The Ozymandian reason that we cannot stop HS2 | Brief letters

Railway folly | Barclays bonus | Country diary | Dinner in Ireland | Mixed-up names | New heights for Covid

Simon Jenkins makes compelling points regarding HS2, but surely the reality is that it cannot now be stopped (Depleted and unwanted, HS2 hurtles on as Johnson’s £100bn vanity project, 30 July). Were sense ever to prevail, then across London and the home counties, half-abandoned projects would for ever stand like the legs of Ozymandias. They would be enduring testaments to folly, and so cannot be permitted to remain as they would for ever point a finger towards those (ir)responsible. The rest of us can but despair – and pay.
Alan Hallsworth
Waterlooville, Hampshire

• I am glad to see that Barclays has raised the size of its bonus pool to £1bn (Report, 28 July). Would that have any connection with the closure of high street branches in this area, to the distress of many loyal customers?
Elizabeth Dunnett
Malvern, Worcestershire

• I read the country diary daily with enjoyment. Within two paragraphs I can discern the sex of the author. I am correct 90% of the time. What perplexes me is I don’t know why.
Joan Leary
London

• I was intrigued by your London-based reader’s proclamation about what time dinner is “usually served” in Ireland (Letters, 30 July). You learn something new every day.
Conor White
Dublin, Ireland

• My pre-school niece, when sending a birthday card to me, her Auntie Chris(tine), addressed it “Dear Anti Christ” (Letters, 30 July).
Chris Goodyear
London

• Now pole vaulters have tested positive (Report, 29 July). Are Covid levels reaching new heights?
Peter Russell
Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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