Don’t bank on Osborne
Sir: Reinforcing your article on City doubts about Osborne’s economic credentials (Politics, 5 September), a City contact of mine, technically expert in a matter of finance and taxation of central interest to any Chancellor, had a meeting with Osborne a few months back. He found Osborne not only badly briefed and largely ignorant, but disengaged and uninterested in the subject. Neither was he the first, I believe, to have found Osborne arrogant and barely civil. Apart from a very evident need to bone up on economic and City matters, someone in CCHQ clearly needs to make him a present of Dale Carnegie’s famous little book.
Sir: Dennis Sewell rightly highlights the deleterious effect of the quangocracy (‘Cameron must cull the quangos’, 5 September). However, more is needed than just a cull.
Many public sector organisations justify the expansion of their bureaucracy on the grounds they are fulfilling mandatory requirements. For example, in the NHS there are diversity policies. All NHS staff, regardless of what they do, are required to attend diversity training. To be truly effective, David Cameron will have to undertake a root-and-branch removal of government directives, which have brought about this expansion of bureaucracy.
Name the date
Sir: As someone who got married after a 20-month courtship, I am staggered that some websites advise that 24 months are required to arrange a wedding (‘The price of true love’, 29 August). I am reminded of a former colleague who, one December, when asked by a taxi driver if she had any New Year’s resolutions, told him that she had two, the second of which was to get married that year. When the cabbie asked what her other half thought of her plan, she confessed that she hadn’t yet found a suitable boyfriend, and, after only a brief hesitation, added: ‘That’s my first resolution.