Letters to the Editor - 31/10 - Show trials, Maglev trains, Best of Twitter

Show trials

[Re: After MPs grilled energy company executives, have select committees become show trials?, yesterday]

What was striking about Tuesday’s grilling of energy company executives by the Energy and Climate Change select committee was the extent to which these sessions have become media events themselves. But this is a long way from what select committees were set up to do. Their original purpose was primarily to hold ministers to account, not to cross-examine third parties. Today, media savvy MPs know they offer an effective way to make their mark. Major organisations should beware.

Chris Calland, consultant, Hanover


Maglev trains

[Re: Forget high speed rail. Driverless cars will revolutionise transport, yesterday]

I agree that High Speed 2 technology is outdated, but I don’t agree that driverless cars will be the replacement. The idea of a 200mph car convoy is a little far fetched, but it would also be very wasteful. What we should be doing instead is inviting the Germans – or better still the Chinese – to come and build us a 300mph Maglev train that would whip passengers up to Glasgow (why should it stop at Manchester?) in under two hours.

Jonathan Price, managing director, Business Centre Capital Co



FTSE 100 just 25 points away from the high of the year (6,840). Hard to believe 7,000 in 2013 is a possibility.

“We have very ambitious targets for renewables.” Ed Miliband in November 2009. Yes. That’s the problem.

I fear we’re leaping over the Rubicon of statutory press regulation by royal decree.

Greek unpaid taxes increase by €809m in September; €6.19bn in 2013 so far. Cumulative debts at €59.66bn.