I like to think that Boris Johnson and I have only one thing in common – both of us are boarding school survivors. When Mr Johnson refused to look at the photo of four-year-old Jack Williment-Barr asleep on a hospital floor (Tories accused of lying to distract from image of boy on hospital floor, 10 December), he was simply doing what boarding school trained him to do – reject his feelings and carry on as though nothing has happened. It is time we took seriously those people who have been shedding light on the fact that ours is a nation managed largely by “bereaved children” who often lack the emotional capacity and empathy to do their jobs properly.

Not long ago (12 June) George Monbiot suggested that anyone who wants to stand in a national election should receive a course of psychotherapy. Mr Johnson’s inadequate response to human suffering certainly shows his need of such treatment.
Helen Channer Aupperlee
Pilsdon, Dorset

If any more evidence were needed to prove Polly Toynbee’s point (The Tories will take revenge on all who blocked them. Be afraid, Journal, 10 December), Johnson’s snatching of a reporter’s phone provides the perfect metaphor for what to expect after Thursday. No proprieties, no nice discussions, just smash-and-grab politics.
Tim Shelton-Jones
Brighton, East Sussex

Professor Tobias advises us to vote appropriately and also to watch The Dirty War on the NHS. (Letters, 9 December). I Googled it, to discover that this new film by the highly respected John Pilger, described by ITV as “a powerful and timely investigation [which] gives voice to those who warn that time may be running out in the battle to save both the NHS and the fundamental human right to medical care” is being broadcast, by ITV, on 17 December.

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Timely? Time is running out. Come on ITV, show it on the 11th, at peak time.
Mary Brown
Chiswick, London

Just reading Thomas Cromwell by Tracy Borman and came across this regarding the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538: “Although the king promised to use his newly won gains to build many new churches and cathedrals, there is only evidence that he erected six. Instead, most of the lands from the dissolved monasteries were sold off to the nobles as a way of securing their loyalty and generating more funds.” Plus ça change…
Rick Barker
Stocksfield, Northumberland

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