Today’s edition of “Letters to the Editor” is the last one in this momentous year 2016. Your letters – the letters of readers, contributors and members – have become a valuable feature in the continuing debate amongst ourselves, addressing a variety of topical issues, ranging today from the UN to BREXIT to UKIP. The first letter comes from our reader Dr Raymond Shamash:

Sir

Whatever one’s views on Israel’s settlement policy, it is difficult to take any condemnation by the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) seriously. Since its foundation, over half of the UNHRC’s condemnations have been directed at Israel alone, leaving aside all ongoing slaughters of civilians such as Darfur, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine etc. This is not surprising when you look at the committee members: Saudi (2009-12); Russia (2009-12); Egypt (2016-2019); Iraq (2016-2019) and other similar nations. In fact the “illegality” of the settlements is moot. Palestine was never an independent state, the West Bank was recaptured from Jordan who occupied it in 1948 in a war of aggression against the nascent state of Israel. It was Israel who destroyed Sadam Hussain and Assad’s nuclear facilities. It was the Mufti of Palestine who spent WW2 as a guest of Hitler.

I look forward to a time when UKIP and other mainstream UK parties will recognise Israel for what she is, an ally of the West. Further, reflecting on Christmas, when cathedrals are bombed in Egypt, and Christians being driven out of countries in the Middle East where they have lived for 2000yr, I would imagine that the only place this Christmas where Christians felt safe to celebrate was Jerusalem, Israel.

Respectfully, Dr Raymond Shamash, PC Hendon UKIP 2015

The second letter, by our contributor and reader Christopher Gill, was sent in because, unsurprisingly, it was not published by the Daily Telegraph even though it reflects on the still burning issue of BREXIT:

Sir,

Given that the British Ambassador to the European Union estimates that it will take up to ten years to negotiate a new trade deal; given that at the rate of £50 millions per day our contributions to the EU over a ten year period would cost the UK more than £180 billions (every penny of which would have to be borrowed at taxpayers expense); given that we start from a position of having no negotiators with the relevant skills and experience; given that the longer the uncertainty continues the longer we shall be missing out on opportunities in the rest of the world and given that the unambiguous verdict of the EU referendum was not to negotiate new terms but simply to ‘Leave’, what are we waiting for?

Far from taking 10 years we could, if the political will was there, extricate ourselves from the sclerotic EU within 10 days simply by telling them ‘we’re OUT’ and enacting corresponding legislation in Westminster.

What is there to negotiate ? We’ve got a trade deal with them already. It’s one that has been previously agreed by all 28 member states and one that all countries are apparently happy with. So let’s just tell them that, although we’re severing all other links with the EU, if they want to carry on trading with us on the current basis the decision is theirs!

If they then reject that offer we shall find ourselves in the position of trading with them under World Trade Organisation rules which is most likely where we’re going to end up anyway.

Putting ourselves in the position of supplicant at the EU’s table, which is what our Government has done, is not the way to get the best deal, it demeans us as a nation and it will almost certainly result in ‘negotiations’ dragging on for ever and a day because with the EU nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

Respectfully, Christopher Gill.

Finally, our contributor and reader David Jessop, takes issue with the last letter Paul Nuttall sent to all members, and addresses the Leadership asking about an issue which will not go away:

Sir,

I wrote on the 17 December about my difficulty, as a prospective member, of seeing exactly what the current UKIP policies are. I had hoped for some response from the leadership but …nothing. There must be many others like myself who read and even contribute to UKIP Daily. A good many of those people must be potential members yet might well dismiss UKIP as a single issue party which no longer has a purpose. Of course that view is reinforced every day by what they read in the press.

Having read the resignation letter of Dr. Slivnik and the views of others regarding the conduct of the broader leadership, the dire financial state of the party and the prospect of a legal challenge by the Electoral Commission my concerns grew. I even commented that I would not consider joining whilst a certain trio of individuals held senior positions in the party.

I have also followed comments and suggestions for solving some of the issues on the “rightwaycampaign” blog. Today I read the latest which is absolutely damning. Surely no-one who reads it would consider joining UKIP? At the very least a truthful response is required from the leader along with a frank look at the criticism and proposals for rectification as necessary.  Without that I’m sure UKIP will not attract new members and might lose existing ones. Such allegations, even if only partially true, should be of serious concern to all.

Respectfully, David Jessop

The Editorial Team wishes to thank all readers and contributors who have sent us their letters this year, and hopes that even more will make use of this column in 2017 – the best place to air your views without having to take the plunge and write an article.

We wish you all a Happy, Prosperous and Successful New Year! Onwards and Upwards!

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