Letters, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

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Praise for Caligula not quite correct

IN a recent letter, John Coltman relates the old story that the Roman Emperor Caligula made his horse a consul.

 It sounds wacky enough to be true of a Roman Emperor, but, in fact, it was only ever claimed that he planned to take this unusual step – and claimed by sources which were invariably hostile to the man, so there is an issue of reliability here.

 To disappoint Mr Coltman further, a recent biography by the German classicist, Aloys Winterling, suggests that Caligula built a palace for the horse (that much is true) as a joke satirising the Roman aristocracy’s pursuit of luxuries and empty honours.

 That palace must have cost a few denarii, so Mr Coltman is clearly wrong to praise Caligula for saving on expenses.

 Anyway, the expression “to eat like a horse” suggests that feeding the animal would have cost rather more than one MP was found to have spent on chocolate bars a few years ago.

Steve Newman,

Sunderland

We are let down

I COULDN’T agree more with Denis Gillon’s letter last week, in his condemnation of the two main parties, and the liberals.

 Denis is correct that the three parties have done nothing but let down the country and its supporters.

 He urges voters to give another party a chance to try to take the country forward.

 I’m all for that, but his party of preference is UKIP.

 I believe that everyone has the right to vote for whom they wish. But let’s not forget UKIPs leaders are a bunch of ex-conservatives deemed too right wing for that party.

 They play on people’s fears, Europe and immigration, but other than that they have no other policies to mention.

 And as we speak Nigel Farage is being investigated about his expenses. You can take the man out of the Tory party, but you can’t take the Tory party out of the man.

Ged Taylor,

Barnes

A grand job done

I WOULD like to thank the following people for all their hard work in decorating our small community room in the City Centre Towers.

 They are Victoria, Ann, Louise, Michael and Kay, from Gentoo, and also John and Peter, our caretakers.

 I’d also like to say thank you to Jeff and Alan, from Harrison Carpets, who did a grand job of fitting the carpets for us.

 There is also a special thank you to Gentoo for awarding us an Aspire grant. This will enable us to buy new plants to brighten up our walkways. Last but not least, a big thank you to Ron, who takes care of the plants and makes sure that we have a bright and amazing show of flowers.

Rose Thompson,

Astral House,

Sunderland