Letters: The Bank of England should admit that it has no real control over the inflation rate

Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, delivered the gloomiest forecasts since the pandemic, with none of the bounceback predicted two years ago Credit: REUTERS

SIR – Can we please see an end to the nonsensical idea that the Bank of England has an achievable inflation target? If it really does, how is it so far off it? Is complete incompetence to blame? No, the reason is that it does not control the factors that determine the rate, except marginally.

Current inflation of around 9 per cent is caused by events in the big bad world outside Threadneedle Street. Consider what level of bank rate would be required to tame such inflation. The Monetary Policy Committee should pass a resolution to disband itself.

Adrian Hoare
Ascot, Berkshire


SIR – Is it right for the Governor of the Bank of England to be so negative and pessimistic about the British economy? Does it help wealth creation? Does it defend existing jobs, or help create new ones? Does it attract enterprise and capital to this country?

The Bank of England and the Treasury have only a rough idea of the likely economic conditions a year from now, which might very well be better than their gloomy forecasts (which in any case are always wrong, and sometimes by a wide margin).

By all means be straight with the public about the implications of the energy-price shock, together with long overdue rises in interest rates and mortgages, but for heaven’s sake don’t talk the economy down.

Alasdair Ogilvy
Stedham, West Sussex
 

Broken NHS

SIR – While playing football on Wednesday evening I was knocked unconscious. No foul was given and the referee waved play on.

Unfortunately, in my confused state I was unable to play on and was driven to Aintree Hospital A&E department. On checking in at 7:35pm I was told there was a nine-hour wait to be seen. I felt awful but I reasoned that I wasn’t dying, so decided the dire prospect of waiting in A&E until 4:35am was less attractive than any risk I had of some undiagnosed injury, and showed A&E the red card by being driven home.

I was then propped up in bed with what felt like the mother of all hangovers but at least I was not sitting in A&E on a plastic chair wearing a surgical mask.

The moral of this story: whatever you do, don’t get ill or have an accident, as the NHS is broken.

Jeffrey Edwards
Melling, Lancashire
 

Hosepipes and health

SIR – A hosepipe ban is imminent in the South of England. Is this the right answer to our water shortages and environmental crisis?

A blanket hosepipe ban will lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of plants and trees in gardens. We need these plants for our own survival. Would it not be better to impose water usage restrictions on people instead?

Isn’t the preservation of our green spaces key to our environmental survival, as well as our mental health?

Kate Chamberlain
London SE22


SIR – Are you telling me that, if I phone to report that my neighbour is watering his garden with a hose, the police will come out, when they didn’t even respond after I rang to tell them the house opposite us had been broken into by vandals, who were throwing items out of windows?

Sandra Crawley
Shanklin, Isle of Wight


SIR – We have 10 water butts strategically placed outside our house. During the recent heatwave, we watered our flowerbeds and pots as necessary, but not the lawn. By the end of that hot spell, none of the butts was empty, although some were less than half full.

Two days of rain, followed by Cornish mizzle, have successfully refilled the water butts to overflowing.

My parents bought a house on a new estate in 1952. Every house had a store outside the back door, which was topped by a large metal water tank, fed by a downpipe from the house roof. Water could be taken directly from this to the garden.

Why are all new homes not now built with some means of collecting and storing rainfall?

Anne Hanley
Gunnislake, Cornwall
 

Sunak’s Project Fear

SIR – I have received my ballot paper for the Conservative leadership election. Included in the envelope are leaflets from each candidate setting out the reasons why we should vote for them. 

It seems that Rishi Sunak has reincarnated Project Fear, as his pitch is: vote for me or all sorts of nasty things will happen after the next general election. There are no policy commitments. This is deeply disappointing and totally negative. 

Brian Armstrong
North Shields
 

Bullied by China

SIR – It is beyond belief that the free world continues to accept the “one China rule” in relation to that country’s claim on Taiwan (report, August 5).

Bodies such as the UN and the Olympic committee still do not recognise Taiwan as an independent and democratic government, which allows the Chinese government to push acceptance for the idea that it is part of China.

The free world, including the UN and Britain, must drop its one China rule. If not, the eventual occupation of Taiwan will be another Hong Kong-style exercise of China imposing its undemocratic and belligerent will on another nation.

A F Gomes
Haverhill, Suffolk
 

SIR – You report (August 4) that Parliament has dropped TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

All Chinese companies are under the ultimate control of the Chinese Communist Party.

How is it possible that our parliamentary authorities were blind to the dangers of opening a TikTok account?

