The government should heed the lessons of the taxation and spending of the 1970s


futile cop26

SIR – The leaders of China and Russia will not take part in Cop26 in Glasgow.

A government source said that the participation of world leaders is not essential to the success of the conference. If so, why not just keep it all on Zoom and avoid the carbon footprint, as we are encouraged to do?

Or is it just an opportunity to strut on the world stage?

George kelly

SIR – I live 10 miles south of Bristol. On Sunday I took a one way bus to town which cost £ 5.50. My car costs less than 20p per mile.

The Chancellor now plans to spend £ 500million to modernize the bus route between Bath and Bristol. When will the powers that be and the green lobby realize that, as long as there is no cheap and efficient alternative transport, drivers will not be tempted to get out of their cars?

Big projects and virtue signals just waste resources.

Nik perfitt
Yatton, Somerset

SIR – Susan Kaye (Letters, October 24) reminds us that there are little things we can all do to help make the world greener, including taking fewer baths and showers.

Older men will remember that years ago it was bath night once a week – but you shave every day. Now it’s the other way around.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dale Hemming-Tayler (ret’d)
Edith Weston, Rutland

SIR – I live in a small, dry, warm and sunny Kent village in a row of four cottages. Why am I the only one with an outdoor clothesline?

Jacqueline Davies
Faversham, Kent

MONSIEUR – I propose to ban leaf blowers, which pollute the air as well as the ears.

Ros Hurn
Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire

Decreased degrees

SIR – My grandson is visiting potential universities. Two of them have already informed him that chemistry will be taught online next year (Letters, October 24). This means that students who are currently in second year will complete their studies without having had face-to-face instruction.

It is an absolute disgrace. How will these students be prepared to enter the labor market?

Jan Denbury
Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

Poland and the EU

MONSIEUR – I hate to obscure Daniel Hannan’s romantic view of the “vinegar conservatives” who had fought to free Poland from communism and who are now taking a courageous stand against the EU.

However, very few members of the current government are old enough to run out of shorts in 1989, and the record of those who are does not stand up to scrutiny.

Nor would I call a government that believes in crown ownership and hands out lavish benefits a Conservative. What he proudly calls his “new order” includes nationalization of the media and government control of justice.

Writing in the same vein, Robert Taylor (Commentary, October 25) misses the point: the EU is only trying to persuade the Polish government to respect its own laws and its constitution.

Adam zamoyski
Adamow, Łuków County, Poland

Against awakening

SIR – American author and journalist Lionel Shriver, Hampstead director Victoria Bingham and American linguist and author John McWhorter, all featured in last week’s Sunday Telegraph, are each to be commended for their vigorous advocacy of the importance of freedom of speech amid the boring, invented fury of cultural appropriation, annulment of culture, decolonization of curricula and other manifestations of language distortion.

The tyranny of awakened bigotry and intolerance must be challenged and refuted whenever it shows its ugly head – in politics, business, schools, universities, churches, charities, publishing of books and newspapers and broadcasting.

Political correctness is a posture behind which lies a desire for power, and the desire to control what people say and think while appearing to do so for virtuous reasons.

Duncan McAra
Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire

Digital finance

SIR – With the greatest respect for Janet Daley, I cannot agree with her take on Making Tax Digital, especially when it comes to VAT.

I am an accountant for a small business and have always done our quarterly returns manually using spreadsheets. I was extremely annoyed when I was forced to start using a digital system but now I am a total convert.

The package I am using allows me to define rules for transactions that automatically post VAT correctly. It’s simple to check at the end of the quarter and spits out the calculated ready return for submission to HMRC with just the push of a button. This greatly reduces the risk of errors and saves a lot of time. The cost of the package is low.

I encourage everyone to take this approach as soon as possible. This is the right kind of innovation because it benefits both the user and HMRC.

Alison levinson
Hastings, East Sussex

Chain reaction

SIR – Ducks love to eat slugs (Letters, October 24) and have the added bonus of providing delicious eggs.

Unfortunately, foxes love to eat ducks.

Jeff smith
Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Dancers have always proven themselves

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