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Letters: Voters are tiring of the Tories’ hot air as the energy crisis deepens

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 10/08/2022 Letters to the Editor
People are looking for leadership as the cost of living crisis deepens © Provided by The Telegraph People are looking for leadership as the cost of living crisis deepens

SIR – As the debate continues over who should be the next prime minister, all we hear are arguments about whether the solution to the critical challenges facing Britain is to take more money from us or let us keep more money to cope with the rising cost of living.

Nobody, however, is telling us what is being done, now, to address the problems that are threatening to bring the country to its knees.

What practical action is being taken to secure our energy supplies – not to mention fix the NHS and stop uncontrolled immigration? It is high time that someone in this Government actually started governing.

Thomas Le Cocq

Batcombe, Somerset

SIR – After reading Allison Pearson’s comments on gas and electricity costs (Features, August 10), I looked into my own bills.

The basics of gas, electricity, water and council tax account for just over 80 per cent of my recently acquired full state pension. The problem is that, if I switch to the cheapest one-year energy deal, the cost will increase to nearly 150 per cent of that pension.

I am fortunate because I still run my own business, so can cope – but many millions cannot. I believe we do still have a prime minister, and a few other ministers, too. What are they doing?

David Perkins

Lytham, Lancashire

SIR – Has a prime minister of this country ever left office with such apparent disregard for the enormous problems being left behind?

Cameron Morice

Reading, Berkshire

SIR – Allison Pearson is quite right. The uncertainty over who will be our next prime minister cannot continue.

Rishi Sunak should pull out of the contest and offer his support to Liz Truss, so that we can have a government capable of making the decisions our nation needs now.

Charles Crawford

Winchester, Hampshire

Replay Video

SIR – My wife and I attended the Darlington hustings on Tuesday, undecided but tending towards Liz Truss.

We came away still undecided but impressed by Rishi Sunak in person. He had a lot of Boris Johnson’s energy, but without the bluster, and he unashamedly articulated the conservative values of family, country, hard work and personal responsibility – all of which have wide appeal.

He’s a fighter. He doesn’t want to throw in the towel, but he won’t throw his toys out of the pram if he loses. He will serve in a Truss Cabinet if asked.

It also seems to me that his decision to vote Leave, in opposition to his party leader’s wishes, was a genuinely bold move for a new MP. Remain was expected to win, so he was choosing to stay on the backbenches.

Mr Sunak has the steely integrity that has been lacking in Britain’s highest office – and we are now tending towards him.

Jonathan Wainwright

Penrith, Cumbria

Wasted water

SIR – When ownership of the water company I worked for changed hands, the first to be sacked were those in the very effective leaks department.

The reasoning was that the company didn’t pay for the water, so why pay to search for the leak?

However, things were no better on the consumer side. For example, my surveys included a small factory that had connected a lavatory overflow via a hose to a drain. The manager complained about the water costs.

My advice would be to keep weekly meter readings so that any change can be quickly detected.

T C Bell

Penrith, Cumbria

SIR – I refuse to feel guilty about using water that I pay for.

Water companies receive their income no matter what is going on. But they should be using it to improve supply and storage. George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, should be working to ensure that this happens, not calling for a national hose-pipe ban.

British politicians have had since 1976 to deal with this problem, yet here we are again. Did no one notice the exceptionally dry springs of the past three years – or the very dry winter just gone?

Daphne Wells

Cosby, Leicestershire

SIR – Water is like money: there is no shortage, but it is in all the wrong places.

Anthony Clark

Kendal, Cumbria

SIR – For many years I lived in the Northumbrian Water region. Thanks to its proactive investment in the enormous Kielder reservoir, I was supplied with good clean water and never had to suffer a hose-pipe ban.

The other water companies have no excuse.

Rob Turnbull


Larkin in Hull

SIR – I must thank Michael Deacon (Arts, August 9) for his evocative piece about Philip Larkin.

I recall the sense of awe he inspired among students at the University of Hull, an institution which struck me during my time there as a student in the early 1980s as quietly appreciative and protective of him.

One can only hope that his poetry will not be cancelled there. He would doubtless have reacted with his usual wry irony and wit.

Dr Sarah Alyn Stacey

Trinity College Dublin

Replay Video

NHS idolatry

SIR – It is sad that Dave Thomas’s father-in-law had a long NHS wait (Letters, August 9) but to blame the Government is unfair.

Huge sums have been ploughed into this organisation, but any attempt to modernise it into an efficient machine will be vilified by Lefties as “Tory privatisation.” It is they, and those who have crowned the NHS a national icon, who are really to blame.

