SIR: As more stories continue to emerge of claims that this government and Boris Johnson allegedly attended lots of parties during lockdown, I wondered what it will take for more people to speak out or even to recognise how far we’ve fallen? In 11 years of being in power, the Conservative Party has had three leaders. The way in which leaders are dispatched in the Party, it could soon be four leaders. To use some of their own slogans, how is this “strong and stable”, or “unleashing Britain’s Potential” or the irony that “Britain Deserves Better”?!

Under this Conservative government inflation is now at its highest point for 10 years – with the cost of living rising by 5.1 per cent in 2021. Food prices are up. Energy prices are up. Fuel prices are up. At the same time Council Tax and National Insurance are both rising and Universal Credit is being cut. The rising cost of living is affecting us all and prices are forecast to continue rising in 2022.

There are ways to fix some things, for example, we could cut VAT on fuel bills, but the government has chosen not to. During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove gave strong indications that VAT would be cut on domestic fuel if the UK voted to leave the EU. They promised that "fuel bills will be lower for everyone", saying "when we vote leave, we will be able to scrap this unfair and damaging tax". However, there is continuing silence about how the government could mitigate a huge rise in energy bills.

From the chaos of Brexit to the handling of Covid we need a return to realism from the clutches of blind optimism and empty slogans. To avoid future disappointment, I hope 2022 might be a turning point for those who want to see electoral reform and the return to decency, honesty, accountability, and fairness.

Sally Yalden


Editor’s note: This letter was sent before Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that he attended the drinks party at Number 10 in May 2020.