Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Nothing to fear

Sir: So long as we are not breaking any law, we have nothing to fear from the police being able to access our mobiles ('Licence to snoop', 11 October). They, however, would be committing a crime if they released any information so gleaned to anyone except to the judiciary if we are being accused of a crime.

In these difficult times it is reassuring that the police should have every means at their disposal in pursuing those who would do us harm or commit criminal activity.

Adrian Snow

South Cerney, Cirencester

In defence of KP

Sir: Peter Oborne is right that some of Kevin Pietersen's most brilliant innings over the past ten years will stay with cricket lovers for ever ('An excess of spin', 11 October), but wrong that his autobiography, KP, won't. The vivid prose has lifted the lid on what has been said in the dressing room and challenged the adage that what is said there should remain there. As Pietersen puts it, 'There was a story that had to be told'; cutting against the spin, there is also a case to answer. What comes over most clearly is that any enjoyment had gone out of playing for England. Pietersen may best be served by a period of silence on his part, while a new chief executive of the ECB takes up the post. I'm not betting on the silence, but something better must surely emerge for players and cricket lovers alike. The book will stay among my cricket books, alphabetically by author, alongside Oborne's brilliant Basil D'Oliveira (2004) for as long as I have them; to be joined, I hope, by future memoirs of players whose joy at playing for this country is once again palpable and for whom some fun is restored to touring abroad.

Malcolm Watson

Welford, Berkshire

Essex, man!

Sir: I am pleased to report that I have never, while in Scotland, been on the receiving end of the dismal service meted out to Rory Sutherland on his visit there (The Wiki Man, 11 October). Perhaps I don't visit Scotland often enough.

But as a contented settler in Essex, I was delighted to see, at long last, someone from sophisticated cosmopolitan circles singing the praises of the much-maligned folk of that county. The cheap slurs regularly hurled at the brash materialism of Basildon (or indeed Clacton) Man and the allegedly highly developed libido of the Essex Girl (I am the proud -- but far from naive -- father of three of the species) probably mask a secret envy of the targets' entrepreneurial flair and chutzpah. Essex is often, as Mr Sutherland suggests, Britain at its best. I only wish he had also drawn attention to the fact that a good number of those paragons of 'service culture' in the county of Essex speak with broad Glaswegian or (increasingly) Polish accents. …

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