Letters to the editor

Mediocre Britain

[Re: We need to take radical action to avoid a return to mediocrity, yesterday]
This article is correct, but it misses a point. Mediocrity is what many vote for – it’s implicit in the demand for all-encompassing welfare. Take the NHS. Many assume that voters are unaware of better systems, or don’t understand why the NHS doesn’t work. This is wrong. There is simply support for a system that isn’t elite, but which is about ok (and free at the point of use). Similarly, people know that benefits discourage work. But they don’t want to follow the logic and put the lazy onto the streets. The problem is that these are short-term judgements. The real job is to make voters realise the longterm implications of Britain’s mediocrity.

Richard Broom

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Booming Dubai

Why worry about booming Dubai? The figure cited (that 37 per cent of employees in Dubai’s financial centre are European expats) doesn’t add up to the misery you suggest. First, Dubai’s native population is small and not exactly entrepreneurial. Figures vary on where they work, but most natives in the UAE are employed in some government sinecure or other. Secondly, it solely reflects the global employment pattern of many high-flyers. It’s hardly unusual (or concerning) that some choose to work in Dubai for a few years to make some cash. They invariably return once they realise that Dubai is great for post-tax income, but an uninspiring place to live – I should know, having briefly lived there myself.

Mary Williams

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BEST OF TWITTER

Liam Fox calls for more austerity and lower taxes. Give this man a cigar – finally some sensible ideas.
@LisaKeeble

Fox says our economy is debt-ridden, yet wishes to see unfunded tax cuts for people who don’t need them.
@_Lilykins

Why doesn’t the Bank of England raise interest rates? Sterling is collapsing and inflation is still high.
@muppetdavo

Sterling yesterday hit a two and half year low against the dollar. The outlook is certainly fragile.
@IDXFox