Letters: Experienced ‘amateurs’ could offer added protection in the Channel

SIR – The idea of second-hand patrol boats, in conjunction with light spotter aeroplanes (Letters, December 28), might help stem the flood of illegal immigrants. It would also free up both the Royal Navy and the Border Force to confront drugs and arms smugglers, unlawful fishermen, real criminals and the Queen’s enemies in general.

However, in both the RN and RAF there is a manpower problem. As the crews of the proposed small vessels and light aircraft need not be trained to service standards, may I suggest the reintroduction of the Second World War’s successful Royal Naval Volunteer (Supplementary) Reserve, along with an RAF equivalent?

Before 1939, the ranks of the RNV (S) R were drawn from…

Letters: Unelected judges are giving in to the temptation to make up new laws

SIR – As a retired academic lawyer, I agree with Professor Richard Ekins on the deficiencies of Britain’s Human Rights Act. He writes of legislation that, when added to a remorseless rise in judicial review, risks conferring too much power in a parliamentary democracy to unelected judges.

The judicial role has traditionally been to interpret and develop existing law, rather than create new law. But a human rights charter, by dint of its very nature and the penumbra of uncertainty surrounding the meaning of its words, invites the latter.

And, if judges accept that invitation, on matters such as abortion and euthanasia, to mention but two such controversial “human rights”, are they not trespassing…

Letters: The rise of unelected power poses a grave threat to Britain’s democracy

SIR – The new Government needs to take urgent action over the concerns raised by Charles Moore and others about the rampant growth in unelected power within the “establishment”.

Mr Moore correctly focuses most of his fire on the judiciary because it is undeniable, except by the wilfully obtuse, that many senior judges have become increasingly – and, on the matter of Brexit, brazenly – political (although not party-political).

Also of concern are the attempts to shut down criticism of bias displayed by senior legal figures, Whitehall mandarins or BBC presenters. Yes, these people should be independent. But they must also be accountable.

Terry Smith
London NW11


SIR – Charles Moore outlines a…

Sajid Javid needs to think more creatively than Andrew Bailey

To make the most of Brexit, the country needs an economic team willing to shake things up, which is why some were surprised by Sajid Javid’s choice for Governor of the Bank of England. This is not to downplay Andrew Bailey’s talents or the value of a steady hand on the tiller. Mark Carney was opposed to Brexit – vocally – but the outgoing governor deserves credit for the calm reassurance he offered immediately after the referendum. Mr Bailey has long been marked out as his successor.

Nevertheless the Government is attempting an important rethink on two fronts. First, economic policy, which needs to become far more creative. The Tories have hitherto relied too much on monetary stimulus – ie printing…

How the demand for summary justice for rapists will backfire on India’s poorest citizens

The gruesome rape and murder of a 26-year-old woman, within the city limits of Hyderabad on November 27, has set off a furious debate in India on crimes against women. 

There are growing demands for summary justice, including public lynching of rapists. Have people lost faith in the law and in the criminal justice system? Or does this represent growing lawlessness and demands for retribution and revenge that have come to dominate public discourse in India?

In 2012, when a 23-year-old woman was brutally raped by six men in New Delhi, there was nationwide outrage and demands for a change in the law. 

It was changed in 2013 to introduce the death penalty. Policemen refusing to note rape complaints…

The Government needs to change the rules on train strikes

Pity the poor commuter: an increase in rail fares has been announced just days after talks between management and unions collapsed, triggering what is expected to be the longest rail strike in history. Ticket prices will rise by an average of 2.7 per cent from January 2; the strike is on South Western Railway. Hundreds of thousands of people will endure a restricted timetable between the capital and the Home Counties, lasting for 27 days and potentially spoiling the Christmas period.

Labour might try to exploit this, but its nationalisation plans are based upon a false prospectus. Starved of funds, history suggests that the service would actually get worse – and nationalised trains run by a Labour…

A shock, 1997-style landslide is suddenly within Boris Johnson’s grasp

Has Tony Blair already twigged what the Conservatives dare not believe?

As Labour wallows in the weeping fluids of its political terminality, something intriguing is happening to the Tories. No 10 is struck down with victorphobia. The “L” word (“landslide”) is banned from meetings. Behind the scenes among senior MPs, the danger of “2017 all over again” is the near-hysterical mantra. Candidates await a second outbreak of Corbynmania, like the second coming of Christ. Ministers jitter that working-class voters may stand them up, and the middle-class slap them in the face. They both crave narrower polls to keep voters on their toes, and have queasy outbreaks at the thought of shock defeat.


Letters: Prospect of the most catastrophic hard-Left government ever seen

SIR – Even if Lord Kerslake (report, November 26) is right and Labour is willing to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader to facilitate a coalition of Remain, in the event of a hung parliament the Liberal Democrats should run for the hills, because it won’t change anything.

The hard Left has taken control of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Mr Corbyn is well known to be a life-long Eurosceptic but has been forced to equivocate.

Moderate Labour MPs and candidates continue to be deselected or forced out by other means (Sally Gimson, Kate Hoey).

Anti-Semitism has been allowed to flourish with only lip service paid to stamping it out. This behaviour won’t stop just because the leader changes.

The Liberal…