Letter: The basics that we should get back to

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The Independent Online
Sir: In understanding our Prime Minister's attitude to morality one need look no further than his hero, Anthony Trollope. No doubt he shares Trollope's view that one should aspire to be a gentleman. As Victoria Glendinning writes in her biography of the author, the basic characteristics of the gentleman are 'self-discipline, fortitude, good manners, fastidiousness, a degree of reserve, a sense of duty and the habit of command'. What more could John Major demand of us or our political masters?

But Mr Major should read Ms Glendinning's next paragraph: 'The fact remained that gentlemen often lied, gambled, brawled, fornicated or cheated at cards.' What's new?

Yours faithfully,

DESMOND JULIAN

London, NW3

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