May’s Easter message did little to bring together this Disunited Kingdom

Church of England or Church of Brexit? Theresa May's Easter speech took a distinctly religious tone: Neil Hall - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Theresa May will know that in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter message he spoke of the importance of facts rather than opinion. Did she, I wonder, pause to reflect on the misinformation surrounding last year's referendum before issuing her clumsy attempt to link Christianity to Brexit?

In it she said, "There is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead."

I would be very interested to know of the evidence for this opinion. In my experience, those who voted Remain, whether Christian or not, are as appalled at the direction of travel of this Disunited Kingdom as they were last June: maybe more so as fact after disturbing fact reveals itself.

Patrick Cosgrove


A not so all time low

Trump states US-Russia relations are “at an all-time low”. Lucky the USSR no longer exists; the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was then an all-time low, a button press away from the end of the world.

Mike Bor


There is no suitable compensation

It is almost unbelievable that airlines are still allowed to overbook and then legally force passengers off flights. The offering of compensation is no excuse – even when it is done properly.

Why should paid-up passengers have to change their plans (not always possible, of course) to make airline executives even richer?

A simple solution would be for airlines to underbook and keep a few seats free. They could then use these for repositioning staff, offer them to standby passengers or even at a premium to short-notice bookers.

Mike Margetts


Grammar schools

We will know that grammar schools work in our society when people who don't get in extoll their virtues (No 11-year-old should be called a 'failure' for not getting into grammar school, Letters, Monday).

Nicki Bartlett


I think Janet Street-Porter (As a working-class person who benefited hugely from grammar school, I hope more children are allowed that opportunity, 14 April) expresses the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of Britons who were able to escape the limitations of working-class life thanks to state grammar schools in the decades after the Second World War.

I was certainly one of them: a railwayman's son whose life went in directions that previous generations in the family could never have conceived, let alone attained, without the opportunity offered by a modest rural grammar school education – supplemented, let me stress, by other experiences: in the Scouts, in an amateur music group and elsewhere outside the classroom.

This was not an elite grammar school of ancient establishment, but a small state school in a relatively deprived area, and it broadened my horizons to an extent that neither I nor my parents could have appreciated. This had its downsides, but who would not wish for such a chance of personal advancement? What many of us fervently desire is for children of today's generation to have similar opportunities.

Whether the grammar schools of the 1950s could work again I do not know. I have a distinct impression that the devoted teachers who helped me to discover my abilities are today so hedged around by oversight that they cannot develop the human relationship with their pupils that effective pedagogy requires.

Ronald J Hill

Address supplied

A useful guise

Hiba Khan does a service in exposing the gangster aspect of Isis (Isis and al-Qaeda are little more than glorified drug cartels, and their motivation is money not religion, 16 April 2017) but her presentation of the movement as a flag of convenience for crime.

The psychologist Gordon Allport identified “extrinsic” believers of religion, for whom the belief system is a mode of self-deception to bolster systems of power and privilege. I suspect that many Isis supporters, attracted by the movement’s "legitimating" of their acquisition of wealth, power and women, all by unjustifiable violence, fall into the extrinsic category.

Francis Beswick


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