Letters to the Editor - 03/04 - Royal Mail, City villages, Best of Twitter

Royal Mail

It’s impossible to accurately price something in the absence of a market, but that does not excuse the government for wasting taxpayer money on the Royal Mail float. Business secretary Vince Cable’s search for long-term investors inevitably reduced demand. And it should come as no surprise that many investors identified as long-termists didn’t hang around for long. But the government should be worried about more than just the price tag. Future privatisations will rely on the sort of hedge funds the government shunned. A politically popular move against important investors may haunt future sales of government property.

Mary Cook


City villages

[Re: London 2030: An optimist’s vision of the next urban renaissance, yesterday]

Andrew Adonis recommends the building of 1m new houses located in “city villages” around the capital by 2030. These houses could in fact be built within the next 10 years, within walking distance of existing transport facilities in areas like Barkingside and Dagenham East. It would, however, be necessary to relax planning restrictions, as these are greenbelt areas. Young people in London are being crucified on the cross of the greenbelt (to misquote William Jennings Bryan).

Michael Ingle



UK business starts making the case for staying in EU. Automotive this week.

So as French unemployment claims hit record high, its labour minister gets promoted to finance minister.

M&S to open 250 shops abroad. What about getting its fashion act together here first?

More than half of Americans think that the US should “mind its own business, internationally”.