Oliver Letwin – Our letters to the Press

Letter to The Observer

Your article last week, ‘Letwin: inner-city youth ‘more alien than serfs’, ignores one important aspect. Mr Letwin’s argument is not only directed at inner-city youth, but especially against their young black communities. In doing so he completely ignores the situation faced by a growing number of young disenchanted and underpaid white young people in his own Constituency. Youth clubs are being closed whilst at the same time there is a growing drug problem. One only has to talk to publicans, chemists and local doctors to find out the reality of the situation. This fact is compounded by the fact that the cost of renting a property, let alone buying a house, is prohibitive given the low wages and casual employment that persist in his West Dorset Constituency.

In the article, Mr Letwin also argues that he is ‘a strong supporter of David Cameron’s drive for social reform’. We therefore as the local Bridport and District Labour Party look forward not only to our MP pushing through legislation that will allow our young people, whatever their colour, to find somewhere affordable to live, but also to local authorities being provided with the financial and political support to retain their youth clubs. And in doing so, offer the opportunity to positively fight the growing political and social disenchantment amongst our young people, not only in West Dorset, but nationally.

Richard Nicholls

 

Letter to the local papers

What is quite extraordinary for our MP Oliver Letwin, is his continuing ability to remain as the senior advisor to the Prime Minister when it is now reported of his openly racial attitudes to young black people. He is also reported as saying that in terms of poverty and poor housing, ‘white communities had endured such conditions for decades without rioting.’ In this respect alone, he shows a total lack of knowledge of working class history. Workers historically have and did, as did slaves, riot to gain change, both socially, politically and economically, only to be put down by State violence in the form of the Establishment. It was only with the development of the trade union movement in the twentieth century, a movement the present government is trying openly to undermine and destroy, that conditions in this country, both in housing and the workplace, actually improved through negotiations and political pressure. Today sadly, we are again faced with an increase in individual poverty, seen in the escalating number of ‘food banks’ and the increasing numbers of young people, both black and white, having little chance of buying or renting a property that includes security of tenure.

In an apology regarding his remarks, Mr Letwin states the published document was both badly worded and wrong. Of course it was wrong, and in that his apology can be accepted. But to say it was badly worded can only be accepted as an insult to our intelligence. But at least we now have an understanding as to Tory thinking, and the real consequences we all now face as a society.

Richard Nicholls