Letters: In Brief

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Sir: Aneurin Bevan, in his 1944 pamphlet Why Trust The Tories? said: "...life would soon become unbearable if we always distrust what people say."

What then are we to make of Michael Portillo's "loyal address" to William Hague at Bournemouth ("Portillo seeks truce in Tory war", 8 October)?

Is that the same Michael Portillo who installed a bank of telephone lines when he was "supporting" John Major?


Loughton, Essex

Sir: Camille Paglia (You Ask the Questions, 7 October) demonstrated an exceptionally high regard for her own importance. Asked by one reader, "Do you still regard yourself as a world phenomenon?" she replied: "Can you name one living intellectual, male or female, who is more widely known across the social spectrum?"

Stephen Hawking; Alexander Solzhenitsyn; Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex

Sir: I am not impressed by the agreement ("Virgin Trains agrees to tougher standards", 8 October) on increased compensation for disappointed passengers.

Recently, I reached Euston 30 minutes late and Brighton 60 minutes late on journeys from Birmingham. As a result, I was forced to take taxis to my ultimate destinations at a total cost of pounds 15. In compensation I was given vouchers for only pounds 5.

In the "good old days" of British Rail, my additional costs arising from similar circum-stances were refunded in full. The new agreement will still not match this.



Sir: Jan Rola Rozycki (letter, 5 October) is appalled by the existence of a book featuring photographs which Christians may find offensive. Like her, I am a Christian. However, I would rather see a thousand books published which are personally offensive to me or which denigrate my religion than live in a country where only tame and inoffensive ideas may be expressed. I would much rather allow books like The Satanic Verses and I.N.R.I to be published and offend some than have Jan Rola Rozycki dictating what I may and may not read.


Milton Keynes