Rachel Wolf, a Conservative party policy adviser, recommends that civil servants should take regular exams to prove competence in their jobs (Report, 3 January). May I suggest that politicians should be subject to similar testing, and that, in our fragile democracy, policy advisers should hold no power without first facing an electoral test as well?
• I have no religious faith and only a passing interest in religious institutions, but I do like a good letter. The comment of Rev Canon Dr Rob Kelsey (Letters, 4 January) that “Small can be beautiful; a satsuma is not a failed orange” is a precept that will stay with me, a person of less than average height, for a long time.
• It appears, rather surprisingly, that Donald Trump reads Shakespeare. Henry IV gives advice to his son: “Be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.” (How US killed general who was seen as untouchable, 4 January)
Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
• I sympathise with my fellow readers who have been told their new purchases will outlast them (Letters, 3 January). On buying a second-hand car last year the salesman said: “I presume this will be your last car, sir.” I’m 74.
Beverley, East Yorkshire
• Ian Anderson (Letters, 3 January) expressed disappointment that British folk music wasn’t included in the list of the best of new music for 2020. Perhaps Ian, a la Jethro Tull, is just “Living in the Past”?
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