Tuesday 11 March 2014 9:34 pm

Letters to the Editor - 12/03 - Venezuela chaos, Greenbelt land, Best of Twitter

Venezuela chaos [Re: Venezuela’s mad socialist experiment is destroying a nation, yesterday] The Left has been praising Venezuela as some sort of democratic New Way, and has remained wilfully blind to the rigged courts, massive increase in murder, and the harassment of journalists and the media. The country rode on the back of high energy prices, which are now not delivering. Now Venezuela deserves better. Yes, the poor received some handouts, education and other transfers. But meanwhile, their money became worthless, their personal safety declined, and there are now constant shortages of essentials. Name withheld …..…………… Greenbelt land [Re: Sorry greenbelt: London has a housing crisis and needs to build out and up, Monday] Jo Valentine makes some nice noises about why mayoral targets and limited planning reform will do little to ease the housing crisis. But she doesn’t go far enough. She quotes Paul Cheshire of the LSE, and his calculation that taking a 1km ring of greenbelt land inside the M25 would yield enough land for a generation of housebuilding in London. But Valentine fails to note that Cheshire thinks the greenbelt should disappear entirely – it’s socially exclusive, has little environmental rationale, and benefits the very affluent. It should go altogether. James McMahon …..…………… BEST OF TWITTER Bob Crow was wrong about everything except the EU, but he stood up for what he believed. @wallaceme Bachelet is sworn in. Expect a moderate policy course, protecting Chile’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals. @baptist_simon Why is Co-op bank boss’ pay any business of anyone other than himself and Co-op bank shareholders? @AndrewLilico When economists warn of the dangers of deflation, surely they are alarmed by the dangers of abundance? @DouglasCarswell

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