Put others before yourself – unless they are the children of illegal immigrants

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Theresa May recently reveals how her faith in God gives her the confidence she is “doing the right thing”. So can anyone direct me to the precise passage in the Bible in which the Almighty directs his worshipers to put the children of illegal immigrants at the bottom of the list for school places?

Theresa May thought up and tried to implement this racist proposal which, it seems to me, is the polar opposite of “doing the right thing”.

Sasha Simic



An oil prices drop won’t benefit the majority

In your editorial you say “A little inflation would be helpful. It would reinforce the return to more normal financial conditions associated with a fiscal stimulus in the US and elsewhere.”

Associated with is a correlation not a cause. Increased revenues to oil producers will only stimulate economic activity if they have a greater propensity to spend than those paying the increase. The hoarding of wealth by oil producers and global corporations is a cause of stagnation in the world economies.

Jon Hawksley

Address supplied 


Your editorial says that we need some inflation. Maybe this is true but surely its demand-led inflation indicating that wages are rising and consumers are more confident that we need and not cost-push inflation that is likely to reduce demand and employment levels?

Andy Blake

Address supplied 


We might not have that long to wait 

Hamish McRae made a foolish error in his article “Its Italy’s banks, not RBS, that run the risk of being bailed out” when he misinterpreted a once in 70 year risk saying we had a long time to wait. That is not what the statistic means, he needs to brush up on his risk management statistics. Perhaps a rereading of Benoit Mandelbrot is in order.

Hugh Woodhouse



Optional EU citizenship isn’t anything new

Andrew Bridgen MP claims suggestions that Britons might be able to pay for EU citizenship after Brexit would “create two classes of UK citizen”. In fact the opposite is true. Bridgen overlooks the fact that there are already two classes of UK citizen. Millions of Britons are entitled to on-going EU citizenship after Brexit, principally through having been born in Ireland or through Irish descent, but also through family connections with other EU states. The proposals due to be considered by MEPs would actually put all UK citizens on an equal footing, rather than just those who enjoyed an accident of birth, eligible to take advantage of opportunities available in the wider EU. Once again, Brussels rather than Westminster displays greater interest in and concern for the rights and opportunities of ordinary British citizens.

Charles Cox



Blair is back

I wrote a long letter and reading it before sending it I felt you would never print such a long tirade. Indeed the letter I am now not sending you can be edited down to this simple question: does anybody seriously think that Mr Blair is going to sort out Brexit and the EU questions like he has sorted out the Middle-East?

Olivier Stockman 



UK’s growing illiteracy challenge 

The UK faces a significant literacy challenge which, if not addressed, could cost the economy £32.1bn by 2025. The issue is intergenerational, with a staggering 35 per cent of the adult population in the UK’s most deprived areas lacking the literacy skills expected of an 11-year-old.

The direct cost of poor literacy is a growing concern for UK business. Reports from CBI show that more than a third of employers (37 per cent) are dissatisfied with young people’s literacy skills and two-fifths (40 per cent) have provided remedial literacy training to school and college leavers. 

Business has a powerful role to play in reducing the UK’s literacy gap by helping children – our future workforce – gain the skills they need to get a job and have a successful life. The National Literacy Forum’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2017 gives businesses the framework to make this difference, granting access to the latest policy, research and best practice, alongside a unique opportunity to be involved in a project to examine the efficacy of business investment in literacy.

KPMG saw a considerable surge in employee engagement as a result of their involvement in last year’s pledge, with a 64 per cent rise in employees volunteering for literacy initiatives in local communities. 44 businesses signed the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2016 and, as a result of successful financial and social outcomes, KPMG, Man GLG, Costa, Boots Opticians and WHSmith have been some of the first to renew their commitment to the pledge for 2017. 

The literacy challenge facing the UK undermines our economic competitiveness and creates obstacles to fairness across the whole of society. With uncertainty surrounding Britain’s forthcoming exit from the EU, we can’t afford to allow this to continue. Find out how your business can play its part: literacytrust.org.uk/businesspledge 

Rachel Hopcroft CBE, corporate affairs director, KPMG

Doug Gurr, UK country manager, Amazon 

Ben Fletcher, managing director, Boots Opticians 

The full list of supporters can be found here