Why na­tional he­roes meant zero to Brecht

The Guardian - - LETTERS -

Now that a way has been found to cal­cu­late the as­set value of a tree (Put a price on trees and halt this chain­saw mas­sacre, 12 Septem­ber), maybe we should do the same for peo­ple. A res­i­den­tial child care worker earns £23,114 on av­er­age, a banker over £50,000. But what is their ac­tual as­set value? Are we re­ally worth what we earn? And, if not, who are the net givers to the com­mu­nity, and who the net tak­ers? I have my sus­pi­cions. Tim Shel­ton-Jones Brighton, East Sus­sex • The ar­ti­cle on peo­ple who should be com­mem­o­rated by a statue (Put them on a plinth, G2, 13 Septem­ber) trig­gered rec­ol­lec­tion of an ex­change in Ber­tolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo. When a char­ac­ter pro­poses “un­happy the land that breeds no hero”, the re­sponse is “no, un­happy land that is in need of he­roes”. Michael Hud­son Lin­coln • Like many other chil­dren be­stowed with po­ten­tially chal­leng­ing first names (Let­ters, 12 Septem­ber), young Six­tus Rees-Mogg will, I’m pretty con­fi­dent, bear the brunt of the wit­ti­cisms rather than his fa­ther. Ian Grieve “Gor­don Ben­nett”, Staffs and Worces­ter canal • So the lat­est thing in New York is nip­ple pasties (In-house hip­sters and the re­turn of Hel­mut Lang, 13 Septem­ber). And you thought Ot­tolenghi’s in­gre­di­ents were dif­fi­cult to source? Mike Hine Kingston upon Thames • Your cor­re­spon­dents’ opin­ions on the rel­a­tive mer­its of Steely Dan’s al­bums (Let­ters 9, 11 and 13 Septem­ber) leave me won­der­ing if I un­der­stand the things that pass for knowl­edge. Ian Wat­son Glas­gow • Re your pic­ture cap­tion say­ing Boris John­son is to travel to the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands and An­guilla (Re­port, 13 Septem­ber). Lord, haven’t they suf­fered enough al­ready? David Hughes Brom­ley, Kent

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