We owe a debt of gratitude to Rowan Williams. At least one individual in a position to be heard is bearing public witness to obvious truths ("Archbishop pours scorn on Cameron's 'big society'", News). We can see with complete clarity the deceptions of a government which preaches the "big society" and the importance of community, at the same time as it is closing post offices, libraries, community centres and concurrently withdrawing support from the poorest among us.
Meanwhile, countless billions are handed to greedy bankers to do with as they see fit. Our leaders rob the poor to pay the rich. The blatant contradiction between propaganda and action exposes a parallel-universe political class which insults the population by treating us as passive dimwits.
Our elitist and recklessly militarist government tries to fool us with a world of mirages in foreign as well as home affairs. Kidnap and torture become "extraordinary rendition"; international arms trade becomes "the defence industry"; the threat to incinerate countless millions of civilians if the particular government in power deems that our "vital interests" are at risk becomes "our minimal deterrent". Big society, big money, big business and big killing – they're all of a piece.
As a retired Liverpool community worker, I know that vulnerable children living in our most neglected housing estates would welcome the comments made by the archbishop of Canterbury when he stated that the prime minister's "big society" was designed to conceal the state's responsibility towards them. The archbishop accused past and present governments of being guilty. Is it any wonder that some children who live in these estates where anti-social and criminal behaviour is part of their daily lives find that their frustrations can result in riotous behaviour?
Who is responsible for this? Is it the parents who are unable to break the cycle of deprivation, or is it the lack of effective government programmes? Our religious leaders should not only criticise inadequate policies but remember the words of Frank Field MP that "anything we do after the age of five is just rescue work".
Be more medieval, Michael
Forget reintroducing GCEs and CSEs, Michael Gove; forget about reintroducing school certificate and matriculation ("Radical to his friends, reactionary to his enemies, Gove is now the Tory darling", In Focus). Why not go the whole hog and reintroduce medieval examination by viva only? That would severely restrict the number of possible candidates, save unnecessary expense and help stifle social mobility except for a tiny number of the deserving poor.
Professor Colin Richards
Give homeless people hope
David Cameron has revealed he is "considering scrapping most of the £1.8bn in housing benefits paid to 380,000 under-25s... forcing them to support themselves or live with their families".
For many of the young homeless guests at a shelter run at a church in Hackney, this news is disastrous. None of these young people have any hope of finding work unless they first find a roof over their head and all of them have become estranged from their families, often having suffered violence or sexual abuse. I don't suppose Cameron could even imagine what that must be like.
If Cameron's new scheme is set in place, these young people will remain on the streets. They will live without hope. That will be expensive, not only in monetary terms but in the waste of young lives. Cameron should be ashamed of himself.
Don't patronise the Cornish
Your article "Free Cornwall" (Magazine) misrepresented what Mebyon Kernow – the party for Cornwall (MK) – stands for. MK is not campaigning for independence, but greater self-government/devolution through a national assembly for Cornwall. The article was based around vague and unsubstantiated claims of "separation", was disrespectful to the Cornish language and, in what century is it acceptable to describe Cllr Dr Loveday Jenkin as "a charismatic MK pixie"? It is little wonder that here in Cornwall the article has been described as "patronising", "sarcastic", "condescending" and "prejudicial".
Cllr Dick Cole
Leader, Mebyon Kernow
Permission to land
If, as you report, "next month the Lib Dems are launching a tax working group that will develop new policies to distance themselves from their coalition partners at the next election" ("Top Tory donor linked to Carr tax scheme", News), then perhaps they should consider a land value tax, the fairest, least avoidable and most productive of all taxes. And if the Tories are really embarrassed enough by the latest revelations about their supporters' avoidance schemes, perhaps they might even consider it themselves.
Monster energy hats
Red bull hats