Dear Editor, Despite Labour being soundly trounced in last week’s polls, Gordon Brown’s decision to overturn the decision of the Advisory Council on the misuse of drugs not to reclassify cannabis should set the alarm bells sounding amongst the party faithful.
Although the decision to ignore the expert opinion of the ACMD and reclassify cannabis as ‘Class B’ was announced by the Home Secretary, Jacqi Smith, everybody is well aware that she was only doing her master’s bidding, because Gordon had already decided months ago – even before the ACMD had finished their deliberations – that he knew best on this issue.
In this respect, far from being indecisive, Gordon Brown has been a model of consistency. Remember, this is the same man, who against sound advice, decided to loot the pension funds thereby forcing many schemes into a financial crisis from which many of them are yet to recover and which has resulted in the closure of many final salary schemes and the destruction of a British institution that was World class.
This is the man who disregarded his party’s promise to give the British people a voice on the issue of the European treaty/constitution, because he either did not want or did not feel the necessity to listen to their opinion.
This is the man who, when Chancellor, decided to scrap the 10p tax rate, because he was full of his own cleverness in having devised a "cunning plan" that would produce the semblance of a tax cutting budget while being in fact revenue-neutral, and then as Prime Minister, for an unseemly period of time, ignored the pleas of many of his colleagues to take action to mitigate the effect of this "the unkindest cut of all" on the low paid. No, his latest action shows that the truth is that Gordon has still not "Got It" and he is still not listening!
KEITH DAVIS, Kinver
* Madin's solution to city centre design
Dear Editor, Like all of Madin's buildings, National Westminster House on Colmore Row was designed with great care over a number of years.
It was approved by the city council and completed in 1976, some five years after the Colmore Row Conservation Area was designated.
It was, and remains, a very good attempt to integrate a large modern office building into a historic street scene.
The council was "determined to retain and promote "harmonious" street frontages in terms of scale even before the designation of the Conservation Area in 1971. Winston Churchill House (1964) on New Street, Bank House (1967) on Temple Row and National Westminster House (1975/6) on Colmore Row are each set back behind lower frontage ranges."
As Joe Holyoak says in his letter (May 7) this principle seems to have been ignored by the British Land's architects.
To my mind they have not yet shown that they can improve on Madin's solution to a difficult problem. And, even though the NatWest Tower is not listed, there is a strong case for treating it as such because it is a well-established part of the Conservation Area.
ALAN CLAWLEY, Birmingham
* The real authors of Gisela's comments
Dear Editor, Deirdre Alden in her letter (Post, May 7), is so right with her view that only Gisela Stuart herself makes Gisela Stuart sound and look both foolish and stupid.
Ms Stuart is fast becoming a one woman version of Who's line is it anyway? or possibly "Sorry, I haven't a clue".
Her criticism – which at times seems to be genuine – of both the Blair/Brown Governments does resonate with the general public.
However, when she goes to press with supportive comments, the style and delivery is some how different.
Perhaps, one wonders, if the Labour Party whips are the real authors of these comments.
The "Flip flopping" of Ms. Stuart is like watching a young child pulling the petals from a flower while saying "he loves me, he loves me not" and then upon the outcome of the last petal decides what line she will take – for or against her party, her government and they're current leader.
Over the last weeks, months even years, within the pages of The Birmingham Post and other national newspapers Gisela Stuart has set out her stall and she has laid bare for all to read that her principles and personal policies are not in keeping with those of her Government.
If Ms Stuart has travelled along her own road to "Damascus", then maybe her directional compass is faulty for she seems stuck at a crossroads and the people of Edgbaston and Birmingham at large, are suffering because of it!
PAUL BURKE, Sutton Coldfield