Readers' letters: Can the Tory Party survive Liz Truss?

Liz Truss is dividing and fragmenting the Tory Party, as previous colleagues and allies now turn on her. She is attempting to force through massive doctrinaire changes for which she has no mandate.

In the recent Conservative Party leadership election only 57 per cent of members voted for Liz Truss to be leader. So she has a weaker Tory mandate than Cameron, Johnson or Duncan-Smith.

Despite that, she has chosen to exclude any who supported Rishi Sunak from her government. Loyalty to her is her primary criterion in selecting Cabinet members; ability and competence are distant secondary considerations.

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Effectively she is now left with a dogmatic rump of Conservative MPs, out of touch with her wider party and the country as a whole. She is adopting extreme right wing economic policies, unconnected to political reality or even the real world. In the recent tax cut debacle, she apparently did not even consult with her Cabinet.

The illusion of power seems to have gone to her head. A Prime Minister only remains in power if they control a majority within the House of Commons. They work with a Cabinet of colleagues - the Prime Minister being first among equals.

Liz Truss seems to imagine that we have a presidential system, that she can make executive decisions independently. Political reality has shattered that illusion.

Regrettably so early in her administration she has already shown her limitations, and this is why Boris Johnson pushed for her election. He sees her very likely failure as his best potential route back to power.

Can the Tory Party survive Liz Truss before suffering a devastating electoral defeat?

Andrew Milroy, Trowbridge.

Medical matters

On Tuesday I called my medical practice and asked to speak to someone regarding my medication.

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I didn’t ask for an appointment, just to speak to someone. I was told I will receive a phone call on October 19, a wait of 15 days.

This practice became part of a private medical group a few years ago. In the lead up to the 2014 independence referendum we were constantly told by the SNP leadership that “the NHS is safe in our hands, the Tories want to privatise it”.

Recent statistics have shown that an increasing number of people in Scotland are now paying for private medical care because of the abysmal state of NHS Scotland which is 100 per cent devolved.

NHS staff in Scotland must feel they are on a hiding to nothing every time they go to work.

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Ian Balloch, Grangemouth.

Turkey-free Xmas

As the UK’s worst outbreak of bird flu to date is set to take turkey off the menu, it’s an opportunity to re-think outdated traditions and enjoy a cruelty-free Christmas dinner.

Turkeys are loyal and protective birds, yet for the sake of Christmas dinners, they’recrammed into sheds with thousands of other birds, fed a cocktail of antibiotics, bred to grow so quickly that their legs often can’t support the weight of their bodies. Then they’re strung up and electrocuted, their throats are slit. It’s the opposite of festive spirit.

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The Covid-19 pandemic is believed to have been triggered by cruelty to animals. Now, 3 million birds have so far been killed in the UK because of bird flu. While we continue to farm animals, we risk further outbreaks of deadly diseases in humans.

Vegan versions of Xmas classics are widely available so let’s enjoy a season of peace and goodwill to all by embracing a turkey-free dinner and leaving animals off our plates.

Jennifer White, PETA, London N1.

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