Letter of the 7 days: When the fog descends

Yvonne Reddick’s poem “Dear Tor” (16 July) was so evocative that a couple days later I was up in the clouds on Kinder Scout moor, Derbyshire, in a refreshing breeze, peering at monumental gritstone with “moor grass feathering your chin, billberries springing at the corner of your eye”. The new heather seemed emerald as I handed through lengthy moist grasses, many thanks to the ongoing restoration of industrially eroded peatland by the Moors For The Long run partnership.

John Burnside’s column (Nature, 23 July) explained the feeling of being by itself in fog: “when almost nothing appears business other than the ground beneath my feet and the odd flurry of birdsong” – up right here it is a flock of stonechats. Burnside offers Kuo Hsi: “The haunting spirits of the mountains are what human character seeks, and still can rarely find.”

In the 21st century I descend into a heatwave, as parched walkers climb in the direction of me, pointing them up on to the cool, misty ridge and non secular refreshment away from Hsi’s “din of the dusty world”, remembering Reddick’s plea: “Tor, give us time.”

Judith Taylor
Disley, Cheshire

[see also: The seeming nothingness of fog speaks to the mystery in all things]

Character flaws

Entire praise to Annette Dittert for exposing our shameless huckster of a Key Minister (“The politics of lies”, 23 July). In excess of the a long time the NS has catalogued in myriad insightful techniques Boris Johnson’s problematic romance with truth of the matter and integrity, but it is specifically poignant to browse the view of a commentator who would be only far too knowledgeable of how a democratic nation can slide into authoritarianism, which she indicates is a procedure of collapse that can occur, like personal bankruptcy, little by little and then suddenly.

Her means to “see ourselves as others see us” helps make this critical reading for anyone worried with the probable destruction of democracy if Johnson and his appalling acolytes continue being at the helm.

Tony Hughes


Annette Dittert’s report follows what has grow to be a dishonourable custom among the Europhiles. She devotes 5,000 words to delegitimising a referendum final result she fails to fathom. All the aged tropes are there: Johnson’s a crook, Britain’s institutions are failing, the media is rigged. Just for enjoyable, she glosses about the country’s vaccination accomplishment. Why does Dittert’s compatriot, Gisela Stuart, see things so in another way? Can Dittert give any political or financial rationale that could possibly have captivated the greater part of British voters to her circumstance? The leaders of Keep on being could not, and that’s why their marketing campaign resorted to the dead finishes of “Project Fear” and problems like hers.

Miles Saltiel
London W1


Your leader states that the requirements of a primary minister are “diligence, judiciousness, humility, strategic eyesight and moral integrity”, but “we have Boris Johnson” (“Two many years of Boris Johnson”, 23 July).

This record of virtues could have been a description of Clement Attlee, whose biography by John Bew I am examining and experiencing. Bew is clearly enamoured of his subject matter and holds expensive to the concepts you list. So what is he doing as a particular adviser to Johnson? Is he seeking to provide some integrity to discussions? If so, most effective of luck.

Huw Kyffin


Philip Collins, in his column on the ghastly Boris Johnson, tends to make some great points (The Community Sq., 23 July). But there are other people he need to include. Very first, Johnson is only preferred in just one nation in the globe: England. England is also the only nation to vote for Brexit, and contains a particularly huge selection of rich pensioners, who float on a sea of inflated assets rates. Johnson is definitely their close friend and they are not currently being silly or irrational in voting for him, basically selfish and wholly indifferent to anybody’s long term but their personal.

Drew Ratter
Ollaberry, Shetland


I assume Philip Collins will discover that when Aristotle spoke of character he was speaking in the way we speak of someone’s possessing character – not one thing we need to ever attribute to an individual Collins calls “a liar and chancer”. We may possibly (just) say of Johnson that he is “quite a character”, though I need to have to be in an very generous and forgiving mood to do so.

Mike Cohen
Mumbles, Swansea

[see also: Boris Johnson is a liar and a chancer, but popular. Why?]

Variants and race

The remark in your chief (“Two years of Boris Johnson”, 23 July) about “the unmanaged borders that allowed the Delta variant to arrive listed here from India, and thrive” implies that only arrivals from India are dependable for the spread of the Delta variant, and experienced the borders been closed, tragedy could have been averted.

That this mutation was found out in India does not imply that it originated there. It has been discovered to be widespread in nearly 80 countries and it seems unreasonable to suggest that it was transmitted to these international locations from India.

In spite of the World Wellbeing Organisation’s endeavours not to affiliate viruses with a country, the media and politicians continue on to overlook the pitfalls of associating unique nations with the virus.

