Letters: Democrats must unite against Extinction Rebellion’s attempts to dismantle a free society

Letters to the Editor
Members of the Ocean Rebellion group attend an Extinction Rebellion protest in London yesterday - Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Members of the Ocean Rebellion group attend an Extinction Rebellion protest in London yesterday - Henry Nicholls/Reuters

SIR – Democracy is under threat from a unholy alliance including Extinction Rebellion, BLM, Marxists and those who want to end the nation state.

They are committed to dismantling what they call imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures that they don’t like.

They expect to be judge and jury of which state structures must be taken down, even of what we think and say. That is the antithesis of democracy.

All democratic parties must surely combine to defeat them, while our public servants and the BBC must avoid giving them comfort.

Roger J Arthur
Pulborough, West Sussex


SIR – Like other readers of right-of-centre newspapers, I was denied the right to receive my Daily Telegraph on Saturday by eco-protesters, with the approval of Labour’s Dawn Butler for “excellent work”.

Meanwhile, Hertfordshire Police said it was “working to facilitate the rights of both the protesters and those affected by their presence”. I was unaware that police worked with protesters committing a crime, preventing others going about their lawful business and disrupting those printing and distributing a free press.

Michael Staples
Seaford, East Sussex


SIR – The police have recently demonstrated a light touch towards those organising Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protests, which have caused criminal damage and the blocking of thoroughfares.

The same police immediately arrested and fined Piers Corbyn for organising an anti-lockdown protest.

Are the police using their operational independence as a smokescreen for pursuing woke activism? Do we now live in a country where our police can pick and choose which laws they will enforce, and which groups of people they will enforce them against?

Iwan Price-Evans
Croydon, Surrey

SIR – Extremist minorities who take over pressure groups encourage breaking the law to provoke the authorities into aggressive measures that will be shown on television and portray the “protesters” as innocent victims of state oppression and the police as agents of this.

Their twin objectives are the overthrow of our free and democratic society (to which we assent) and to impose another (to which we do not).

Thus far, in my lifetime, no minority has succeeded because in general our authorities and the police have reacted in a measured and humane manner, and frustrated the provocateurs.

William Fleming
Frimley, Surrey


SIR – Press freedom allows Extinction Rebellion to promote its point of view, but, when its Utopia is established, such freedom will become extinct. Is there a branch of Extinction Rebellion in China?

Charles Coulson
Quarrington, Lincolnshire


SIR – The newspaper review on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House referred to the Sunday Telegraph headline that Extinction Rebellion “only wants a press if it agrees with their agenda”.

All three panellists disagreed. Comments included: “It’s only one day”, “They’ve got us talking”, “Most people get their news online”, “Papers are owned by billionaires, so it’s not a free press”, and other inanities. The highlight was: “Everyone got their paper eventually anyway,” which wasn’t true.

I doubt the panel’s opinions are shared by many. To have all three consider Extinction Rebellion’s conduct acceptable is another example of the BBC being badly out of touch.

Richard May
Horncastle, Lincolnshire

Police wearing protective face masks at an Extinction Rebellion protest in Parliament Square, London -  Dominic Lipinski /PA
Police wearing protective face masks at an Extinction Rebellion protest in Parliament Square, London - Dominic Lipinski /PA

SIR – A reverse Churchillian two fingers to Extinction Rebellion for trying to prevent me reading the paper. I read Saturday’s on my iPad.

David Lawson
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire


Winning loos

SIR – Lucy Denyer (Comment, September 4) writes that 40 per cent of people, particularly women, restrict their outings on the basis that they will not have access to public lavatories. The viability of many of our high street shops and public venues could be put at risk by this deficiency.

One solution might be for councils to licence local entrepreneurs to set up modern, very high-quality, attended lavatory complexes.

These facilities could be very profitable for the “start-ups” and councils alike, as people would probably be prepared to pay quite a lot to access pleasant, safe, clean, family- friendly amenities.

Anthony Hulbert
Christchurch, Dorset


SIR – Our local public convenience was used by bus and lorry drivers as well as the general public, but it closed and is now a barber’s shop. I doubt many bus drivers stop to get their hair cut.

V E Hooper


Russian virus vaccine

SIR – I can’t imagine anyone wanting a virus vaccine from Russia (report, September 5). Its record on sports doping and poisoning opponents does not inspire confidence.

Christopher Hunt
Swanley, Kent


Strictly girls

Nicola Adams OBE is a British former professional boxer - Mark Robinson/Getty
Nicola Adams OBE is a British former professional boxer - Mark Robinson/Getty

SIR – Hearing that Nicola Adams is to dance in the first same-sex pairing on Strictly Come Dancing (report, September 3) reminded me of ballroom-dancing classes in my all-girls school in the Seventies.

At 5ft 10in I always led, and, as I had two left feet, I was usually the last person chosen. I wish Ms Adams a happier experience than mine – the costumes will certainly be more glamorous than our black leotards.

Jane Sullivan
Evesham, Worcestershire


Notes on a life

SIR – Like Lesley Thompson (Letters, September 3), I treasure little notes, written on tiny scraps of paper in a failing hand, by my late father.

One such missive, on the back of a shopping receipt, was a request to the hospital doctor to be allowed home to continue living independently. It concluded: “I used to fly Spitfires.”