To say so is not a slur against the people who work for the NHS, many of whom agree that they are constrained by the politicisation of an organisation that we can no longer afford in its present form.

Archie Douglas

Richmond, Surrey

SIR – I do not fear a meltdown of the NHS, more a sinking without trace.

Nearly two months after a telephone “consultation” with my local hospital, I finally received a letter of confirmation on Monday – five copies of it, each in a separate envelope. What a waste of time, postage and printing, especially if this is being done for every patient.

Helen Mills

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

SIR – When we go to a shop, pub or cinema we pay for goods or a service, and don’t think twice about it. When living abroad, if I went to see a GP, I paid. There seemed nothing unusual about it, as that was the system.

Sadly, the free service offered by the NHS is now regarded as a right and not a service to be paid for individually. Perversely, something that costs us tends to be treated with greater respect. If you have paid for goods or services, you have every right to expect a good-quality product.

If we want a health system that functions and that people respect and don’t abuse, a form of payment – insurance-based or otherwise – should be formulated and the tax system adjusted to take account of this.

The sooner the festering boil of NHS funding is lanced the better. This means putting responsibility back on the individual not the state.

Alexander Mackie

London SW17

Nigerian treasures

SIR – It is hugely gratifying that works of art taken from Nigeria in the past are being returned (report, August 7).

However, of all the public and private museums now rushing to do this, the British Museum apparently remains constrained by an Act of Parliament. One hopes this will soon be reviewed, to enable the museum to let go of its hoard.

In 1973, a military head of Nigeria’s government, on an official visit to Britain, presented the Queen with a Benin bronze head, perhaps the most precious artwork ever displayed in the Nigerian National Museum. While the work was a present, willingly given, it would be a great gesture of goodwill if this priceless head were to join other works on their way back to their country. The British Museum might then have no serious excuses.

S F Adefajo

Colchester, Essex

Snap, crackle and drop

SIR – Sometimes the scientific mind lacks practicality (Letters, August 10). A cube-shaped cereal box might waste less cardboard, but it would be more difficult to grasp than a tall, thin one.

Sheila Williams

Ascot, Berkshire

SIR – G R Booth (Letters, August 8) should eat Weetabix – the box is packed full of British-grown cereal.

Tom Bliss

Sleaford, Lincolnshire

Crowning glory of the Commonwealth Games

Joel Makin of Team Wales in the squash mixed doubles quarter-final against England - Eddie Keogh/Getty Images © Provided by The Telegraph Joel Makin of Team Wales in the squash mixed doubles quarter-final against England - Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

SIR – As a television viewer, I found that one of the most captivating sports at the Commonwealth Games was squash.

The concentration on the players’ faces, the clever use of the rackets and last-minute flicks, the creation of space and the tactical rallies, building like a game of chess – all were superb. The clarity of the filming showed how tiring the long rallies really are. Great coverage – and well done to the BBC.

Edward Tomlinson

Duffield, Derbyshire

SIR – My wife and I attended the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and what a joyous experience it was.

The city looked magnificent. It was clean and tidy, with a wonderful festival vibe. The volunteers were friendly and helpful, while the buses to and from the Alexander Stadium and the management of the crowds were superbly organised. The atmosphere within the stadium was electric, with fantastic support for all of the athletes. The “friendly games” is a description richly deserved. Well done, Birmingham.

Richard Neal

Child Okeford, Dorset

A more sensible approach to speed limits

SIR – A law that does not have public support will be ignored.

Blanket speed limits of 20mph (Letters, August 10) are not the best way to reduce accidents and will have unforeseen consequences. Targeted speed limits with reasons, such as “Works entrance – lorries crossing”, will be accepted and obeyed.

The best example I have seen was a sign that read: “School – 20mph speed limit 0800-0900 and 1600-1700.” During those hours the sign was illuminated with flashing amber lights. Its purpose was understood and drivers complied.

Grenville Edwards

Albaston, Cornwall

SIR – Scottish Borders Council’s 20mph speed limit in all towns and villages will soon have been in place for a year.

However, all rural single-track roads in the Borders are still covered by a 60mph limit, which makes no sense. These roads date from the days of the horse and cart, and feature blind bends, poor visibility, narrow verges, overgrown vegetation, and broken and patched surfaces. They are used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders.

A lower limit of 30mph, if not of 20mph, should be introduced.

William Loneskie

Oxton, Berwickshire

SIR – Only one local authority has the right idea on speed limits.

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has introduced 30mph in one direction and 20mph in the other.

Edward Dawes

New Malden, Surrey

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