Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Local flora and fauna, Labour’s manifesto, MP’s thanks

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 June 2017

Rose along Barnard Park. Picture: WILL McCALLUM.

Rose along Barnard Park. Picture: WILL McCALLUM.


Long, light evenings are making up for the cold and windy snap we had last week, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Pretty much all the trees are in full leaf now and the most advanced have gone beyond bloom and are beginning to fruit. Everywhere I cycle there are roses (my favourite this week were the enormous bright fuschia ones along the west side of Barnard Park). The newly planted bushes in my front garden have produced their first flowers.

It is at this time of the year that swimming on the heath begins in earnest. On a hot summer evening, cycling up Tufnell Park Road with its two large eucalyptus trees, the prospect of plunging into cold water – you could be forgiven for forgetting you lived in the capital city of a country famous for bad weather.

Every year in early summer I am pleasantly surprised by the sight of ash trees (thankfully ash dieback does not seem to be as devastating as was feared back when it first emerged). Their seedlings form in great crowded bunches – like a very English banana tree. They are one of our most common trees, present in almost every park in Hackney and Islington, and yet for this brief period they resemble something far more exotic.

I am not and never have been a member of the Labour Party, but here goes, anyway, writes Nik Wood, Gore Road, Hackney.

The party’s manifesto set out the Keynesian repair kit for a capitalism in the classic crisis of under-consumption.

It says government should sustain the mass market for the likes of cauliflowers and children’s shoes, for doormats and disinfectant, and not follow the austerity policy of subsidising the microscopic market for luxury yachts and private jets.

To work, this policy needs to use government to prevent the degradation of the disadvantaged into destitution.

It means funding those left behind by the onrush of globalisation using the surplus garnered by those who are coining it.

This is complex because governments have sources of income and commitments unimaginable in a household budget. Much Keynesian economics is counter-intuitive and requires repeated explanation, a steady nerve and consistent application by both MPs and mayors.

For instance, Sadiq Khan’s decision to allow the luxury housing aspect of the Kingsland Road fire station development and Phil Glanville’s similar acquiescence in the Hackney Road bingo hall development shows just the lack of confidence in the political support available that so undermines the credibility of the recent manifesto pledges.

If the Labour Party is to do us any good and is to build on its electoral success it must stand by this economic policy with more determination than its internal squabbling and record in office have shown to date.

Thank you to all who voted Labour here on June 8, writes Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.

I am humbled by your continuing and increasing confidence in me and the Labour party with an increased majority, increased votes and turnout on previous years. Thank you!

The result shows Hackney is fed up with austerity and the Tories – with the threats to the NHS, cuts to school funding and a reckless and secretive approach to Brexit.

Hackney has responded to the hope in Labour’s offer to the people of Britain.

It has been an amazing election, and voters across the UK have sprung a surprise on the politicians and commentators by voting Labour in huge numbers, increasing our MP numbers and bringing us close to taking power. We currently don’t know what will happen – Mrs May has decided to try and cling on to government with the help of a few votes from a Northern Ireland party.

This is a very long way from the “strong and stable” government she promised, and will bring uncertainty.

But rest assured – as your MP, and whoever you are, I will stand up and fight for you and for Hackney as I have done in the last 12 years.

I was elected on various pledges. I intend to continue fighting for them. I am opposed to cuts to funding to our nationally acclaimed schools. I’ll continue to champion the rights of private renters and fight for more social housing. And I will stand up for patients and challenge waiting times.

I have resumed constituency duties and rounds and hope to see you at some point.

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