Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Hunting for real Tories

Sir: It is interesting to note that more than 10 per cent (four) of the 39 Tory MPs who comprise the Free Enterprise Group, which your correspondent James Forsyth assures us is full of young radicals determined to lead a fightback from the Tory right ('Next right', 23 June), are committed to keeping the ban on fox-hunting. How can you be a right-wing Tory and be anti-hunting? If this is the best that the Tory right has to offer, then Ukip must be looking good.

Peter Holt Wellington, Telford

Debt is the problem

Sir: Your leading article is misconceived ('Summit of arrogance', 23 June).

The financial mess which is lazily and misleadingly labelled 'eurozone crisis' is actually a debt crisis which also affects the UK, the US, Japan and other advanced economies which are not part of the eurozone. These countries have in common with the peripheral nations of the eurozone either a history of profligate spending by irresponsible sovereign governments (as in Greece) or reckless lending by their banks (as happened in Ireland and Spain), or both.

Adoption of the euro per se is clearly not the cause of the problem and those countries within the eurozone would not be in trouble if they had observed the rules of its stability and growth pact, or not fiddled their books in order to adopt the euro.

You admit the cause of the crisis yourself, perhaps inadvertently, by saying that 'the Greek government spent years living beyond its means while not bothering to collect the taxes due to it'. Precisely - and that predated and had nothing to do with the euro itself.

David Woodhead Leatherhead, Surrey

Rail mail

Sir: Perhaps Justine Greening (Letters, 23 June) would care to ride on the Cambridge express out of King's Cross, preferably in the front, first class compartment (I'm sure we could run to that for her on this occasion) and see whether she can drink a cup of coffee without spilling it, type an email without constantly hitting the wrong key, or fill in the crossword. If, in addition, she has that sickening feeling that the train might not stay on the track, she could be drawn to the conclusion that a better investment would be to improve our existing network, over which the business of the country is currently conducted, rather than spend money we don't have on High Speed 2.

John Willan By email

Sir: The Spectator is to be congratulated on realising that HS2 is a grand canard - or, in this case, a dead duck. It is a waste of money and the wrong priority. HS2's green credentials and its business case credentials have been firmly undermined at every challenge point and it has lost its reason to exist. …

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