Want a peerage? Bob’s your uncle | Brief letters

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil | Velveteen breeches | Guardian readers

The latest candidates for the peerage (Who else would be more useless as a peer? They’re in, said Boris, 3 August) are yet another manifestation of our government’s desire to return us to an earlier century. After the 1900 election, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the Marquess of Salisbury, formed a Conservative government – dubbed “the Hotel Cecil” by the Liberals – containing no fewer than six members of his own family. In waning health, he retired as prime minister in July 1902, and had no difficulty in ensuring his nephew Arthur Balfour succeeded him; hence the exclamation “Bob’s your uncle!”
Dr Anne Summers
Birkbeck, University of London

• So a partnership of 152 “put Worcestershire in the velveteen breeches” against Gloucestershire (County cricket live blog: Bob Willis Trophy, 2 August). Great phrase, but what does it mean? I tried to Google it, but this led to awkward questions from my employer.
John Clark

• Unlike Leigh Stenson’s experience (Letters, 2 August), when we moved to Malvern from Manchester a neighbour came to introduce herself. On seeing our newspaper on a table she said: “Oh, you are Guardian readers. That’s all right then.”
Betty Clarke
Malvern, Worcestershire

• While living in a Cornish village some years ago, I went to collect my pre-ordered Guardian to be greeted by another customer with a hug, saying: “So you’re the other Guardian reader in the village!”
Chris Fuller
Aldington, Kent

• Spare a thought for Morning Star readers!
Tim Barlow


The GuardianTramp

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