Rapid Responses

Plain packaging

[Re: As Australia confirms a law banning branded tobacco packaging, should the UK follow suit?, Thursday]

Whether plain packaging of cigarettes prevents children from smoking is irrelevant. Cigarettes are illegal for under 18s to buy, and draconian and nannying measures like this will likely creep into the alcohol and unhealthy food markets. Liberty is liberty and, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Victoria Hale

Smoking seems to provoke the most interfering sentiments in the most liberal-minded people. If, with all we know, people want to smoke, then let them. They’re digging their own graves, not mine.

Josh Morgan


Vive la difference

[Re: Hollande’s raid on the rich is the wrong kind of revolution, yesterday]

Yannick Naud, by illustrating Francois Hollande’s appalling disdain for success and capitalism, reveals a pleasant truth about Britain. For all the media narrative about banker bashing and attacks on corporate greed, we are comparatively accepting of success and wealth accumulation. We should feel sorry for French business people who are being driven from their country by punitive taxation. But we should also be proud that so many are seeking to come to Britain, and London in particular. Although our global competitiveness is slipping, we can still call ourselves one of the best places in Europe to do business.

Anthony Yates



So Richard Branson decides that, if you take his train set, he’ll use planes instead. Virgin is starting flights from London to Manchester.

Public spending cuts? What cuts? UK central government spending, excluding debt interest, is £7.4bn up on last year.

The deficit is increasing, not decreasing. It’s a total abject failure of the Conservatives to do what they were elected to do.

What does it say when Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s earliest investors and a board member, sells the majority of his shares?