP clearly will use its valuable numbers to its best advantage. Sinn Féin and those who voted for it deserve the same opportunity. – Yours, etc,

FERGAN O’SULLIVAN,

Artarmon,

Australia.

Sir, – There will be no Irish nationalist MPs at Westminster. When was the last time that happened? – Yours, etc,

PATRICIA O’RIORDAN,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – It wasn’t just the Tory press against Jeremy Corbyn, it was all the press. Wake up, mainstream media. When you are all saying the same thing, you are nearly always wrong. – Yours, etc,

ALISON HACKETT,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Almost 33 years later and again it’s a case of “Out, Out, Out” with regard to a British female prime minister. Admittedly, this time the context is somewhat different! – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL GANNON,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – April is the cruellest month, but June is crueller to May. – Yours, etc,

RUPERT DOWLING,

Mount Merrion,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Will 2017 be remembered as the year when the end of May came on June 8th? – Yours, etc,

NUALA DELANEY,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Now that Theresa May has done a deal with the DUP in order to form a government, does this mean that years of Ulsterity lie ahead? – Yours, etc,

RORY J WHELAN,

Drogheda,

Co Louth.

Sir, – I pity the person who has to explain the concept of a “hung parliament” to Donald Trump. – Yours, etc,

ULTAN Ó BROIN,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.