11:50, June 29 39 0 theguardian.com

2018-06-29 11:50:11
How ‘hyperliberalism’ is undermining progressive politics

Afua Hirsch (Celebrate the NHS at 70. But don’t forget what inspired it, 27 June) hints at the deterioration of progressive politics over the past 70 years when she writes that in 1948 “rights” meant access to decent living standards for all not just the protection of minorities. The progressives of 1948 built an NHS benefiting everyone, whose public support even Theresa May and the Tory press cannot overcome. The identity-politics obsessed progressives of 2018, with their hyperliberal dislike of traditional social structures, their hostility to democratic control over immigration from the EU and to enforcement of the law on immigration from outside the EU, and their obsession with “unconscious bias”, have achieved only a national vote to leave the EU and a 7% swing from Labour to the Conservatives among working-class voters from January to May 2018.

Christopher Clayton

Chester

Tony Blair’s speech to Chatham House about relations between the US, Europe and the continuing battle against extremism on both the left and the right is a good analysis of where we are now (Report, 27 June). It fails, however, to show any understanding of how this fracture in our societies is occurring. A secure knowledge of who you are and of your history is the surest way of maintaining a liberal, open and welcoming society. The undermining of any sense of Britishness and the right to insist that all who come to the UK accept some degree of assimilation is part of the problem. This applies all over Europe. At the same time, the project to dispose of empire is unfinished business because many of the regimes that have taken control of former colonies serve their populations no better than than the previous colonial occupiers.

William Salomon

London

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