Letters

Letters: The UK was known for championing human rights – until Rishi Sunak's government

Multiple readers react to an opinion piece written by a survivor of torture who spent 2023 living in terror of being deported to Rwanda

One reader argued that while the UK has always had a reputation for championing human rights, the current government has damaged this legacy. Image: Number 10/Flickr

Big Issue readers react to articles on Christmas dinner recipes, human rights, the future of energy in the UK and the leader of the OFFICIAL Monster Raving Loony Party gets in touch…

Readers react to King

King is a young woman who fled persecution in her homeland in Asia and now lives in the UK. She is a client of Freedom from Torture and wrote an opinion piece for The Big Issue [Issue 1596, 28 December] on the uncertain future she faces in the UK.

Torture survivor King notes: “The UK has always had a reputation for fairness, justice and for being a champion of human rights.”

Indeed it has. The UK played an important role in producing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War.

But now the current government is actively undermining this key legacy of their forebears. My message to anybody who undermines universal human rights: not in my name. And don’t expect anybody to support this policy once they understand just how much they have to lose. (“Ask not for whom the bell tolls…”)

I want to thank King for the article – she must have found it very painful to write.

R Donaldson

Congratulations on publishing King’s statement on the personal impact of the hateful government policy regarding Rwanda.

Has anyone else noticed that the new Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, came to Britain with his family as refugees from the genocide in – guess where – Rwanda in 1994?

That is only one generation ago. I am aware of the marvellous work to rebuild lives and communities that has been undertaken there in the years since but, surely, we should be helping with that, if we usefully can, while sorting out our own issues at home?

Audrey Mullender, Kenilworth

Where there’s a Will

I share Will Payne’s aversion to Jacob Rees-Mogg [Issue 1595, 18 December] and I shall be standing against him as the Green Party’s candidate for NE Somerset and Hanham. Will Payne would be very welcome to join my campaign team.

Alternatively, if he really wishes to stand himself, then I suggest he contact Labour or the Liberal Democrats, as neither of those parties has got round to selecting a candidate yet (perhaps they won’t bother).

Edmund Cannon

Nuclear reaction

Your ‘Our energy future?’ feature [Issue 1596, 28 December] hinted at the many questions posed by this policy, and the picture (see below) itself illustrated the extent of the resources being expended.

Europe’s largest building site is also a source of the vast carbon emissions associated with such a major construction site. Given that the nuclear fuel cycle also has substantial associated carbon emissions, how long will it take for the generated power to make up for these emissions?

Once operational, Hinkley Point C (above) nuclear power station will generate enough electricity for six million homes. It is currently under construction in Somerset, England

The significant drawbacks that you mention include the fact that the UK has no indigenous uranium fuel reserves, that the eventual decommissioning of a reactor is also carbon intensive and that the residual high-level nuclear waste is life-threateningly toxic for thousands of years.

Recent reports of the parlous state of the Sellafield nuclear waste establishment are also relevant when deciding if this should really be our energy future.

Brian Edwards, Chartered Building Services engineer

Royal treatment

I’ve subscribed to The Big Issue for a year or so now. There have been numerous articles praising various members of the royal family and their support for The Big Issue, which is wonderful.

However, I find it surprising that The Big Issue never discusses the extreme wealth inequality with those members of the royal family who greatly benefit from the current system. It’s almost as if any criticism of the wealth of the royal family is strictly off-limits.

Andy Black

Smashing it

I made the turkey roll recipe [Issue 1594, 11 December] and it worked very well. The best part was battening out the turkey breasts with a heavy saucepan – bang, bang, bang! I got rid of all my stress and frustrations.

Renée Terry

Loony tunes

I read, with interest, the recent opinion article by your editor ‘Lord’ McNamee [Issue 1597, 8 January] on the only political party currently registered with the electoral commission as OFFICIAL, and in particular the ‘one in, one out’ policy attributed to the Reform Party.

This policy was originally devised well over a decade ago by our deputy leader, R U Seerius, as part of our minimalist foreign policy and was duly ‘stolen’ by UKIP (who obviously have now granted Reform permission to steal it once again).

I appreciate that many of your readers are politically homeless and may be inclined to not even cast their vote in the forthcoming general election, so may I just take this opportunity to remind them that the ONLY wasted vote is one that isn’t used!

With Loony respect.

Howling Laud Hope, party leader of His Majesty’s OFFICIAL Monster Raving Loony Party

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