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“After the last month, what or who have you got instead?”, asked Iain Martin in his newsletter. 

The answer is Kemi Badenoch. It is the only hope for the Conservative Party. Hunt is universally loathed.  He has openly called for vaccine mandates, harder lockdowns, blah blah – all things that have been TOTALLY discredited. Even the autocratic types in the Johnson government backed down from enforcing the vaccine mandate on 100,000 NHS staff, but what did Hunt say immediately? “My concern is that having marched the NHS to the top of the hill and having won a very important patient safety argument, we are now doing a U-turn. What will happen the next time the Secretary of State wants to introduce an important vaccine, for example for flu, and make it mandatory?”.

I think the two scariest people in UK politics at the minute are Hunt and Starmer. Starmer could have brought down the government essentially at any time since his appointment (there were always enough rebels against the authoritarian Covid stuff): but of course not – because the Johnson government was doing his bidding via the unions. Every single lockdown was caused by the NEU and other unions demanding things get shut down, and Johnson and cronies were too cowardly to make a stand.

Heaven help us when Starmer gets into power.  Badenoch might just gain the Conservative party a touch of credibility by taking on the nonsense of the culture wars and by standing up to these playground bullies that are making day-to-day life a misery.

Alex Starling, London

Are we returning to the last days of the Roman Empire?

I see your Deputy Chairman, Mark Fox in his article of 13th October, metaphorically handed Kwasi Kwarteng the revolver and the whisky bottle and told him to do the honourable thing. His reasoning is that the Chancellor has lost the confidence of the financial markets and increasingly the Parliamentary Conservative Party and that these realities are beyond dispute.

Looking through Mr Fox’s very extensive CV on his own website, I see he has had no involvement in financial markets but was an advisor to the mild but rather ineffectual Prime Minister, William Hague. Perhaps I may be permitted as someone who has had 43 years of continuous involvement in said markets to offer some thoughts on such. Possibly it is often forgotten that these markets are made up of lots of nervous bright young things who constantly veer from one extreme to another as fear and greed constantly rule their lives. Arguably a bit like MPs you might say, though the intelligence quotient of the former is somewhat higher. Accordingly, it is absurd to suggest the markets have irredeemably lost their confidence in Mr Kwarteng as a week may indeed be a long time in politics but often 24 hours in the financial world is even longer. Indeed, there is every indication that market participants have settled down as Sterling is relatively strong ( 1.13 to the dollar as opposed to 1.09 on the day of the mini budget), equity markets have been calm throughout and bond yields are very similar to those in the US where mortgage rates are now 7%. Hardly grounds for Kwarteng’s departure.

On the mood amongst Tory MPs I bow to Mr Fox’s superior knowledge but may I venture to suggest that from the outside, looking in, demands for the head of a Chancellor that has only been in situ for just weeks looks like an akin to his party re-enacting the last days of the Roman Empire.

Stephen Hazell-Smith, Kent

Government buildings must conserve energy

It seems to me that you and other commentators are allowing the government to conflate two separate issues. Apparently the PM does not want to give us advice on energy conservation because she is a libertarian and abhors the nanny state.

However this is no excuse for not instructing government and local authority owned buildings (and street lighting and so on) to turn the lights off early or to turn down thermostats. Good for climate change, good for the public purse, good for energy prices, leading by example; what’s not to like?

Johnny Cameron, Pewsey

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