Can maths get us out of this mess? | Brief letters

Maths genius | Sir Hartley | Philanthropy | Molière | Rule of six

Substituting the word “politicians” for “equations” in the phrase “a nightmarish family of equations that behave so badly they make no sense” is a perfect description of the government (UK mathematician wins richest prize in academia, 10 September). Would the prizewinner, Martin Hairer, consider turning his talents to bring some logic and effectiveness into the government’s current debacle surrounding coronavirus and Brexit?
Sam White
Lewes, East Sussex

• Polly Toynbee (It is our democratic right to protest – but this government is crushing all opposition, 7 September) does a disservice to the memory of a great man. Despite the brilliant jibe (Sir Shortly Floorcross), Sir Hartley Shawcross never joined the Conservative party. He sat in the Lords as a crossbencher.
David McAvoy
Wigan, Greater Manchester

• In Zaki Cooper’s concluding sentence he suggests that the UK should be the home of wealthy people with a social conscience (Letters, 10 September). May I politely suggest that, as many of these people become so wealthy by underpaying workers and avoiding taxes, the sudden blossoming of social consciences among the financial elite may be some way off.
Ian Grieve
Gordon Bennett, Llangollen canal

• Dave Moores says of a performance of The Misanthrope he attended where La Marseillaise was played: “cue total confusion” (Letters, 9 September). Since Molière died more than a century before the French national anthem-to-be was written, confusion – and possibly bafflement – was entirely appropriate.
Bryn Hughes
Wrexham, Wales

• Johnson, Cummings, Gove, Patel, Hancock, Williamson: the misrule of six (What are the new Covid rules coming into force in England on Monday?, 9 September).
Jeremy Waxman
Canterbury, Kent


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