It’s premature to predict the death of Corbynism

Much has been written about Labour’s need to carry out some soul-searching after the December election, though it’s not entirely clear to me if anyone is listening. Mr Corbyn remains adamant he “won the argument”, while his colleagues, who spent the entire election campaign asking the country to put its trust in their leader, seem to have discovered overnight everything that’s wrong with him.

My appeal in the New Year however is to those who oppose Corbynism and all that it stands for to do a bit of soul-searching themselves.

Boris Johnson’s was a stunning victory. Yet, to celebrate this as the death of Corbynism is dangerously premature. Absurd as it sounds against the backdrop of an 80-seat…

Letters: Danger of becoming too reliant upon a single ‘clean’ source of energy

SIR – The rush to rely upon “clean electricity” (report, January 1) is a disaster waiting to happen.

Depending too much on one source of power is foolhardy; many readers will remember when the miners held the country to ransom. A major power outage in the future could cause irreparable damage in just a few hours.

Alternative options must remain available at short notice.

David Shephard
Fleet, Hampshire

Wind now provides almost 20 per cent of our electricity annually Credit: Danny Lawson /PA

SIR – Had George Herraghty (Letters, December 31) chosen Boxing Day instead of Christmas Day as an example of wind power’s shortcomings, the facts would not have fitted his argument quite so well: wind delivered 32 per cent of the United Kingdom’s electricity for lunch and 25 per cent for teatime….

A Scottish independence weather warning: baby, it’s cold outside the Union 

Scotland seems to own the traditions associated with New Year, so it would ill become an Englishman to wish his Caledonian cousins anything other than joy this week. This year, though, should come with a health warning attached.

Most sensible English, seeing the mess their forebears made of Ireland a century ago, would not dream of denying Scotland full independence if that was what it wanted. But, equally, no sensible Englishman should seek to bribe the Scots to stay in the Union, or make further constitutional concessions short of full independence. The reward for doing so in 2014 was 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats voting for the Nationalist party earlier this month, and thus declaring a ‘mandate’…

Corbynism was crushed by the decency and good sense of the British working class

Corbyn’s Marxists met their Waterloo in Bassetlaw, not Battersea

Last Thursday Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party wasn’t merely defeated. It was crushed. Obliterated. Defenestrated. 

This of course is no more than it deserved. But what must be particularly intolerable for its adherents is that the working-class, not some ill-defined elite, delivered the fatal blow. Corbynism was vanquished by precisely the same people it arrogantly proclaimed to speak for. Conservative candidates won seats where, just a decade ago, they struggled to gain any kind of hearing. Former industrial and mining towns in the midlands and north where a loathing of the Tories wasn’t merely political, but cultural.

Yet the combined…

John Ashworth and the Labour ‘moderates’ are playing a foolish game by pretending Corbyn can’t win

Today is not the first occasion where I’ve felt a sudden burst of sympathy for John Ashworth, the shadow health secretary. When this general election campaign kicked off with the unexpected resignation – as an MP and as Labour’s deputy leader – of Tom Watson, Ashworth must have felt immediately even more isolated than usual. The Leicester South candidate, who has served as the constituency’s MP since 2011, was never in danger of succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome; his willingness to serve in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet was all about preserving a sane, moderate voice in the party’s highest arena. He was there as Tom Watson’s wing man, never as a willing convert to Corbynism.

When Corbyn sacked…

Boris Johnson’s great debate gamble paid off

The next prime minister will be either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn and judging by the ITV debate the country must pray it is the former. The Labour leader sought to portray himself as an avuncular, unifying figure when his party’s policy prospectus would wreck the economy and delay Brexit, thereby adding to the uncertainty that has paralysed politics and business.

Even though the cause of the election is Brexit, Mr Corbyn hardly mentioned it in his opening and closing remarks, preferring a reprise of Labour’s 2017 pitch to make an offer of “real change for the many not the few” while demonising wealth creators. But nothing can happen until Brexit is resolved; and Labour’s policy of a fresh…

The reality of death is too vast and too confounding to be described in just one word

I heard it argued recently, on a podcast about grief, that saying “My father died” is insufficiently honest. Instead, one should say “My father is dead”, to better recognise that death is an ongoing condition rather than a one-off tragedy. This struck me as both true and uncomfortably strict.

There is, at the moment, a craze for speaking bluntly about death. It began, as so many fashionable ideas do, as a necessary reaction to the status quo. Modern death is so discreetly done, overseen by professionals in hospitals and funeral homes, that it often feels weirdly invisible. Using delicate or obfuscating language is thought to reinforce the sense of taboo.

The terminal illness charity Marie Curie…

We have tragically infantilised the gender pay gap debate

Every year now, November 14 marks Equal Pay Day; an occasion ostensibly designed to raise awareness of salary discrepancies between men and women, but one that too often descends into an unhelpful, polarised debate about the nature of the gap.

At one end of the spectrum are those who deny any discrepancies. “Women have never had it so good!” They cry. This is flawed and dismissive, but much worse is the obtuseness of feminist campaigners who lay the blame solely on discrimination for women’s financial situations.

Labour MP Laura Pidcock embodies the self-pitying, almost conspiratorial, sentiment taking over the minds of the sisterhood. In a Tweet she attributed the pay gap to “structural barriers”….

Homeopaths should not be allowed to advertise autism ‘cures’

People with illnesses or conditions that are either incurable or difficult to treat are understandably drawn to claims of miracle panaceas. If conventional medicine fails they may turn to homeopaths offering alternatives that have no basis in science and give unrealistic expectations of improvement. As we report today homeopaths are advertising autism “cures” or treatment to ‘improve the condition’ despite a ban by the advertising watchdog last year.

Therapists offering so-called CEASE (Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression) say they can bring about a “complete healing” of autism and children with the condition can be “detoxified” with “impressive and heart-warming results”. Many…