Welcome to the first Reaction letters page for subscribers. You can email your letters to letters@reaction.life for consideration.  

I have written regularly to the The New York Times to express my disgust at their coverage of the UK, and still await their response. I now realise – thanks to your article (Why the World’s Worst Newspaper Hates Britain so much, Sept 12 2022) – that they would not dream of responding. There is money to be made in sanctimonious drivel, as you say.

The downside for New York, and for America, is that the British are beginning to dislike Americans. It is incredibly sad. I was educated in the States, have many friends there, but I am heartily sick of their media’s ridiculous, ill-informed UK coverage.

Take one example: the death last month of Her Majesty. I walked beside the seven mile long queue to see her lying in State. The respect in which she was held is universal. These people, prepared to walk slowly for at least 8 hours just to pay their respects were a sample of humanity. No white privilege here. All genders, all races, all ages. Everybody was there, everyone chatting away.

Yet the NYT in its coverage got it so badly wrong. Do they really think the British minded paying for her funeral from our taxes? Do they really believe she was leader of some club for white colonialists?

Their coverage is damaging long-term relations. We care about that, because we British respect the US we remember from 9/11. We recall Reagan’s speech after the Shuttle disaster, we all have close ties. There is a Special Relationship.

Let’s hope we see more of that and less of the NYT’s click baiting.

Simon Patterson, Dorset

They also hate you British at Süddeutsche Zeitung, Le Figaro, Corriere della la Sera and De Telegraaf – but you can’t read them because you don’t understand their language. You would be surprised! Or probably not. Tough luck.

Joe Schwach, America

Scholar had to go

Iain Martin’s recent piece on Tom Scholar’s defenestration missed the obvious point. Sir Tom’s Treasury devised economic and financial policies which, in the last two years, have degenerated into something close to madness.

First, the Treasury oversaw an unprecedented spending program, without a thought to how it was to be financed except through the short-term solution of quantitative easing. 

Secondly, after that he proposed a return to orthodoxy involving a fiscal correction centred on a program of tax rises at exactly the same time as monetary policy was necessarily being tightened dramatically.  Such a combined tightening of monetary and fiscal policy is almost certainly bound to lead to a recession. 

Not only was this programme of fiscal tightening unnecessary, but since it would result in recession, it would almost certainly fail to recover Britain’s fiscal position. 

In other words, such a long habituation to power had rendered Sir Tom Scholar mad in economic terms.  He had to go. And thank God, he has.

Michael Taylor

Putin must be defeated 

Gerald Warner says it is time to negotiate with Putin. Of course he is right the risk of nuclear war is high. But how could any peace deal be agreed when the Russian dictator is incapable of keeping his word? The only option is to defeat Russia and hope they see sense enough to overthrow the tyrant.

Mary Edwards, Edinburgh

Honouring the Queen

About a year ago I started to write a letter to the Queen, but somehow I never got around to finishing it, probably because I knew she would never see it. The establishment of the Reaction letters page for subscribers has motivated me to put down my thoughts. I write not for recognition but to say “thank you” to a wonderful woman.

In the summer of 1952, I worked in London for the Winant & Clayton volunteers, an organization founded by the Reverend “Tubby” Clayton, who also presided over All Hallows, London, among other activities, including being Chaplain to the Queen (although that may not be the right title). We very young Americans (Winant Volunteers) came over to work in churches or clubs for young people, and young Brits did the same in New York City and environs (Clayton Volunteers). Because of Tubby the organisation got a few tickets to the garden party. Those of us who got to go were picked by a drawing at headquarters (if I recall at Tubby’s Church, All Hallows, London). Because I worked so far from the heart of London (in Stepney), I did not get to draw and the last ticket in the bowl was mine, but it was a winner!

Before attending the garden party, we were given a short course in how to behave should the Queen wish to talk to us. I paid no attention, on the basis that it was a highly unlikely event. However, we did get dispensation to wear blazers to the event, and the blazer did have an identifying patch on the breast pocket identifying us as Winant Volunteers. Just gaining access to Buckingham Palace was awe inspiring, but wandering around the garden gaping at the military, clergy and other vaguely recognisable people in full regalia was breathtaking. Finally, I did get to watch the Queen at “work” greeting people. All of a sudden the gentleman in charge of deciding who got to talk with the Queen (her equerry, I believe) turned to me and said “The Queen would like to talk to you young man”. To say that I was awestruck would be a gross understatement. Of course I forgot everything I was supposed to do or say, but it made no difference. Recognising, I am sure, my discomfort, she made such an effort to make me feel welcome that pretty soon I was chatting away until her equerry politely indicated Her Majesty had to move on.

Young as I was I knew I had just met an extraordinary person, way beyond “just” being a queen. She was warm and caring and truly interested in us mere mortals.

Some years later I was lucky enough to attend a conference on the environment.  hosted by now King Charles III at Windsor Castle. Yes way back then he was ahead of the times. And I saw Her Majesty a couple of times more or less in passing. Just to observe the way she treated people was a lesson in caring leadership, which is why we miss her so much. She has left a legacy for which everyone of us is indebted.  She set an example that every politician, indeed every one of us in the “free world”, should follow – an example of caring service to all. May she rest in peace.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to say “thank you” to a great leader and a great person.

Truman Bidwell, New York.

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