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The Trotskyist Socialist Party has no place within Labour and it will remain an electoral irrelevance

 

Daniel Waldron (Write Back, August 13) claims that Socialist Party members joining the Labour Party "never denied membership of our organisation". In order to join in the first place, they would have had to conceal it, or they could not have been admitted under Labour's rules. It's called infiltration.

Encouraging Labour to split has always been their objective since the days of his party's predecessor, Militant Tendency (MT). Today, the MT has morphed into a less rabid-sounding organisation (the Socialist Party), but remains a fundamentalist Trotskyist sect, which has never supported all Labour candidates with a view to returning to government, only those willing to parrot their particular brand of dogma.

The Labour Party is simply too broad a church for them to encompass and Jeremy Corbyn has described them as Left sectarians, who will not be allowed re-admission into his party.

I reiterate the point I made about the electoral irrelevance of the Socialist Party and its latest front group, the Cross Community Labour Alternative.

It is not even the most popular Trotskyist party here. That honour belongs to People Before Profit (PBP), who can boast one MLA and one councillor and whose unsuccessful candidate in South Belfast out-polled the CCLA candidate there, whom Daniel seems to think achieved something notable in obtaining less than 1,000 votes.

It is reasonable to assume that candidates from the Socialist Party, in its own guise, or that of the CCLA, will not be troubling the corridors of Westminster, Stormont, or even a council chamber anytime soon.

Perhaps they should try infiltrating PBP for a change. Just a thought.

MICHAEL MCKEOWN

Belfast

Enough cash blown on Irish language already

The current debate around Sinn Fein's demand for a stand-alone Irish Language Act has thrown up a number of facts which were probably not widely known and which are, frankly, alarming.

I was aware that there has been significant expenditure on Irish language issues in recent years, even without an Irish Language Act. What I have only recently learned was that Stormont has spent around £171m on the Irish language over the last five years.

That averages over £34m per year and I'm guessing that figure will not decrease if there is an ILA.

I seem to remember an understandable public furore over the prospect of RHI expenditure of £500m over 20 years: an average annual figure of 'only' £25m up in smoke.

What were the Stormont political parties thinking when they splashed out £171m on Irish language issues, at a time when our economy is under severe financial pressures?

How much better could that £171m have been spent? How many potholes could have been filled? How many overgrown roadside hedges cut back? How many leaking school roofs repaired? How many new school books purchased? How many more doctors and nurses employed in our hospitals?

For starters, that deeply worrying £70m 'black hole' in our local NHS budget could have been filled. But, no, instead of spending that money on all of the people of Northern Ireland, Stormont politicians shook the magic money tree and flung £171m of taxpayers' hard-earned cash at Irish language speakers.

Heaven help the local health service if Sinn Fein get their Irish Language Act and the Ulster-Scots lobby gets a 'financial package' as a quid pro quo.

Judging by the financial decisions taken by Stormont in recent years, the long-suffering citizens of Northern Ireland simply cannot afford the return of the financially illiterate Stormont politicians.

My advice to Stormont is the same as Cromwell's advice to the equally useless 'Rump Parliament' in 1653: "In the name of God, go!"

MASON POWELL

Belfast

Police's 'discipline' procedure mystery

I've been reading a lot lately in the Belfast Telegraph about PSNI officers being 'disciplined'.

What does this mean? A slap on the wrist? 'The Naughty Step'? Or a proper punishment, say a hefty fine?

Why are details kept from the public for public servants who've broken the law?

The rest of us wouldn't be so fortunate.

OBSERVER

Holywood, Co Down

UK is leaving the EU, not leaving Europe

The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Junker, has got it wrong: it is not the United Kingdom that will "soon regret" leaving the European Union, as he insists, but the EU will soon regret the UK leaving when the payments stop.

The United Kingdom's momentous decision to leave the European Union was mainly down to how the EU is run in a dictatorial and undemocratic, top-down fashion. His tactics of belittling the UK and her people and trying to bully the UK Government will not work.

His continual reference to Europe is wrong - we are not leaving Europe, but the European Union. The EU is not Europe and Europe is not the EU.

As I understand it, Article 50 has no provision for the UK to pay anything when we leave. Remember: we have already paid over £500bn into the EU funds since we joined and this is more than enough.

The squandering of vast sums of money and waste has not been addressed by the EU and if he spent as much time on reforming the EU as criticising the UK, the EU would be a much better organisation.

In his 'state of the union' speech, it is clear Junker wants to penalise the UK for being democratic and accepting the majority voice of the people here in the decision to leave the EU.

If he and other EU leaders had listened to voices in the UK and other EU countries, we may not have come to this and the UK could well have voted to remain.

As things now stand, the EU leadership have not listened to any concerns, but buried their heads in the sand.

Project United States of Europe - with it's vast, centralised power - is now moving full steam ahead, with plans for even a new EU army.

Leaders of the EU, like President Junker, with his foolish remarks that illustrate the advantages of leaving, help to strengthen my resolve and makes me - like the vast majority of people - more impatient to break free from the EU as soon as possible.

STEVAN PATTERSON

Castlederg, Co Tyrone

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