Letters: The PM has finally shown voters that he can govern like a Conservative

Rishi Sunak standing in front of a tractor in Chelmsford
Rishi Sunak in Chelmsford - Simon Dawson/No 10 Downing Street

SIR – Just by reviewing who has thrown the toys out of their pram following Rishi Sunak’s speech on net zero, it is obvious that he has managed – against his track record – to do something that will be both right in the eyes of the electorate and actually Conservative.

Phil Coutie
Exeter, Devon

SIR – In the past year, when discussing “going green” with my young, I’ve used the mantra: you have to be rich to be green. I am pleased that the PM has acknowledged that fact.

Peter Gore
Tenterden, Kent

SIR – I am a 77-year-old widow living in a house built in 1932 that has gas central heating. I also drive a 10-year-old petrol car. Could those attacking Rishi Sunak explain how I can afford an electric car and a heat pump?
Janet Milliken
Folkestone, Kent

SIR – I wonder if the Chinese government, with its 1,440 coal-fired power stations, is worried as to the consequences of Rishi Sunak’s U-turn.

William T Hawkyard
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

SIR – On the Today programme yesterday, Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, asserted that the lifetime cost of an EV is already lower than that of a petrol or diesel car, and claimed that by 2030 the upfront costs will also be lower. 
If that is true and there is adequate provision of charging points by 2030, why does he think there is a need for a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by that date? People will naturally go for the cheaper option.

Moreover, if we impose a ban before other countries, we will be exposed to huge and focused competition from China, which would undermine British car manufacturing and threaten jobs.

Ian Cunningham
Welwyn, Hertfordshire

SIR – I am surprised the car industry is up in arms about the postponement of the ban on selling petrol cars. The rising price of petrol will eventually persuade the public to buy electric, particularly as the industry runs down its production of petrol cars. The Government is investing in battery plants despite the postponement.

This is a moment to be positive and optimistic about the future.

Jonathan Williams
Sleaford, Lincolnshire

SIR – All I need now is for the PM to announce that he will be meeting with Rolls-Royce to discuss the future roll-out of small modular reactors. Then I will reconsider my decision never to vote Conservative again.

Andrew McCabe
Beedon Hill, Berkshire

SIR – Might fracking now slip back on to the agenda?
Alan Hetherington

Junior doctor exodus

SIR – I recently had dinner with one of my granddaughters and her partner. One is a newly qualified doctor, the other due to complete the second year of hospital training next year.

They both despair at the state of the NHS and the dreadful conditions of their work – so much so that they plan to leave for Australia as soon as my granddaughter has completed her second year. They claim that eight out of 10 of their contemporaries have either already done so or plan to very soon. They say it is not only the unsatisfactory rate of pay, but also the appalling working conditions and absent or antiquated IT within the system.

My granddaughter has wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember, but she is so disillusioned now that she is seriously looking at an alternative career. How sad and worrying.

Geraint Lloyd-Watts
Northop, Flintshire

SIR – Philip Johnston is spot on (“The BMA doesn’t care about patients. It wants total power over a broken NHS”, Comment, September 20).

The British Medical Association’s justifications for striking for a 35 per cent pay increase demand the answer to a simple question: is harming patients in pursuit of money right or wrong?

If the BMA activists and their followers struggle with that, they should ask their children, who will instantly provide the correct answer.

Dr Andrew Longstaff
Consultant radiologist
Hillesley, Gloucestershire

John Lewis gimmicks

SIR – I am not surprised that John Lewis has lost its way (Letters, September 12). It has just sent me two embossed partnership cards in the post. One was addressed to me in a hand-written style thanking me for being such a loyal customer.

The other had a stamp on it so I can write my own note and send it to a friend I value.

Does Dame Sharon White really think John Lewis customers or the partners want money spent on such gimmicks? I’d much rather she focused on its core business and made the UK’s favourite retailer profitable again.

Joanne Stanley-Jones
Waterlooville, Hampshire

The Church Arms

SIR – I read with interest that a priest was accused of desecration after installing beer pumps in a 600-year-old church (report, September 21).

Some three years ago, our village pub closed and with it went the heart of the community. In response our churchwarden established a pop-up pub at the back of our medieval building by the lavatory. Named the Church Arms, it was not necessarily always open but did serve the community on two Friday evenings a month. The concept was not universally welcome, either within the parochial church council itself or in the wider flock. Their concerns were all fully justified, and were both temporal and spiritual in nature. However, the diocese was supportive.

