The Spectator

Letters: why AI may be a force for good

Credit: John Broadley

Parris review

Sir: Matthew Parris (‘Coutts, Farage and the trouble with choice’, 29 July) omitted to mention the initial, fundamental and obvious matter of the breach of client confidentiality committed by Dame Alison Rose, who he says should not have resigned. This is surely the gravest offence any bank official – let alone the head of NatWest – can commit. Yet he puts her resignation down to a ‘silly media storm’, which was actually started by the BBC, to whom the client information was given. Further, his article relates mostly to the discretion which institutions such as banks have in choosing who to admit. But this issue wasn’t about a client’s admission to the bank, it was about expelling one for his ‘views’. Parris’s column did, though, raise questions about what we know about the kind of clientele our own banks have. How do we know who banks with our bank? How could we find out? Would it matter? And what could we do if it did?

John C. Batey


Evasive procedure

Sir: Matthew Parris makes a fair point about the freedom of businesses to select their customers. What is not acceptable is their refusal to give truthful reasons for their actions – often declining to communicate at all. This evasiveness is frequently justified on bogus grounds of security, confidentiality or commercial sensitivity.

Anthony E. Kedros


Cry Woolf

Sir: I was gratified on reading James Delingpole’s review of University Challenge (Arts, 29 July) that it isn’t necessarily cerebral atrophy which has reduced my ability to answer the arts-based questions. However, I must take issue with his casual dismissal of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway as ‘unreadable’. This short masterpiece is a jewel in Woolf’s crown. When I offered it up to my reading group many years ago, the ensuing debates sizzled and soared.

Linda Willby

Thornton Le Dale, North Yorkshire

New kid on the block

Sir: A couple of points about Rod Liddle’s latest (‘Intersectionality is a dud’, 29 July).

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