Queen sends wrong message on masks | Brief letters

Clothes for gardening | The Queen | Consultants’ fees | Older readers | John Crace

This is what I wear to garden in: a T-shirt from the London Greenpeace “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s” campaign, acquired in about 1995; jeans from a charity shop and customised with cyanotype splashes; fleece from a Keswick outdoor shop in about 1993; old shoes – just everyday ones that are too worn out for other wear. I don’t buy a £380 cardigan to garden in (Hort couture, 17 October).
Jane Lewis

• It’s a shame that the Queen did not wear a mask on her visit to Porton Down (Report, 15 October). In neglecting to do so, she failed to set an example to those who, in insisting on the “freedom” to refuse to wear a mask, are in fact claiming the licence to put others at risk.
Dr Lynda Mountford
St Albans, Hertfordshire

• If our government is paying consultants over £6,000 a day to work on the struggling coronavirus testing system (Government spending on Covid consultancy contracts rises to £175m, 16 October), wouldn’t it be better to change the government and appoint a better prime minister for a tenth of the cost?
Rev Dr Donald W Norwood

• Re “puzzle setters from a different era” (Letters, 16 October), some of us are from a different era too – I’m nearing 89 – and so we have no problems with crossword clues about comptometers, adding machines or even fountain pens.
James Nelson
Chorley, Lancashire

• As ever, John Crace brings light amid the chaos. But “a government masquerading as a piece of self-destructive performance art” (The politics sketch, 15 October)? Isn’t it the other way around?
Marcia Heinemann


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