Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

May's convictions

Sir: Nick Timothy seeks sympathy by revealing that his 'loved ones' are upset by the personal attacks to which he is now subject (Diary, 17 June). They could have been spared distress if he had not invited retaliation by swearing at senior ministers and civil servants who crossed him. How could a prim vicar's daughter have allowed endless profanities from this ill-mannered man and his ill-tempered associate Fiona Hill? Perhaps Timothy's most extraordinary claim is that 'a return to traditional campaigning methods' was planned but Lynton Crosby vetoed it. Traditionally the Tories did not contract out their campaign to consultants charging vast fees. The leader and party chairman took charge. The manifesto was carefully costed. Commitments in it were explained in detailed briefings for candidates from the Conservative Research Department.

Timothy fails to tell us what we most want to know. Did the statist manifesto reflect Mrs May's convictions, or were he and 'the brilliant Ben Gummer' able to cook up the whole thing between them because she has no convictions of her own?

Alistair Lexden

House of Lords, London SW1

A brisk electoral response

Sir: Nick Timothy declares a new principle of social justice in claiming that younger people should not pay for the care of older people. The post-war generation were brought up to believe that if they paid their National Insurance contributions, the welfare state would ensure a basic level of care in their old age. And those contributions paid for the sick and elderly at the time. If a government announces a policy which appears to renege on that deal, they can expect a brisk electoral response. Change may be necessary, but to be achieved it needs public understanding and support, not a quick fix in a manifesto.

Andrew Collier

Preston, Lancs

Reflecting on the pause

Sir: Phillip Williamson's article on the 'pause' or 'hiatus' in global warming is unpersuasive ('Oceans apart', 17 June). It misrepresents my position materially: I say that global warming is real and partly man-made but is happening slower than models predicted and is being exaggerated as a threat because of wrong assumptions about climate sensitivity. Mr Williamson's article contradicts itself, saying that the pause was a myth and that the pause ended; it ignores the satellite data, which shows that the pause continues; claims that temperatures have not fallen since the El Niño of last year, which is false; omits all reference to the continuing debate in the scientific literature about whether the pause was real or not; and omits to mention that the UN IPCC itself confirmed that the 'hiatus' happened. …

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