Meryll Wilford
Leeds, West Yorkshire


Let Parliament work

SIR – The Government is right to exhort people to return to their place of work (report, September 3). We all need to learn to live with the virus, and manage the risks, so we can get the economy back on its feet. Parliament must therefore lead by example, but it is failing to do so.

We are in the absurd situation where ministers, speaking in near empty debating chambers, are telling people it is safe to go back to work.

All necessary steps must be taken to ensure that we have a return to “business as usual” in both the Houses as fast as possible. Failure to do so risks people, understandably, asking why they should heed the Government’s exhortation to return to work if MPs and peers appear unwilling to do so.

Lee Anderson MP (Con)
Rt Hon David Davis MP (Con)
Baroness Meyer (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Lamont (Con)
Tom Tugendhat MP (Con)
Richard Drax (Con)
Steve Baker MP (Con)
Aaron Bell MP (Con)
Sir Graham Brady MP (Con)
Lord Bridges of Headley (Con)
Lord Cavendish of Furness (Con)
Lord Dobbs (Con)
Simon Fell MP (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Con)

James Gray MP (Con)
Jonathan Gullis MP (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Hamilton of Epsom (Con)
Antony Higginbotham MP (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Hill of Oareford (Con)
Lord Howard of Rising (Con)
Tom Hunt MP (Con)
Mark Jenkinson MP (Con)

Imran Ahmad Khan MP (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Lilley (Con)
Lord Mancroft (Con)
Lord Marland (Con)
Karl McCartney MP (Con)
Gagan Mohindra MP (Con)
Robbie Moore MP (Con)
Kieran Mullan MP (Con)
Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con)
Baroness Noakes (Con)
Viscount Ridley (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Robathan (Con)
Dean Russell MP (Con)
Lord Shinkwin (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Strathclyde (Con)

Sir Robert Syms MP (Con)
Rt Hon Lord Trefgarne (Con)
Viscount Trenchard (Con)
Matt Vickers MP (Con)
Christian Wakeford MP (Con)
Bill Wiggin MP (Con)
William Wragg MP (Con)
Jacob Young MP (Con)
Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne (Con)


Empire strikes back

SIR – Dominic Raab thinks that the new Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, combining its diplomatic strength with world-leading aid expertise, will be a force for good (report, September 3).

Oddly enough, this is what British colonial administrators believed the British Empire was, when we had one.

Gillian Fazan
Torquay, Devon


Rabbit tales

SIR – Terry Crocker is only partially correct (Letters, September 5) about the lethal properties of lettuce.

Peter Rabbit’s father was put in a pie, but we are not told what caused his death. It is the progeny Peter Rabbit’s sister Flopsy, the Flopsy Bunnies, who fall asleep after eating lettuce. Happily, they are rescued by their parents and Thomasina Tittlemouse, who gnaws through the sack they are in.

Mr McGregor gets his comeuppance when his wife – who had been hoping to trim her bonnet with Flopsy fur – throws at her husband the marrow with which the rabbits replaced them.

Beatrix Potter introduced young readers to the word “soporific” with her magisterial opening lines: “It is said that the effect of eating lettuce is ‘soporific’.

I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a rabbit.”

Salley Vickers
London W11


EU talks are a pretty kettle of fish, with no fish

All at sea: mending the nets of the fishing vessel Pamela Jill in Brixham Harbour, Devon - lionel derimais/Alamy
All at sea: mending the nets of the fishing vessel Pamela Jill in Brixham Harbour, Devon - lionel derimais/Alamy

SIR – Michel Barnier has announced that Britain can have full sovereignty over its territorial waters, but not the fish in them (report, September 3).

When Britain joined the European Economic Community, British fishermen lost their sole right to fish our waters, and the industry was decimated. It is therefore outrageous for him to insist that EU countries should continue to fish Britain’s territorial waters.

Jon Summers
Probus, Cornwall


SIR – If Britain is to be allowed to retain its territorial waters, but not the fish, is it also to keep its whisky bottles, but not the whisky in them?

John Bridgeman
Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway


Britain must change tactic to stop migrant boats

SIR – As a former director of what was the UK Immigration Service (Ports), I am appalled by the record number (409) of illegal entrants arriving in 27 boats in one day (report, September 3).

The United Kingdom has given multi-millions of pounds to the French to increase security and stop the boats from leaving their shores. It is simply not good enough for them to say that they have 300 miles of coast to patrol – all of these boats will have left from close to Calais, as this is the shortest route to Dover. How could the French possibly fail to see as many as 27 boats departing and not do anything?

The sooner Britain adopts the Australian tactic of “push back” (the prevention of boats entering the country’s waters) the better. Currently, Border Force cutters are having the opposite effect to preventing this traffic. They as they are acting as lifeboats, and migrants are deliberately heading towards them.

UN human rights experts have said that push back is probably illegal (although untested in the courts, so far as I am aware), but it had the desired effect and cut the number to virtually zero. In any case, under the terms of the Dublin Regulation, these migrants should have applied for asylum in the first safe country of arrival.

Finally, we should be told what the French are doing to establish where the traffickers are getting their boats, many of which are rigid inflatables with outboard motors. There cannot be many dealers in such vessels.

Peter Higgins
West Wickham, Kent


SIR – We witness almost daily the immigrants crossing the Channel in a seemingly endless supply of inflatable boats. If the French authorities were serious about preventing these crossings, surely they could easily address the source of supply, which must be in a coastal location, conveniently and regularly used by illegal people traffickers.

Peter Stowe
Woodbridge, Suffolk


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