Romantic views

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I don’t quite share Joyce 
McMillan’s view of Jeremy Corbyn (Perspective, 14 August). She speaks of his “common sense” yet this is a man who wants to nationalise swathes of British industry, variously costed at more than £100 billion.

At a time when even this government cannot balance the books, where will the money come from?

Tax avoidance will come nowhere near this, and cancelling Trident (whose costs are spread over a long period) won’t either. This isn’t common sense, it is verging on madness.

Joyce seems to have this romantic view of Old Labour, with some kind of golden past (she sounds like a small “c” conservative); at various times Joyce has told us of her aversion to nuclear weapons, yet it was Old Labour who paid a key part in the development of the British bomb (the Attlee government). Her view of Old Labour is very selective!

William Ballantine

Dean Road

Bo’ness, West Lothian

The most important policy stated by Jeremy Corbyn is withdrawal from Nato, which Joyce McMillan ignores. Rightly, she emphasises the “longest period of security” across western Europe that “we have ever known”.

Isn’t peace in Europe for half of the 20th century because of Nato and US nuclear power?

Corbyn’s social democratic credo, unlike the SNP’s, is at least consistent on nuclear weapons and Nato.

Most noticeably they fail to acknowledge that Nato is at the core of EU defence policy.

What is Corbyn’s social democratic foreign policy on the “military reunification” of Russia and the Ukraine?

Wasn’t it a social democrat, far to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, who rejected unilateral disarmament? Arguably, Aneurin Bevan was absolutely right: “Do you want to go into the conference chamber naked?”

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie

It seems these are auspicious times for offering a left-wing panacea of sweeping change.

There is undoubtedly populist support amongst young idealists and the socialist faithful, for talk of spending our way out of austerity, re-nationalisation of key industries, and unilateral disarmament.

These are all framed as radical, and, misleadingly, as “progressive”.

No matter that the great majority of the population at large have no appetite for public ownership, income tax rises and being isolated strategically. Principle is all for Corbyn’s followers, not practical reality.

In Scotland, the SNP have similarly used populist rhetoric, stirring the disaffected with promises that will not be kept, pursuing an ultimate separatist goal.

The day-to-day reality of the SNP government is sadly that a once proud Scottish education system is being badly undermined, our health service suffers one crisis after another, and reorganised police appear dysfunctional.

Jeremy Corbyn views the SNP as fellow travellers, prepared to work together for mutual advantage, putting the Union at risk to pursue his ideals.

Despite apparent popularity, Mr Corbyn and the SNP harden the resistance of those who do not fall for the rhetoric. He is losing any prospect of support from the broad centre of British politics.

Keith Howell

West Linton

Peeblesshire