This is no time to discourage David Cameron from “doing God”

SIR – Police had to help passengers off a crowded train bound for Cornwall.

When I was a schoolboy in the 1960s, I watched the Cornish Riviera Express pull into Plymouth station every day. The length varied depending on the season. If anyone had asked, I could have told them that you need at least 12 wagons (and two locomotives) on public holidays.

Les Kimberly Cary Castle, Somerset

SIR – The South West does not have a dual carriageway road link to London. It’s quicker and often cheaper to fly anywhere in Europe than taking a train to London.

Pensioners in London travel for free on the train, bus and tube, but here we have to pay for a train card just to get a discount. Per capita public spending on rail travel is much higher in London than in the South West.

Many pensioners here don’t mind subsidizing free travel in London. After all, we are issued with passes for the free bus ride – and

If we get a bus service to our village, I’ll probably apply for one.

Peter Iden Totnes, Devon

Mongling Molière without rhyme or reason

SIR – As a young actor I played the role of Damis in a BBC production of Molière’s Tartuffe with Sir Michael Hordern in the title role.

The play is written in rhyming couplets, and we quickly realized what a terrible mistake had been made in choosing the American translation, when Patricia Routledge, who played Dorine, had to deliver a line trying to be docile to Fossil rhyme.

Nicholas Young London W13

SIR – It appears that Mary Berry’s cakes are made of caves.

Yvonne Wigg cardiff

SIR – As a scientist, my most hated mispronunciation is cheeemotherapy rather than chemotherapy, as in chemistry, chemist, and chemist.

Sir John Cadogan Bishopston, Glamorgan

SIR – Mike Joseph is partially right about the joining of the final S in a French word before a vowel, including cases where the next word begins with the letter H.

But while H is usually silent, it can also be aspirated and taken as a consonant – as in Le Havre, for example. François Hollande – Mr Joseph’s example – has a claim.

ben syke Creech St Michael, Somerset

Good prices

SIR – Matthew Lynn, speaking on the proposed merger of the London Stock Exchange, explains how stock exchanges are becoming less important. But there are advantages to having open exchanges from which reliable prices are available.

Mutual funds and managed funds rely on good closing prices for shares to value their shares on a daily basis. Pension funds, insurance companies and capital investment companies rely on good prices for their valuations. They also use inheritance tax assessments. Equity indices like the FTSE Actuaries Series depend on good prices. And traded derivatives, like those on the FTSE 100, rely on good prices to trade and close out.

How can these prizes be extracted from “dark pools” whose aim is to trade without price disclosure? There may be ways to get reliable prices from e-commerce, but these must be considered before we write off exchanges.

Derivatives on individual shares can be settled in kind, just like those on commodities, but not derivatives on indices. There are many indices for rarely traded assets such as art and real estate, where value is often a matter of appraiser opinion, but no one trades derivatives based on such indices, and real estate funds are less popular and less flexible than equity funds. Do we really want the stock to do the same?

Professor AD Wilkie Woking, Surrey

sovereignty of the Falkland Islands

SIR – As the 34th anniversary of Argentina’s rash invasion of the Falkland Islands approaches, a UN commission has ruled that the country should be allowed to extend its sea territory to the islands due to an unresolved diplomatic dispute with Britain.

This is not so: Great Britain finally solved the problem on June 14, 1982.

Karl Forst Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire

Best seats in the house

SIR – Gemma Arterton is right to criticize the ‘live’ streaming of operas and plays to cinemas.

In many cases it is not live as it was pre-recorded. Since there is no processing, the sound can be awful and ruined by crowd noise. Much better – and cheaper – to buy a DVD of the production and watch it at home.

Peter Froggat Dorking, Surrey This is no time to discourage David Cameron from “doing God”

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