Letters: The case for an NHS card

A new prescription Sir: It is maddening to see the British people being refused face-to-face GP appointments and subjected to a form of health rationing that should have ended decades ago (‘Dr No’, 12 June). In Australia a Labour government solved the problem in 1975 by separating payment for healthcare from provision of healthcare. The government gave everyone a Medicare card that could be presented to any accredited healthcare provider. The provider would be paid at a set rate per procedure and send the bill to the government. The result is a truly responsive healthcare system where the patient comes first, is treated with respect and courted by a competitive

Letters: The uncivil service

Uncivil service Sir: The elephant in the room in the handling of the pandemic (‘A tragedy of errors’, 29 May) is the civil service, which has become the problem in government rather than the solution. Repeated disasters of problem management — from the blood transfusion scandal to Hillsborough to the failures illuminated by Dominic Cummings — reveal an inability to make precise decisions, accept errors and move on. This is especially illustrated by the Home Office which is no longer fit for any purpose. The difficulties encountered by the Windrush people are a case in point. The incompetence and sheer nastiness is breathtaking. It is apparent that we are governed

Crunch time: why has Walkers changed its salt and vinegar crisps?

Henry Walker might never have got into the crisp business were it not for the fact that his Leicester butcher’s shop was hit by meat rationing after the second world war. In 1948, when Walkers and Son started looking at alternative products, crisps were becoming increasingly popular — and so they shifted to hand-slicing and frying potatoes. The crisps were sprinkled with salt and sold for threepence a bag. Fast-forward 73 years and Walkers crisps are so integral to our way of life that when I bought a six-pack of salt and vinegar the other day and noticed they had changed the recipe it precipitated a personal crisis resulting in

Repulsive, depraved and oddly political: Monster Munch crisps reviewed

Now that I have considered Monster Munch I decide to eat one mindfully. I put it in my mouth, and it is as if I can taste it for the first time. It is repulsive, and I feel cheated. This is, then, an intervention. My husband wrote in these pages that I am always watching Spooks and eating Monster Munch. It was a giggle that went on for 400 words but is eating Monster Munch really so depraved? Doesn’t Jay Rayner eat Skips in the darkness when he is alone? Didn’t A.A. Gill eat Frazzles? I know I do, but only when I am depressed — which is quite often