S Samant
Mumbai, India


The tech wars

While I welcome far more protection of Massive Tech, Bryan Appleyard couching his report in military services metaphors and fixating on the two male leaders, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook, felt like an odd and lazy alternative of framing (“Apple vs Facebook”, 16 July).

Some of the most interesting repercussions of Major Tech are its consequences on democracy in countries these kinds of as the Philippines its use as an amplifier for discrimination or the way it is reshaping social conduct in youthful persons. Observing it via the lens of two male leaders waging war on each individual other underplays this systemic factor and overplays the roles of persons.

Julia Pamilih
London SE11


Not so straightforward

Gabriel Scally indicates that opening windows is a “relatively simple” alternative that governments can mandate to cease the spread of the virus (Observations, 23 July).

A lot of contemporary structures do not have home windows that can be opened. They were being built with sealed windows, and heating and ventilation programs to regulate airflow and be certain a constant inner temperature. Similarly, most of the new fleets of trains do not have opening home windows.

Even though there may well well be public wellbeing rewards to open up home windows, I’m not confident that carrying out modifications to big numbers of properties, which includes large-increase places of work, and teach fleets, will be a immediate or a “simple” enterprise. I also suspect that, in the depths of winter season, if people today obtain on their own sitting down amid a freezing gale, windows will finish up staying firmly shut, Covid or no Covid.

John Bourn
Gateshead, Tyne and Dress in


The phone by Gabriel Scally for a strategic approach to be executed by individuals who know what they are accomplishing must be shouted from the rooftops. He questions why the mandate to put on masks on general public transportation was abandoned, and talks of the job trade unions could participate in in helping alleviate the possibility to staff. He helps make me feel of Tony Benn driving a loudspeaker van all over Covent Garden, and Knocker O’Connell making use of it to share his poem: “F stands for freedom, what Britain brags about if you can’t manage your meal, you are totally free to go without the need of.”

Angela Croft
By using email


Cricketing towns

In his defence of cricket’s most up-to-date act of self-damage, the Hundred (To start with Ideas, 23 July), Peter Wilby claims that when the County Championship commenced “the match belonged to an elite lifestyle that noticed cities as… inferior to modest towns”. If that is so, why, for most of their existence, have quite a few main counties not played in their county towns? Why have Middlesex and Surrey played largely in London, Gloucestershire in Bristol more than Gloucester, Lancashire in Manchester fairly than Lancaster, Warwickshire in Birmingham somewhat than Warwick, and Yorkshire in Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield alternatively than York? And why have the bucolic counties such as Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk under no circumstances been granted first-course position?

Charles Turner


Locating inspiration

Rachel Cooke’s critique of Professor T mentions that the Television programme is dependent on a Belgian collection (The Critics, 23 July). We experienced assumed it was a homage to the US show Instinct with a minimal bit of yet another, Monk, thrown into the lead character.

Adrian Lyons
Colchester, Essex


Healing heartbreak

Pippa Bailey will no question be unwell of platitudes on coping with really hard crack-ups (Deleted Scenes, 23 July), but I wonder if functional strategies acquired from working experience might be of some use. Get trapped into a novel that transports you to an additional entire world and age. Go on holiday getaway with well-decided on good friends and soak up their warmth and the improve of scenery. Archive the shots of your ex on your phone, eliminate much too-close-to-dwelling connections from your social media. And do not drink way too a great deal wine, it will make you unfortunate! None will eradicate your grief, but they may well soften it. Each power to you.

Joel Salmon
Finchley, Larger London


I much too recall the discomfort of a heart damaged by the adore of my lifetime, and as a result how unbearably lonely I felt. Forty decades later on, how grateful I am to her. Anything actually remarkable happened, and I have never felt lonely considering the fact that. What a aid to have identified: I am by yourself, and so are you.

Victor Gilbert
Pathhead, Midlothian


Time for tea

How gratifying to read that Nicholas Lezard would make his tea with leaves, scalded pot, four minutes of brewing and a strainer (Down and Out, 23 July). I appreciate his columns but could in no way consider him obtaining this sort of a ritual. I have a pretty china teapot with developed-in strainer (not fixed) that he is welcome to.

I know he lives in Brighton and there are so a lot of charity shops there in which he could select up a classic Brown Betty teapot for a couple of quid any working day of the week. I desire him luck.

Terri Charman
Coulsdon, Surrey

[see also: Looking at the smashed teapot lid, I thought: there, in a nutshell, is my life]

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