A common cause
As we approach this defining political moment, we are uniting to celebrate Britain’s rich tradition of cultural diversity, and the hope Labour represents for marginalised and oppressed communities in this country and around the world. More than ever, as we face the threat of rising xenophobia, racism and hate crimes from the far right, we need a unity of purpose across faith and secular communities to resist the divisive politics peddled by the Conservatives under Boris Johnson. We need a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn to shape a future for our country in which minorities and migrants are once again protected and valued rather than vilified and abused. We need a Labour government that will stand up for all our communities and bring people together at a time when it is most needed, in the face of unprecedented threats to our economy, health system and climate. A vote for Labour in this election is a vote for a more secure and sustainable future, for unity over division, for hope over fear.
Tariq Ali, writer, activist, journalist and filmmaker
Rabbi Janet Darley
Ragad Altikriti, Muslim Association of Britain
Hassan Akhtar, Holloway Mosque
Roger McKenzie, assistant general secretary, UNISON
Joginder Bains, National General Secretary IWA GB
David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialists Group
Dial Bagri, national president, Indian Workers’ Association GB
Pervez Fateh, South Asia People’s Forum
Justin Schlosberg, Jews4Labour
The spectre of strikes
Many in the UK will have looked on in unbelief when viewing the news videos of the violent strike action currently paralysing a great country like France. The Independent reports one union leader saying: “What we’ve got to do is shut the economy down.”
But how many have considered the possibility of a Labour government in the UK fulfilling their manifesto pledge to overturn the ban on secondary strike action?
The thought of general strikes bringing to a standstill a country already massively in debt due to the parallel manifesto commitment to excessive spending, and a prime minister that would give in to every union demand, is unbearable.
Progress on prostate cancer
On Monday The Independent reported that another advance in treating prostate cancer has been made: ultrasound therapy. I sincerely hope that the NHS, which is often slow to adopt new treatments, does so quickly.
Last year I was lucky to be treated for prostate cancer with the new pencil beam proton therapy. This had to be done privately, as the NHS was not offering it at the time. They have since started doing so, though not for prostate cancer – the reason being that there are too many people with this cancer. Instead, the NHS routinely treats prostate cancer with radiation therapy, which is cheaper, but has more side effects. I had no side effects from my treatment.
I am a huge fan of the NHS, but it needs more funds for newer, more effective treatments.
I think Peter Smith (Letters, Thursday, “A right to private education”) needs to educate himself on those nations that have low or no private school education. Finland (did I miss its transformation to a Communist state?) has one of the finest education systems in the world, and is often held up as an ideal for other countries to aspire to. Compare that with our appalling two-tier system in which swathes of children never reach their full potential purely because of an accident of birth.