October 16: Sir Geoffrey Howe and Denis Healey, adversaries who represented the best of politics

From: Chris Denton, Station Road, Burley-In-Wharfedale.

ON attending the last night of Richard III at Stratford 12 years ago, I noticed Denis Healey, the former Labour Chancellor, next to his Conservative successor Sir Geoffrey Howe. They were obviously on a “boys night out” without their esteemed and influential wives and obviously enjoying themselves like bosom pals and chatting.

I thought this was wonderful, Denis Healey having once said that a speech from Sir Geoffrey was like being “savaged by a dead sheep”. Perhaps readers would like to reflect how lucky we are to have lived in these times and in a much wonderful democracy with adversaries like this who could remain lifelong friends. I suspect their strong wives had something to do with this!

From: Peter J Teal, Union Road, Thorne, Doncaster.

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THE recent passing of Denis Healey reminded me on an incident in the 1960s whilst I was employed with Leeds City Council Housing Department. I was part of the management team connected with the now long gone Seacroft town centre, as it was named. Before commencement of the project, a silver space cutting the first turf took place and Mr Healey, the local MP, was to do the necessary in the way of an opening address.

The director of housing at the time, Syd Benson, was concerned because no speech had in fact been prepared. However, Mr Healey soon put him at his ease by stating: “Oh don’t worry, Mr Benson, I will shoot them the usual bull.” To the best of my knowledge though, I cannot recall him saying “silly billys” as he sometimes liked to refer to people as. Perhaps this came later in his life?

From: Nigel Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

I UNDERSTAND George Osborne is a great fan of the late Sir Geoffrey Howe. Well how about living up to Geoffrey Howe’s very high standards? I cannot imagine Geoffrey doing nothing to get back all the money which was lost by RBS in the USA.

No one has taken any serious steps to look into where the money actually went over the Fanny Mae Freddy Mac scandal. George Osborne has been Chancellor for six of the years since then. We the British taxpayers are paying heavily for the consequences even now. No one knows who walked away with the fortune. It didn’t disappear. It all went somewhere. If George Osborne doesn’t have the energy to investigate or doesn’t want to try and find out, perhaps he should make way for someone who does.