Letters: Jesus was a wine connoisseur 

Benefits of abstinence Sir: In last week’s Spectator, I turned to the cover piece ‘Dry Britain’ first because I stopped drinking alcohol last January. However, contrary to the demographic expectations of your article, I am a not-young 58-year-old. My abstinence is not based on a moral position, nor fear of an appearance on TikTok, but

Letters: how to pardon the postmasters en masse

Delaying justice Sir: Charles Moore argued (Notes, 13 January) that sub-postmasters in the Post Office/Horizon scandal should not be pardoned ‘en masse’, but rather that each case should be treated individually. He gives two reasons: the possible future risks associated with precedent and because each claim, being different, merits separate consideration. Theoretically, he may well

Letters: crime really does pay

Walking through treacle Sir: Rory Sutherland suggests that poor productivity can be correlated with the explosion of roles designed to support those ‘who do actual, useful work’ but, in practice, only act as anchors buried in the deepest mud, impeding progress (The Wiki Man, 6 January). Winston Churchill, frustrated at the length of the administrative

Letters: the genius of Morten Morland

Beyond good and evil Sir: In your Christmas issue, both James Macmillan (Composer’s Notebook) and Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, in his interview with Andrew Roberts, refer to the ‘war between good and evil’, as if most of us experience life on Earth as a continuous struggle of this kind. But many issues cannot be polarised

Letters: pantomime dames are here to stay

The leasehold scam Sir: In June 2018, Rishi Sunak told me in a Bethnal Green living room that leasehold is ‘a scam’ (‘Flat broke’, 9 December). At party conference, Sunak portrayed himself as a truth-teller who would take on the vested interests who have held back this country for so long. I am therefore baffled

Letters: why not let readers buy The Spectator?

Power to the readers Sir: I would suggest that even if the government of the UAE gives a ‘cast-iron’ guarantee not to interfere with The Spectator’s editorial line, this should be taken with a very large pinch of salt (‘The real deal’, 2 December). Why don’t you ask your subscribers to buy the magazine? With nearly 140,000

Letters: arts funding is in good hands

Culture clash Sir: Rosie Millard doesn’t like the current Arts Council England (ACE) strategy (Arts, 18 November). She quotes the experience of two organisations, ENO and the Fitzwilliam Museum, ‘who did not get their regular grant’ and who have fallen ‘out of favour’. It is often forgotten that no arts company is guaranteed funding beyond

Letters: it’s not wrong to criticise the Israeli government

The submariners’ parade Sir: My thanks to Matt Ridley for his excellent article on the Cenotaph (Symbol of peace’, 11 November). As a former Cold War submariner, while I was well aware that we paraded a week earlier than the official celebrations, I did not know the reason why. However, we did join the Armistice

Letters: Israel/Gaza isn’t the time for fence-sitting

Ill-judged Sir: Professor Carl Henegan’s authoritative demolition of the Covid Inquiry (‘The Covid whitewash’, 4 November) prompts the question of why judges are normally appointed to chair public inquiries. Lady Hallett has clearly had a distinguished law career, but has no apparent expertise in government, public health, epidemiology, medicine or science. Her first move on

Letters: We shouldn’t look down on those who attend AA

End the war Sir: Timothy Garton Ash’s article on Ukraine evokes echoes of the first world war, with interviews of brave soldiers who have lost limbs in Russian minefields (‘Europe’s problem’, 21 October). He acknowledges that Ukraine’s losses have been huge, yet supports bullish calls for the war to continue ‘for years, or even decades’.

Letters: we’ve forgotten the point of motherhood

The least deserving Sir: In your leading article (‘All that glitters’, 14 October) you point out that Keir Starmer avoided mentioning inflation and illegal migration at the Labour conference because the Labour party has historically been weaker than the Conservatives on the two issues. On the first of these issues, the current administration, and indeed the

Letters: heaven is a heat pump

Court creep Sir: As a former foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind gives eloquent voice to the conventional wisdom that the UK should remain within the ECHR not for our own sake but for the good of others (Letters, 7 October). On this view, membership of the ECHR has always been about foreign policy, not our

Letters: it would be the height of stupidity to ditch the ECHR

The sanctity of the ECHR Sir: Jonathan Sumption’s criticisms of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘Ruled out’, 30 September) are as lucid and as logical as one would expect from such an admired jurist. He provides a persuasive case as to why the UK could withdraw from the ECHR while preserving all the basic

Letters: Bully XL owners are deluding themselves

Bed and breakfast Sir: Cindy Yu asks, in her ‘Leaving Hong Kong’ piece (23 September): ‘Where are they?’ I can help with that one. I live near Epsom, Surrey, and there has been a huge influx of people from Hong Kong here over the past 18 months. The area is attractive because housing is affordable

Letters: Boris Johnson’s doublespeak over Ukraine

Whose victory? Sir: Politicians are often accused of engaging in doublespeak, and I fear in the case of Boris Johnson’s article (‘Bombshell’, 16 September) the accusation may be valid. According to our former prime minister we’re to believe two contradictory assertions; firstly that a Russian victory risks an immediate and existential threat not only to

Letters: The strange death of fried bread

No compromise Sir: Kate Andrews is quite right to identify ‘short-termism’ as the cause of so many of our national failings (‘Raac and ruin’, 9 September). It is a systemic problem rather than a human one, requiring constitutional reform to put right. Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and their colleagues are, like the rest of us,

Letters: Stop talking, Rishi – and take action

Sick note Sir: Kate Andrews illuminates how, for us British, the successful diagnosis of a major medical condition is frequently a matter of chance and, even then, usually occurs later than it should (‘Why are the British so anti-doctor?’, 2 September). The near asymptomatic nature of many serious conditions combined with the cultural pressures of