The prime minister’s holiday reading – Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things – impressed me (Yurt alert: how the holiday PM dodged the great British exams meltdown, 21 August). I wonder if he got as far as Book III, lines 55-58: “So it is more useful to watch a man in times of peril and in adversity to discern what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off, reality remains.”
• Would the anonymous Tory MP who proclaims that “education is the centre of everything that we are doing” (Boris Johnson moves to seize control of schools agenda after exams chaos, 24 August) care to enlighten us just what it is that the government is doing and with what effect?
Labour, House of Lords
• My elder daughter decided years ago that a proper job (Letters, 23 August) had a title of three words or fewer. I was always OK – systems analyst, then audit coordinator – but my husband went over the line as production and services manager. She is a nursing sister.
• Re Zoe Williams’ observation that “every passport has a worse photo than the last” (My blue passport has arrived – and with it a crushing new sense of our Brexit nightmare, 24 August), my late father had a theory that passport photos were proof of the missing link between apes and Homo sapiens.
• If London is the UK’s second city (Letters, 23 August), how do we differentiate between Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham for third, fourth and fifth?
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