YP Letters: Britain needs political values, not charismatic leaders

One-time Leeds West MP Michael Meadowcroft has praised the leadership of Clement Attlee.
One-time Leeds West MP Michael Meadowcroft has praised the leadership of Clement Attlee.
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From: Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Waterloo Lane, Leeds.

PROFESSOR Matthew Flinders asks ‘Where are the leaders in our political arena?’(The Yorkshire Post, January 29), as if they could somehow transform our political problems.

Matthew Flinders: Where have our leaders gone as Brexit becomes a mess?Read here

In fact, “leaders” in the sense that Prof Flinders means, are 
the last thing we need. What leaders stand for is far more important than charisma for its own sake. Leaders are all dangerous, and the more charismatic they are the more dangerous they are!

History is littered with leaders from Napoleon to Hitler who were disastrous, whereas Clement Attlee, a quiet self-effacing Labour leader, arguably achieved more improvements in British society than any leader since.

I spent 25 years leading or being a member of governance missions to 35 different new and emerging democracies in Africa, Asia, South America and in central and eastern Europe. Few today have functioning democracies with, for instance, sound elections and effective oppositions. If their political parties were based on tribes, regions, religions or charismatic leaders their democratic future was inevitably fragile; only if they were based on some understanding of political values and philosophy were their democracies stable.

What we need in Britain today is a greater awareness of what political values inspire our political parties and underpin their view of the kind of society they want. Then there will be no excuse for electors failing to get involved in the political process.

From: Graham Hill, Wakefield.

WHERE are the real British leaders proud to serve and lead a compelling and meaningful cause such as Brexit?

The Labour leadership that has no purpose, or real cause, has missed the greatest opportunity it has ever had to lead the people of this country (Bill Carmichael, The Yorkshire Post, February 1).

I, myself, am from a true working class background from Normanton, Wakefield, and have always voted Labour. Now in my 60s, I feel I have the right to be heard by people like Yvette Cooper. Brexit gave the Labour party its greatest opportunity to govern this great country again. However, due to its total lack of leadership and small-minded vision, it has no real direction.

Yvette, rise up out of the weeds, raise the British flag above the rooftops of Yorkshire and tell these Europeans that they will never be allowed to have a say in how we manage our borders, lead our people or govern our people. Tell them we would like to trade with the countries of Europe, but we don’t do deals over freedom.