Jeremy Hunt’s NHS plans are a half-formed thing

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Jeremy Hunt has promised an increase in the number of doctors in training – an initiative probably as laudable as it is late. There is undoubtably a shortage but it is not clear how many training places for ‘home’ students are taken by those from overseas (or ‘foreigners’ as the Government likes to call them). However, when will he spell out from where the extra university staff will come to teach and assess these extra students and, even more problematically, how will they be accommodated, taught and assessed in already overstretched clinical areas?

Dr Anthony Ingleton Sheffield


So Jeremy Hunt thinks it is a good idea to shackle hard working, intelligent and committed young doctors to the UK by the threat of severe financial penalties? Does he not realise that after four years gruelling service to the NHS, coupled with post graduate study and exams, doctors are just about to apply for registrar posts and specialist training? If doctors leave at this point in their careers his proposal could ensure a dire shortage of registrars and specialists in the future.

Denise Willingham St Albans


May should ditch the Miliband red

Theresa May’s iron-lady-velvet-glove-utopian-Conservatism is an appropriate reply to David Cameron’s knuckle-duster-wielding-thumbscrew-turning-new-pauperism.    

However, she will only command the full authority of the country and the obedience of her back benches by adopting a much drier, more resolutely Thatcherite economic vision, not nanny statism.  She also needs to turn her words into actions by drawing a firm line under Cameron’s monomania with welfarism by abolishing the Bedroom Tax. 

To date, her only dry policy is grammar schools, a policy which notably had the Brexiteers transfixed at Conference. In order to build a resilient economy and reassure her core voters in the suburbs and shires, May should ditch the Miliband red and wear light Thatcher baby blue at her next big speech. 

Anthony Rodriguez  Middlesex


Climate change

The despair over complacency surrounding the reality of man-made climate change so explicitly and cogently expressed by Ian Johnston in his article on Friday 3 September (“Landmark Paris climate change treaty to come into force amid alarm over signals from the natural world”)is totally understood. Man-made climate change is almost certainly the most serious issue faced by mankind so far and will require strong world leadership to resolve it. To do that effectively our world leaders will need the support of everyone. But for that to happen everyone needs to understand and hence believe in the reality of the issue and, sadly, that seems to be a big long-running issue in itself. 

Michael Leighton Devon


‘Don’t call me a racist’

“Don't call me a racist” says the Home Secretary Amber Rudd  at the Tory conference, as she scapegoats immigrants and floats policies which seem founded on the fascist BNP’s rancid slogan of “British jobs for British workers”.  

Sasha Simic London

Amber Rudd is not a racist for suggesting British jobs should go to British people. It is true that the UK hosts one per cent of the world’s refugees. However, it remains at the forefront of humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts to bring peace and stability to war-ravaged countries. The UK is a small island. It suffers from severe housing shortages, high rental prices, skyrocketing mental health problems, congested trains, buses and roads, let alone other social ills from school bullying, knife crimes, robberies, drug addiction, family disintegration, pockets of poverty, homelessness and feeble health care facilities. Bringing in more people would only disturb the social fabric and amplify the discrimination, racism, bigotries and prejudices so prevalent in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. What is urgently needed is nothing less than an honest debate about immigration, coupled with diplomatic and financial efforts to help countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Kenya.

Munjed Farid Al Qutob London

It is ironic indeed that as we marked the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, Amber Rudd gave a disgraceful speech threatening to shame companies deemed to employ too many foreign workers. It might be simpler if she required the workers to wear some sort of identifying mark – perhaps in a striking colour?

Andrew Griffiths Beckenham


Donald Trump

So Donald Trump rated female contestants on The Apprentice according to the size of their chest? That’s actually not so surprising, even in this day and age. Indeed, I believe that US citizens are currently using a similar assessment criteria to weigh up presidential candidates as they mull over the question: who wants to see an enormous arse in the White House?

Julian Self Milton Keynes