Robin Gardiner
Melksham, Wiltshire
 

Favourite single-filling childhood sandwiches

Making of a sandwich: 100 years ago Sailor Savouries offered salmon or shrimp paste Credit: Bridgeman Images

SIR – Eleanor Steafel’s article about the return of the single-filling sandwich (Features, August 4), such as the much-loved summer tomato, reminded me of another childhood favourite: bloater paste, which we often had for tea. Happy times.

Wendy Whitelam
Dursley, Gloucestershire


SIR – My favourite single-filling sandwich has to be sanded beetroot on white bread, eaten on Barry Island beach, usually in the rain.

Howard Thomas
Sandown, Isle of Wight


SIR – Then there are the delights of sandwiches with a sweet filling other than jam. A delicious filling of banana, either sliced or mashed, with an optional sprinkling of sugar, takes a bit of beating. My particular favourite is a condensed-milk sandwich – and you get to lick the spoon after making it. Heavenly.

Christina Veats
Swindon, Wiltshire


SIR – The single-filling sandwich that has never gone away and is the staple of so many summer tea parties is of course cucumber.

Whether you like your cucumber cut wafer thin or thick and chunky, it is the most delicious of sandwiches. I’m sure Oscar Wilde would agree.

Viva A Lloyd
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
 

Tattoo tickets

SIR – I too am finding it impossible to download my tickets for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Letters, August 3). The instructions online are complex and I am constantly told that my session has expired after only a couple of minutes. As I am bringing eight members of my family to Edinburgh for the Tattoo, this is worrying. I hope it can be resolved.

Sheila Mortimer
Cuckfield, West Sussex
 

Energy crisis

SIR – Following the lead of David Frost (Comment, August 5) and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Business, August 5), we must ask how we can continue in an environment where activists insist that we can escape the current energy crisis simply by using less electricity.

We must ask how money to help those in poverty can be provided by an economy that has collapsed because there is no electricity available. The answer, of course, is that it can’t; more lives are likely to be lost due to starvation than are likely to be lost as a result of global warming.

The electricity industry will continue to justify its actions by blaming us for using too much power, rather than putting its own house in order.

This cynical approach is illustrated by the almost indecent pressure that is being put on us to have smart meters. When energy rationing begins, as it shortly will, suppliers will be able to control your smart meter to provide electricity at peak times, and at a vastly inflated premium. This can be done on an individual basis, so saving the need for whole areas to be cut off at peak demand times, as well as providing an extra source of revenue. Those of us with old, conventional meters cannot be controlled in this way.

Professor R G Faulkner
Loughborough, Leicestershire


SIR – The feeble response of police and courts to the anarchic antics of Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and similar arrogant anti-capitalist sects has shown that there are no consequences for their antisocial behaviour. The socialist-inspired Don’t Pay campaign will foment civil unrest and the police have neither the will nor the resources to deal with it.

David M Owen
West Kirby, Wirral


SIR – It would be sensible to resume fracking for Britain’s energy security. However, the resulting gas would be sold on the open market at prevailing prices. I fail to see how that would reduce our energy bills.

James Masters
Bucknell, Shropshire


SIR – Without question, the biggest policy failure of our time concerns energy. Over recent decades, successive governments have shown incompetence, negligence and irresponsibility.

The central role of government is to protect the nation and its people, and to intervene in the market place as necessary. Governments have consistently failed the nation on energy, so we are now dependent on our enemies and untrustworthy friends. We have no storage; when the wind does not blow we have to import; we shoot ourselves repeatedly in the foot with green policies; we import coal and gas when it is literally under out feet. This is insanity.

If the Government is to take the public with it through this winter it must acknowledge this failure. It must then set out plans to put the country’s energy provision on an acceptable long-term footing. It must show responsibility and ownership, and demonstrate how this current catastrophic situation will never be allowed to happen again. Blaming it on market forces and external factors is passing the buck. This has to stop.

Stuart Moore
Bramham, West Yorkshire
 

Minorities in ads

SIR – As Joe Cobbe (Letters, August 3) points out, our successful British female football team perfectly reflected the ethnic mix of our current population, of which perhaps 14 per cent is made up of minorities.

However, television advertisements now display the reverse proportions of ethnic and white characters. Is there a shortage of white British actors, or are they just being denied employment in the drive for diversity?

Sue Crouch
Eastcombe, Gloucestershire
 

Rent a cherry tree

SIR – Has Margaret Hirst (Letters, August 3) considered renting a cherry tree from a fruit farm, which costs about £50 a year? Updates about “your” tree are sent over the year, then July is the time to pick its fruit. More than enough for you and your friends.

Brenda Bennett
Hildenborough, Kent
 

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