Our blighted birthdays and party politics

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

News of yet another potentially rule-breaking gathering in Downing Street leaves readers in despair

In March 2021, for my 74th birthday, I went to a local park with my 88-year-old husband (Report, 24 January). We bought takeaway coffees and warm Portuguese custard tarts to remind us of a holiday in Lisbon. We found a bench overlooking the river and sat down to celebrate. A park keeper apologetically told us it was illegal for us to sit down and that we had to stand up and move on. That was a birthday party to remember.
Carrie Hill

• On 19 June 2020, Boris Johnson’s fiancee throws a party indoors for his birthday in breach of the rules. On 20 June, our son visits to celebrate his birthday; my son, wife and I sit in the garden at a distance. Then 21 June is my birthday; my wife and I spend the day alone.
David Freedman

• On my second birthday as a widow, in May 2020, I celebrated with an online party, organised by my family. We had great fun until I remarked that the only living beings I was allowed to touch were the dogs being walked in the park.
Val Mainwood
Wivenhoe, Essex

• Why was Lulu Lytle in Downing Street? For almost half of the first lockdown, I nursed an ailing washing machine until I was able to welcome repairers into my house. But then I did not have to suffer the discomfort of dull wallpaper.
Rosemary Jenkins

• Can Carrie Johnson explain why Marks & Spencer food is acceptable for a birthday party, but John Lewis furnishings at No 10 are not?
Richard Ehrlich

• Some of us in the US are watching Boris Johnson’s latest scandal with bemusement. But could you stop calling it “partygate”? You are falling into the lazy habit of America’s hackneyed appending of “-gate” to anything that smacks of impropriety. It’s tired, trite and banal. Surely there is a more quintessentially British word – how about “partyhenge”?
Dave Mackmiller
Saint Paul, Minnesota, US

• Might the term “party politics” take on a new meaning?
David Davidge
Odiham, Hampshire

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