Climate change is the grim milestone that defines our age. We are faced with an existential menace that threatens the foundation of human rights, wellbeing, food security, equality and the vital habitats that sustain us.
We have just witnessed how extreme heatwaves, storms and blazes can work synergistically to cause death and devastation on an unprecedented scale. However, health secretary Matt Hancock is right that it is infeasible to ask people to stop flying to save the planet. Travelling promotes cultural diversity, tolerance, human dignity and understanding of the other.
What we direly need is political leadership that promotes clean and renewable energy and healthier lifestyles.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
No money for Megxit
The situation has changed since Meghan lived in Canada, and they are now a high-profile couple. It is possible that they will have the same headache with the press, only in a different location.
The couple have stated that they are working towards being financially independent. Fine, but it would be unreasonable and unacceptable for the British taxpayer to contribute to support their expat lifestyle, especially with regard to their home and security.
If Frogmore Cottage is to be unused for the majority of the year, then it would ease the British taxpayer’s purse if the security arrangements were scaled back to a minimum for this property.
Ms Janine Hyatt
Boris Johnson’s childhood ambition was to be king. Now that his wish has been granted, perhaps we can hope that the coming year of negotiations with the EU will prove so trying, and the media so critical, that he will decide to emulate Prince Harry and go to live across the Atlantic.
Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire
Full of hot air
With the government’s dubious bailout of Flybe, its support for a third Heathrow runway and its proscribing of Extinction Rebellion, it’s safe to say all its assurances that it’s taking climate change seriously are self-evidently hot air. Which is just adding to the problem.
Diversity in classical music
A diversity of perspectives, thought and ideas is good for business and creativity whether onstage, offstage or among audiences themselves. The leaders of classical music organisations must act immediately, taking concerted actions to become more inclusive in all that they do, attracting new audiences and diversifying their workforce. This is both a moral and business imperative and the time for complacency has to be over.
A closed circle in any industry is unwelcoming and off-putting. Particularly a sector that receives a very significant percentage of Arts Council England’s budget for music. Classical music organisations must therefore work harder to open their doors to all so that they become representative of society as a whole and more relevant to the very people who, through paying taxes or purchasing National Lottery tickets, are supporting their work.
Matt Griffiths, chief executive of Youth Music
Keep the blue flag flying
UK institutions and buildings removing the blue flag of the Council of Europe on 31 January adds to the sadness felt by millions of UK subjects at our departure from the EU.
It is also quite unnecessary and inappropriate to remove this flag. It should be pointed out that this is the flag created by the Council of Europe in 1955. The UK was one of the founder members of the Council of Europe and we remain as one of its 47 member nations.
The 12 gold stars within the blue flag do not represent nations; they stand for unity, solidarity, peace and harmony among the people of Europe. Churchill was one of the founder members of the Council of Europe.
We may be leaving the EU but we are not leaving the Council of Europe. The EEC (later the EU) was given licence to use the flag by the Council of Europe in 1985.
Leaving the EU has no impact upon the UK’s membership of the Council of Europe. We are entitled to fly this flag whenever and wherever we wish and have this emblem on our car number plates.
It is the flag and the ensign of the Council of Europe and can be flown as a symbol of peace, harmony and pursuance of human rights by anyone in the UK and in all 47 member nations.
For whom the bell tolls
I see that Boris Johnson has called for the public to crowdfund £500,000 so that Big Ben can bong at 11pm on 31 January. This ponderous bell ends our union with a multitude of close neighbours: is any further spectacle really necessary?
Wolverton, Milton Keynes