What is socialism? Just look at the NHS

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I work together pinch Will Hutton that nan principle of socialism is fellowship, and it’s easy to show what that tin mean successful believe (“Socialism isn’t a soiled word. It’s simply astir wanting to make a fairer society”). The NHS is fundamentally a strategy of communal aesculapian assistance pinch authorities funding, paid for by income taxation – nan much you earn, nan much you lend – which intends it is firmly rooted successful nan socialist rule “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. It has been nan astir celebrated institution successful nan state for almost 80 years. People whitethorn kick astir its capacity (largely caused by Tory attempts to dismantle it), but really galore of them criticise it for being socialist?

I’d for illustration Labour politicians to promise to use nan principles of nan NHS to different authorities bodies. And if nan Tories and nan rightwing property shriek that this is socialism, Labour should inquire group really bad nan socialism of nan NHS has been for them.
Charles Osborne
Prague, Czech Republic

Will Hutton could person summed this up by quoting nan awesome Liverpool FC head of nan 1960s, Bill Shankly, who said: “The socialism I judge successful is everyone moving for each other, everyone having a stock of nan rewards. It’s nan measurement I spot football, nan measurement I spot life.” It surely accords pinch my position of life and politics, arsenic nan much unequal a nine is, nan little patient it is. Maybe Keir Starmer, moreover arsenic an Arsenal fan, should adopt Shankly’s view.
Dr Stephen Battersby
Surbiton, London

The value of entertainment

Tomiwa Owolade is missing immoderate points successful his portion astir cinema and theatre summons prices (“Who tin spend nan costly bet of going to spot a play that you mightiness not like?”). The £20 summons is each astir nan “luxury” acquisition – amended seat, service, etc. Someone must salary for those extras, and nan customer has a choice: £10 for nan basic; £20 for nan better. Theatre prices are nan same. Putting connected a West End play is costly – not conscionable actors but each nan staff, maintenance, fixtures and fittings; not conscionable nan performance, either – rehearsals are required. In addition, dissimilar a film, nan full assemblage vulnerability is limited. Therefore, nan expertise to recoup costs is arsenic limited.
Chris Parr
Putley, Herefordshire

Don’t hide Ed successful nan sand

I’m gobsmacked. Having conscionable publication Andrew Rawnsley’s affirmative article connected Ed Davey having to execute silly stunts to get immoderate media sum for nan Lib Dems (“You tin laughter each you for illustration astatine Ed Davey’s antics if they reconstruct nan Lib Dems’ clout”), I was stunned that nan Observer editorial connected nan societal attraction situation makes nary mention of nan Lib Dems astatine each (“Whoever wins, nan societal attraction situation needs to beryllium addressed urgently”). It says: “There is 1 pressing rumor affecting millions of group that has been conspicuous successful its absence from nan wide predetermination run truthful far”, ignoring nan truth that Davey has sometimes been criticised for going connected astir societal attraction almost to nan removal of everything else.
Jane Dards
Caersws, Powys

Make each schools meritocratic

Catherine Bennett is correct to telephone retired nan rightwing media (“Must we pity put-upon parents sacrificing each to nonstop their offspring to backstage school?”). However, I fearfulness that she has overlooked nan main intent of that parental “sacrifice”. It is not to achieve, arsenic is truthful often claimed, nan champion imaginable acquisition for their children (which tin readily beryllium achieved astatine overmuch lesser disbursal done nan authorities system, augmented by tutors and after-school activities) but is, instead, to bargain them entree to privilege, elite networks, apical assemblage places, nan professions, powerfulness and wealth. As a consequence of this money-led action system, nan nationalist schools person been capable to foist connected to nan federation nan litany of egotistical “mediocracies” that person governed america complete nan past 14 years.

I would for illustration it if Labour, alternatively than tinkering astatine nan edges, had nan courageousness to tackle head-on this systematic corruption of our nine and bring nan nationalist schools into nan authorities system. My dream would beryllium that, irrespective of parental inheritance and expertise to pay, each schoolhouse places would past beryllium fixed connected a strictly meritocratic basis.
Mike Brown
Essendon, Hatfield, Hertfordshire

VAR: what is it bully for?

Jonathan Wilson’s elaborate study of VAR’s unintended antagonistic consequences accurately identifies what has been mislaid for those shot fans attending matches, (“Bad vibes and VAR: waiting crippled leaves fans disappointment complete marginal calls”). This whitethorn beryllium nan lawsuit successful nan Premier League but not successful nan Championship, which functions perfectly good without VAR and truthful provides nan astir convincing statement against its continued use.
Mick Beeby

Easy target. Wrong target

You can’t thief but work together pinch Martha Gill (“Filthy lucre is everywhere, but book festivals are an easy target for protesters’ fury”). Protesters gluing themselves to roads alternatively than petrol position forecourts; trying to extremity cars and motorbikes alternatively than chaining themselves to cruise ships and backstage jets. And let’s not hide nan ones who attacked creation works. Why?

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Not only are they letting existent villains get distant scot-free, they don’t look to realise they are alienating ample groups of group who mightiness moreover support them if their protests were little haywire and much targeted. And truthful different reasonably blameless and easy target – book festivals – will now beryllium affected disproportionately by immoderate idealised, misdirected type of ambiance protest.
Dave Howard
Hove, East Sussex

Degenerative Toryism?

In “Now he thinks he’s lost, Sunak’s afloat of large ideas”, David Mitchell said: “The received contented is that group get much rightwing arsenic they get older.” He could beryllium recalling this missive published successful nan Guardian successful 1970:

“Sir, young radicals, and so each those who would disagree pinch existent authorities thought, are often assured that they will deliberation otherwise erstwhile they are older. The accusation is that extremist thought is simply a normal, if immature, shape of improvement which is superseded good earlier mediate property by good, patient Toryism.

“Now it is clear that nan mean man complete nan property of 25 loses 1 cardinal aliases much irreplaceable cells a time from nan grey matter of his brain… I deliberation we must earnestly see nan anticipation that Toryism, for illustration osteoarthritis, is simply a degenerative disease. WF Jackson”

I support a transcript of this successful my wallet.
Tony Meacock

Source theguardian