Ignorance still stalks the land

<span>Sir William Beveridge pictured in 1943. </span><span>Photograph: IWM/Getty Images</span>
Sir William Beveridge pictured in 1943. Photograph: IWM/Getty Images

Beth Riding writes of the “five giants” William Beveridge wanted to overcome in 1942 still stalking the land (I’m 17 and haven’t seen a dentist for four years. This is life in England’s NHS dental deserts, 17 April). Agenda Publications noted this and asked five writers to discuss how far the giants had been overcome, in five books published in 2022: Disease on health, Ignorance on education, Idleness on employment, Squalor on housing, and Want on poverty. I did Ignorance and found that there was still a lot of it around!
Sally Tomlinson
Emeritus professor, Goldsmiths, University of London

• Why is the carer’s allowance means tested (Carers describe ‘avalanche of utter stress’ from DWP clawing back benefits, 19 April)? If someone qualifies for the allowance because they provide 35 hours of care per week, what business is it of the state what else the carer does and earns? These carers provide a service that would cost the country far more if they didn’t do it.
Emma Tait

• It seems the cost of living crisis has even affected Tory MPs, if even Mark Menzies didn’t have £5,000 in his bank account (Allegations against ex-Tory MP Mark Menzies referred to Lancashire police, 19 April).
Pat Piercy
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

• Last week I got an email headed “Your exclusive access to Christmas Lights at Leeds Castle.” Is this the earliest Christmas advert of 2024?
Elaine Luke
Fairlight, East Sussex

• Thanks for highlighting Harold “Dickie” Bird’s 91st birthday in your print edition (19 April), but surely you could have written “91 not out”.
Dr Mark Wilcox
New Mill, West Yorkshire