A useless vote

SIR – On May 5, Croydon is due to elect its first mayor. I have read the election pamphlets, and the Tory, Labor and Liberal Democrat candidates make identical promises.

Apparently they’re all going to fix the budget, clean up Croydon, tackle crime and tackle housing – but all claim to be different from their opponents.

According to the election rules, I can indicate my first and my second choice. One might be more than enough.

Iwan Price Evans
Croydon, Surrey

SIR – I have worked and paid taxes since 1960, apart from a few years spent raising children, and have never received any benefits other than family allowances. This month, after tax, my state pension has increased by 75 pence a day, the price of about half a bottle of wine a week. A contributing factor was the Tories’ decision to backtrack on their 2019 manifesto promise to retain the triple lockdown. During this time, the deputies, of course, received a substantial salary increase.

Why should I, a 78-year-old Conservative, vote for the party again?

Diana Spencer
Herne Bay, Kent

Minced meat revisited

SIR – The movie Ground Meat Operation (Letters, April 21) – like the book The man who never was (1953) by Ewen Montagu, who devised the deception – claims it “was swallowed whole”, saved thousands of lives and changed the tide of war.

In fact, the Germans had decided long before that the defense of Sicily would not be done on the beaches, but by mobile units inland. Operation Mincemeat merely reinforced their belief that our strength was double what it actually was, the result of a much larger deception operation over many years – Force ‘A’ Operation Barclay of Dudley Clarke in Cairo.

It was this deception, which remained classified well into the 1970s, that saved thousands of lives and changed the tide of war.

Roger J Morgan
London W10

Development stopped

MR – Like Margaret Phillips (Letters, April 25), I ate a bowl of cherry tomatoes long before Christmas. They are still firm and have turned golden but not red. What the hell do I do with them?

Susan Morris
Swansea

The lessons of war

SIR – Tony Jones (Letters, April 26) concludes: “Soon it will be too late to ‘learn lessons’” on Ukraine.

Many years ago, General Douglas MacArthur pointed out that the failure of a war can be summed up in two words: “Too late. Too late to understand the deadly purpose of a potential enemy; too late to realize the mortal danger; too late in preparation; too late to unite all possible forces of resistance; too late to stay with his friends.

One lesson we should have learned is that territorial expansion comes as naturally to Russia as fishing for a bear. Also that they are great liars, smart cheaters and magnificent actors who cannot be trusted.

There’s no time to lose.

Ian Burley
Dean of Cookham, Berkshire