Letter to Editor: Harlow Tories proposal to re-name Allende Avenue is a disgrace

General / Tue 24th May 2022 at 07:11am

HARLOW Council Leader Russell Perrin’s proposal to re-name Allende Avenue is a disgrace.  

In 1970, a socialist called Salvador Allende was elected as President of Chile, which was once known as “the England of South America” on account of its tradition of democratic freedoms. The USA waged a campaign of sabotage and economic warfare against his left-wing government, culminating in the CIA-backed coup by the US-trained armed forces on 11th September 1973, which installed General Pinochet.  

General Pinochet’s regime murdered 3,000 political opponents and tortured 40,000, and also forced 200,000 people (2 per cent of the population) into exile. Pinochet’s extreme monetarist policies, implemented on the advice of economists from the University of Chicago, impoverished ordinary people in Chile.  

Infant mortality, which had reduced significantly during Allende’s Presidency, increased by 18 per cent during the first year of the military government. By the end of 1975 Chile’s annual rate of inflation had reached 341 per cent. It was estimated that by the end of 1975, the real income of the poorest urban workers had declined to one-third of what it was in 1972.

Before the coup, unemployment in Chile was 3.1 percent, one of the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. By July 1976 approximately a quarter of the population had no income at all, and depended on food and cloth­ing distributed by humanitarian organi­sations.

General Pinochet’s thugs “disappeared” its opponents, and now Councillor Perrin wants to  “disappear” the memory of Allende and the circumstances of his overthrow. This nasty attempt at historical denialism may not be unconnected to the fact that Pinochet was a friend of Margaret Thatcher, whom he visited on a number of occasions.  

Some on the left have long suspected that the commitment of some Conservatives to democratic values is only skin-deep. Russell Perrin’s proposal to paint over the memory of the best-known victim of General Pinochet does nothing to allay that suspicion. Many people in Britain, Chile, and the rest of the world will see Councillor Perrin’s proposal as metaphorically spitting on the graves of Pinochet’s victims.     

Yours sincerely 

John Wake 

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21 Comments for Letter to Editor: Harlow Tories proposal to re-name Allende Avenue is a disgrace:

2022-05-24 07:32:06

Good riddance , it needs to be named after someone from Harlow or at least the UK. Let's get rid of the ridiculous named Mandela Avenue as well.

J Smithson
2022-05-24 09:15:19

Anyone want to tell Carol that the Ukrainian leader is not from the UK? And what is it that she has against Nelson Mandela?

James Leppard
2022-05-24 10:15:36

It should be pointed out to Mr Wake that Cllr Perrin is not proposing to rename the road ‘Pinochet’ Avenue. Neither does Cllr Perrin condone the brutality of the Pinochet regime. Why Harlow should have an Avenue named after a South American politician, who is little known to Harlow residents might be open to question. The current ordeal being faced by Ukraine against a brutal invader is something that touches all of us in the Free World and is far more relevant than an obscure South American communist leader who ruined his country’s economy leading to hyperinflation, capital flight and a default on its international debt obligations.

james nicholson
2022-05-24 11:03:05

Carol, your racist side is showing a touch, why the flying hell does it matter what they name a street over here?

J Smithson
2022-05-24 11:51:15

Mr Leppard here, following the national Tory playbook by using a war to distract from his party's recent local issues. How's your vetting process coming along?

James Leppard
2022-05-24 13:23:40

J Smithson, your flippant attitude towards a barbaric invasion does you no credit. I am extremely pleased that the British government has taken a lead role internationally in supporting Ukraine both with arms, troop deployments to our Eastern NATO allies, imposing sanctions and standing up to blatant Russian aggression. Just imagine how Putin would be rejoicing if we had a Jeremy Corbyn as PM.

J Smithson
2022-05-24 13:38:04

And publicly arguing with a constituent of the ward you represent as a councillor does you little credit either, Mr Leppard. It seems that the previous leader of the Labour Party lives rent free in your head, why else mention his name when he has nothing to do with the conversation. Poor people in this country and in your ward will no doubt be comforted by us sending bombs to Ukraine when their bills rocket again in October and the government once again sit down their hands.

