The Spectator

Letters | 20 February 2010

Spectator readers respond to recent articles

Trust funds

Sir: Your leading article’s diatribe against the public sector (13 February) rather missed the point. The categories of deficiency described are not sector specific. The common factor is the failure, in general, of some individuals, irrespective of their role, to set acceptable examples of judgment and probity. I would find it hard to choose between a ‘public sector’ MP and, for example, a ‘private sector’ banker, as a trusted custodian of anything, let alone money.

Indeed, it might also be argued, with some justification, that public sector rank and file have a better record of eschewing the practices of disreputable leaders than their private sector counterparts.

John Brown
Leyburn, North Yorkshire

Sir: Your leading article rightly hopes that Mr Cameron would cut back on the misappropriation of public money, such as the £1.1 million claimed by 390 MPs over the years. But such a sum seems relatively trivial — much less than one year’s plundering of shareholders’ and customers’ money exacted by so many private sector individuals — that clearly he must clean out those Augean stables even more promptly. This is going to be worth watching.

Ian Olson

Home security

Sir: Andrew Gimson (‘The property bubble is waiting to burst’, 13 February) is surprised at the small fall in house prices in London. Why? Anybody who, for whatever reason, has needed to sell their home has sold and taken it on the chin; anybody who does not have to sell right now is simply sitting tight.

W.G. Sellwood

Right-hand man

Sir: In his Politics column (13 February), James Forsyth describes Matthew Hancock as George Osborne’s ‘consigliore’. While it’s always nice to see the Conservatives likened to the mafia, I think the term that Don Corleone would recognise is ‘consigliere’ (adviser).

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