Thank you for your article on how charities are warning of the marginalisation of those clinically vulnerable to Covid (‘Covid rule changes leave clinically vulnerable as “collateral damage”, charities warn’, 21 January).
It’s clear that the Tories pose an existential threat to many disabled and chronically ill citizens. Sixty per cent of the over 150,000 fatalities so far from Covid have been disabled people. Thousands of disabled and chronically ill claimants even before Covid had had benefits removed through sanctions. One wonders how many clinically vulnerable claimants will be forced to decide between risking their lives in travelling to mandatory appointments with the DWP or risking their lives through removal of benefits if they decline, for instance.
The one hope is that the vast majority of the Great British public will show a level of compassion, grace and maturity far in excess of those “in charge” and choose to retain mask wearing and social distancing, and just generally being neighbourly.
I read James Moore’s column (‘The Downing Street parties would not have happened under Theresa May’, 20 January) with interest and agreement. “Partygate’ would never have happened on Theresa May’s watch, regardless of her deficiencies as a prime minister.
This is absolutely categorical and it makes the Downing Street debacle even more pronounced. Theresa May must be enjoying her revenge dish, because it is not served cold but piping hot with daily stories of dubious shenanigans and who can blame her?
Judith A Daniels
Relations with Russia
Many congratulations to The Independent for Mary Dejevsky’s informed article on Ukraine (‘The west is attempting to goad Russia into a war it doesn’t want’, 20 January). Hers is the first voice of common sense in all the extensive media coverage at the moment which, at times, comes over as government war propaganda.
I agree with her too about the “hitherto voice of reason, Ben Wallace” and ask if the obvious support of President Biden will be in anticipation of tolerance and acceptance of the outcome of talks on the Northern Ireland protocol. The talk of False Flag operations is also a lose-lose for Russia, as even if genuine Ukrainian troops mount an incursion, it can be so labelled and Russia blamed.
“War is the massacre of people who do not know each other for the profit of those who know each other but do not massacre each other.” I would ask Biden, Putin and all the European leaders to remind themselves of Paul Valery’s description of war. We should learn from history that the only beneficiary of military conflicts is the arms industry while the people face death destruction and misery.
Marlowe is the writer for our times
While Cathy Newman (‘Westminster is brutal – but are the rebels prepared to wield the dagger against Boris Johnson?’, 20 January) is right to draw parallels between our current political scene and Shakespearean tragedy, more exact comparisons can be found in the works of Christopher Marlowe (also featured in your pages yesterday).
The fall from grace of Marlowe’s tragic heroes results from all of them overreaching themselves through vaulting ambition and hubris. There is a certain resonance with Johnson’s world in Tamburlaine whose urge to be king of the world brooks no opposition; Faustus who is prepared to sell his soul to the devil for power on earth; Edward II always reliant on his favourites to bolster his fragile sense of self; and Barabas who is readily prepared to sacrifice his one time allies to save himself.
Of course, for each of them, things do not turn out well in the end; from which, in these troubled times, we can salvage a degree of hope.
Time to retire the phrase ‘got Brexit done’
I am becoming tired of hearing from Boris Johnson’s supporters that one of his great achievements is that he “got Brexit done”. The referendum was in 2016 and because no one had any idea what Brexit actually meant, it took Mr Johnson’s party three and a half years to record this “achievement”. During this time the government was so preoccupied that serious harm was done to our country. Deep-seated problems were ignored and manifesto promises postponed. Since 2015 we have had three Tory governments, each one, right up to the present day, distracted by problems of their own making. Some achievement!
An announcement from a reader
So Grant Shapps plans to silence “unnecessary” train announcements in “bonfire of the banalities”? I love them. If the train is comfortable, warm and running on time, they can be a sometimes amusing and diverting. If there are problems, they are a source of information. I can only assume the majority of objectors are annoyed to have their phone calls interrupted.
Also given the sad state of our rail network, surely a probably expensive report had more serious issues to consider?
Lytham St Annes