2022-05-24 16:27:58

Well said Carol, personally I’d love a road named after the great Mrs Thatcher. The best post war PM this country has had. Get rid of all the street names with lefties and terrorists on them in the town.

J Smithson
2022-05-24 16:41:16

Why stop there Steve. Should we name some after her friends like Jimmy Savile?

2022-05-24 16:44:39

Carol, you should know better As soon as you have any comment that the woke brigade don't like, then you must be a racist as James Nicholson implies. Imagine if a road was going to be renamed Churchill Avenue. There would probably be protests at the Town Hall day and night.

James Leppard
2022-05-24 18:12:24

Jim, your suggestion regarding a Churchill Avenue may not be so wild. He has far more local connections than any of the other names mentioned. He was in fact our MP from 1924 until 1945, including as Prime Minister from 1940-45. Until 1974, Harlow part of the much larger former Epping constituency. Therefore, the link to Harlow is beyond doubt.

2022-05-24 18:25:17

Let's name it either: Chris Vince or Rob Halfon ......what a joke

2022-05-24 19:47:09

Thank you James. That is beyond doubt of his connection to the area. If Allende Avenue is to be renamed, perhaps Churchill Avenue would not be a bad idea!

2022-05-25 07:52:42

Mr Leppard. The help with those struggling in Ukraine: does that include all those refugees that the Tory Government have wrapped up in immigration red tape? Or are we just throwing money we haven't got at the pro lem to prop up our arms trade that will only prolong the conflict in Ukraine? Please define what is meant by helping the war in Ukraine? At the moment it's bluster and money when it comes to real assistance the Conservative government offer nothing.

martin chapman
2022-05-25 08:43:56

do not rename them just fix the bloody holes

2022-05-25 11:11:10

Rename it “roady mcroadface”

James Leppard
2022-05-25 13:27:03

Danny, I think you will find that the Ukrainian government and majority of Ukrainian people might see it somewhat differently to you. The Ukrainian government has already stated that high tech British weaponry is inflicting huge damage on the invaders. Your idea of starving the Ukrainian forces of the means to resist is nothing less than capitulation and occupation by Putin. Great plan!

David Forman
2022-05-25 15:05:44

Cllr Leopard, may we have a statue of Labour's Leah Manning for the fantastic work she did in rescuing refugee children from the Basque region of Spain as a result of the Spanish Civil War. The 75th anniversary of this astounding humanitarian act is this month and you can read about it at the following link: http://www.international-brigades.org.uk/content/leah-manning-and-women-who-helped-rescue-basque-children#:~:text=Leah%20Manning%20and%20the%20women%20who%20helped%20rescue%20Basque%20children Incidentally, the then Tory government only allowed the children into Britain on the condition they did not receive a penny of state money and were required to subsist on voluntary aid.

David Forman
2022-05-25 15:07:05

Cllr Leppard, sorry spell checker spelt your name incorrectly.

David Forman
2022-05-25 15:24:03

Just an apdate on the Conservatives attitude to refugees from website refugeehistory.org regarding the Basque children: "Following the devastating bombing of the market town of Guernica in April 1937 by the planes of the Nazi Condor Legion, there was such outrage in Britain that the government finally and reluctantly agreed to allow a single boatload of refugee children - niños (de la guerra) - and their accompanying adults to enter Britain. On May 21st 1937 the SS Habana evacuated almost 4000 children from Bilbao to Southampton." "The British government, however, refused any financial responsibility for the children and made it a condition that no public money was to be used to support them: they were to be supported entirely by volunteers and voluntary funds. The Government argued that supporting the child refugees would violate the Non-Intervention Agreement. It also demanded that the newly-formed Basque Children's Committee guarantee 10/- per week (equivalent to £30+ today) for the care and education of each child."

James Leppard
2022-05-25 19:02:05

David Forman, thanks for your comments. I am familiar with Leah Mannings humanitarian works during the Spanish Civil War. It is a conflict that I am familiar with; an uncle of mine was killed at Jarama fighting for the Republicans. We already have the Leah Manning Centre in her memory. She succeeded Churchill as our MP from 1945-50, when she lost the seat. She also figures in Harlow Museum.

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