The Church Arms proved very popular and for some helped to demystify the Church. What it also did was show that there was a market for a pub in this village.

Amid much celebration, our Green Man pub has now reopened under new owners and the pop-up pubs have been stood down accordingly. I did pray for the return of our village pub and I am delighted that my prayers were answered.

Lt Col Lyndon Robinson (retd)
Mursley, Buckinghamshire

Infected blood victims

SIR – Wrongfully convicted postmasters have been offered £600,000 each in full and final compensation for the Horizon scandal (report, September 19), before the inquiry has published its final report.

Victims of the infected blood scandal (report, September 17), meanwhile, are dying at a rate of one every four days, yet the Government continues to sit on its hands, insisting that it must wait for the infected blood inquiry’s final report before a compensation scheme can be announced.

The postmasters have, of course, suffered, and are deserving of compensation – but so, too, are the other victims of state negligence and incompetence, who have waited for years already for proper redress and are repeatedly told to be patient.

What the Horizon compensation package highlights is that the Government could do the right thing by infected blood victims if it wanted to. Instead, however, it chooses to continue pushing the matter of compensation for this scandal into the long grass.

Jason Evans
Director, Factor 8
London E16

India’s parliament

SIR – The final session of Lok Sabha (the Indian parliament’s lower house) in its original building took place this week.

The building, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, was completed in 1927 to house India’s first parliament, which had been inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught in 1921. As with the closure of the India Club (Features, August 23), another chapter in Indo-British relations has sadly ended.

Rohan Fernando
Epsom, Surrey

Ironing odyssey

SIR – I have worked out that, over the 51 years of my marriage, I ironed my husband’s shirts 18,564 times (Letters, September 21).

Most of it was therapeutic.

Alison Alldridge
Pittenweem, Fife

SIR – I recently consigned my 25-year-old iron to the recycling bin and bought a clothes steamer.

This device is fast and foolproof – and you have one hand free for a glass of wine.

Blanaid Walker
Witney, Oxfordshire

The highest point in Tower Bridge’s history

Tower Bridge seen from London Bridge in February mist
The beauty of the morning: Tower Bridge seen from London Bridge in February mist - Alamy

SIR – Eleanor Steafel (Features, September 20) shares some interesting vignettes from the history of Tower Bridge, but does not mention my favourite event: the flight through the bridge by an RAF Hawker Hunter jet fighter on April 5 1968.

The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Alan Pollock, was pilloried by the top brass but remains something of a hero to the rest of us.

Colin Cummings
Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire

SIR – My late father recollected that, when he was a boy, he watched as evidence of the horse traffic that used Tower Bridge rolled down the slope as the bascule rose – to be quickly cleared up by a waiting road sweeper with broom and barrow.

His own father had watched the opening ceremony, conducted by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1894, but it is not known whether this spectacle featured.

Ivor Davies
Chatham, Kent

Welsh residents tired of relentless nannying

SIR – Those of us unfortunate enough to live in Wales have begun driving everywhere at 20mph (Letters, September 21).

The situation here is an absolute shambles.

First, with the alcohol tax, we were told what we could and couldn’t drink; then, with the three-for-two ready-meal tax, we were told what to eat. Now we are being told how fast – or, rather, how slowly – we can drive.

What next? Will we be told what type of clothes we must wear, how many hours’ sleep we must get – or how many times a day we can flush the lavatory?

Alan Bolton
Chepstow, Monmouthshire

SIR – I live in Wales, approximately one mile from my town’s centre, and can guarantee that it will now take me at least twice as long to drive there – about five minutes, rather than the one minute that Mark Drakeford estimates.

From a safety perspective, I and most of my friends suspect that we will all spend more time looking at the speedometer – and, consequently, less time looking at the road.

Doug Morris

SIR – Over the past week I have noticed an unintended consequence of the introduction of 20mph zones in our area.

Those joining from minor side roads – particularly white vans – are no longer stopping to check and just driving straight out on to the main road.

Presumably they are assuming that those on the priority road will be able to stop in a shorter distance.

Charles Carter
Llanteg, Pembrokeshire

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