May`s foreign policy | Bernie Evans

Heather Stewart says that a central idea in May`s thinking about foreign policy is maintaining the “rules-based international order” ( The challenge facing “unshowy” PM as she makes the case for airstrikes to Commons, 16/04/18). Would these be the “rules” which allow the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia to use in Yemen, and thereby create the world`s worst manmade humanitarian crisis, with, according to the UN “8.5 million Yemenis at risk of famine” (Britain`s shame, Britain`s duty, 11/03/18)? In Yemen, diphtheria is rife, choking the life out of innocent children, and the worst cholera…

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NS letter on May`s hypocrisy over Syria | Bernie Evans

Peter Wilby is not alone in wondering why deaths from “US-led military operations” in Syria and Iraq are “more acceptable” than those caused by Assad`s chemical weapons (First Thoughts, 13th April, 2018). Are we supposed to believe that children only suffer terribly cruel deaths when chlorine or sarin gas are employed? Consequently, immediate military responses ordered by western politicians must be viewed with scepticism.   Bew and Maher rightly suggest that any “credit” Trump gets for having a lower threshold than Obama “for tolerating Assad`s most egregious crimes must be considerably…

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Unanswered questions on Pre-U exams | Bernie Evans

Despite his “ladder of opportunity”, laying out “the statistics of educational inequality”, Robert Halfon`s desire for a “more socially just system” is clearly yet another example of empty Tory rhetoric (“The Tory party should change its name to the Workers` party. I am 100% serious”, 17/04/18). He might well suggest that A-levels should be replaced, but knows full well that, in many public schools, the process has already started.  Following the cheating scandal exposed by the Guardian last summer, Halfon`s select committee questioned the head of Eton, a director of Ofqual and the chief…

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Letter on new Centre party | Bernie Evans

Bernadette Horton rightly includes the adverb “unsurprisingly” when mentioning how the proposed new “centre” party “has Tory donors too” (Morning Star, 12/04/18).
The point of such a venture can only be to divide the Labour vote as happened in 1983, hand the Tories another five years of wielding their callous power, and blame the election defeat on a left-wing manifesto, to discourage the adoption of transformational policies. It certainly had that effect back then, with all that nonsense about the manifesto being the “longest suicide note in history”.     Despite moderate Labour…

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Letter to New Statesman on BBC | Bernie Evans

Nick Robinson derides Andrew Adonis for claiming the BBC has decided to back Brexit, “without presenting a shred of evidence”, but offers none in its defence (Another Voice, 6th April, 2018). Instead, he counters criticism of the corporation`s alleged lack of impartiality with the suggestion that the alternative is “a British Fox News”. Would this defence not have been more convincing if Robinson had given examples of programmes, or presenters, challenging the governments`s Brexit strategy with figures showing how the British economy is likely to suffer after leaving the EU? He doesn`t even…

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Real aim of centre party | Bernie Evans

I am willing to believe Andrew Rawnsley`s claim that there is a “segment of voters who feel disenfranchised by the choice between a Corbynised Labour party and a Rees-Moggifying Conservative party”, but whether this “appetite” is sufficient to make the creation of a new political party worthwhile is doubtful (Opportunity knocks for a new party. But will anybody dare open the door? 08.04.18). The point of such a venture can only be to divide the Labour vote as happened in 1983, hand the Tories another five years of wielding their callous power, and blame the election defeat on a left-wing…

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Monet for nothing! | Bernie Evans

Charging £22 for tickets to the new Claude Monet exhibition at the National Gallery naturally fuels the argument that there exists a “two-tier system”, with only the very well-off being able to “afford special exhibitions” (All about the Monet: £22 tickets reignite row over gallery prices, 07/04/18). Free entry to exhibitions is clearly “not the way” the Gallery operates, as its director, with an annual salary of over £150,000, states, but, whilst Mark Knopfler might well nearly have said “Monet for nothing, and the tickets are free”, £10 entrance charges should not be out of the question. …

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