Times' letters: Kindness in Kilburn and antisemitism in Labour

PUBLISHED: 08:30 11 August 2019

John Joe Gillespie offered a helping hand while visiting old haunts.

John Joe Gillespie offered a helping hand while visiting old haunts.


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times' readers this week.

Help others to feel good

John Joe Gillespie, Carshalton, full address supplied, writes:

I took a lunchtime walk from Regents Park to Kilburn. I felt a need to connect with my Irish heritage, Kilburn being the home of many fine Irish folk that came to London in the '50s and '60s, it still is for many.

Along Abbey Road there was an old chap sitting on the bench, shaded by a tree from the sun. He looked Irish, and of course he was. What is it about the Irish diaspora, we can spot a fellow countryman a mile away. Asking the way to Kilburn the ruddy faced chap happily offers, "straight on for a few minutes my friend", said Pat "and take the second road on the left". I did.

Heading along the road I saw an elderly couple opposite carrying what looked like a wardrobe. I looked over once, twice and then thought they would probably appreciate a hand. So of course I offered my assistance. It was not a wardrobe, but a bookcase of some description that I guess they had acquired locally free of charge or at a very decent cost. But here is the love. The couple from Brazil originally, now living in London for many years, were having fun taking their new acquisition home, in spite of the their age and ability to carry the heavy awkward item to their home. They shared genuine smiles and laughter as they and I struggled along with their load, stopping frequently to rest.

My assistance for the last part was well received, relieving the lady of her duties, leaving her only to talk of fun and encouragement to her weary husband in their native tongue. We were passed by a few young healthy bucks but none thought to offer the elderly gentleman a rest. Shame for those young lads as they missed the opportunity to see the love and laughter which we all need from time to time in this busy and often crazy city. Joy and happiness found me that afternoon, it may well find you too if you give it a chance, we all just need to look and listen at those odd life moments that are present all the time!

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Labour Party is clearly tackling antisemitism

Katharine Bligh, Kilburn, full address supplied, writes:

The answer to the question "Is enough being done to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party?" is yes, most definitely.

Since Jennie Formby became general secretary a year ago she has overhauled the disciplinary process, appointed independent barristers and increased the rate at which complaints are being dealt with fourfold.

It has transpired that the vast majority of "complaints" of antisemitism have either not involved members of the Labour Party at all or have had no hard evidence of antisemitism.

In the minority of cases where antisemitism has been proved, appropriate measures have been taken, including expulsions.

Other parties, where antisemitism and other forms of racism including Islamophobia in the Tory Party is far more prevalent, would do well to emulate the Labour Party and introduce equally robust and independent disciplinary procedures of their own.

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