I should add that Labour are the only party to have achieved an annual budget surplus, this on four occasions in six years from 2000 to 2006. When Labour lost power in 2010 the national debt stood at about £900 billion. Now, after 13 years of Conservative government, it’s an eye-watering £2.4 trillion, almost three times the amount left by Labour.
Why do the Tories have a reputation for being good with the economy? God alone knows.
Tony B, Axminster
I have some thoughts after reading the article about sharing the profits [John Bird, Issue 1588, 30 October]. Like all entrepreneurs [landlords] take all the risk, as a tenant could smash the house up or worse still cause a fire! The renter should look after the property as they pay rent, but often they don’t look after the property or go into debt, which causes problems for the owner. The owner would have no funds coming in and thus no profit either.
Sandra Bowfield, Glasgow
Al Murray is living in a false consciousness when he says that A levels don’t matter [Issue 1587, 23 October]. He might have learned all he wanted because he went to a good boarding school, but try telling some Eastern Europeans or white working-class kids they don’t need a secondary education.
No doubt there are scores of successful comedians who didn’t have much education, but millions of kids can’t or won’t be “artists” with or without the certificates.
Tim Cleal, Coventry
The cold treatment
I have just come across the write-up by Aimee Pearcy on your website about landlords failing to repair heating or hot water. I am currently having the same issue. During the start of the summer months, my house was overheating and on 24-hour heating as a result of faulty boiler components. The British Gas team was called and they were able to identify the problem. The engineer tried to fix it temporarily but warned that it’s not fully resolved until fixed so he sent the landlord a quote but he didn’t pay for the work to get done.
At the start of this cold season, I tried to turn the heating on but found that we didn’t have any heating at all. I have called the British Gas engineer who has said the same thing about the faulty component and sent another quote to the landlord but he has completely ignored it. British Gas insisted that it’s the landlord who can pay for the quote or nobody else. I have emailed him a couple of times but no response. I have also texted him but no response again. I have kids, and my husband is also unwell and going into surgery in a week’s time. We urgently need heating in the house.
I have emailed him to say I will use part of the rent money to buy heaters and then report him to the council and follow other legal processes. But I do not know if that’s the right thing to do.
I have followed this hideous [infected blood] story [Issue 1585, 9 October] ever since I read a book called The Gift Relationship, published in 1970. My interest stemmed from a lifetime of blood donation where my reward had been a cup of tea for each bag of blood. I had no incentive to lie about my health, unlike inmates of prisons in the USA who were paid for their blood. The gift relationship is between the donor and the unknown recipient.
The blood is a gift, freely given, with no hint of a reward, the essential point. I find it beyond credibility that the brainless morons in any administration could have failed to investigate the source of this valuable material. Dragging this saga on for years and years is a national disgrace, but this has already been said many times. It makes me very angry and ashamed to be British. A terrible story about Mrs Roddick.
Clive Pygott, Shropshire
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