Three things I found very worrying in the article on the Tory far right (Capitalism in the raw, 23 August). First, the fact that people with such outrageous views not only exist in the 21st century, with clearly no knowledge of the one that preceded it, but have been chosen by people in this country to represent them, and make decisions on their behalf. Second, the views themselves: soundbites that obviously have not had any careful consideration whatsoever. For example, the simple matter of how people, without the small protection that a minimum wage offers, could be expected to live, let alone add anything other than what can only be described as “slave labour” to the economy.
Third and most worrying is why the Guardian gives such extreme views so much space without challenging them. One could argue the views are so ridiculous that the mere recording of them is sufficient, but surely an inquiry into the evidence for their “worst idlers” claim, or about their experience of work in the real world, was the least we could expect.
• Why is it that when socialists call for the public ownership of banks in the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population, these are called “extremist” views, but when a bunch of young Tory MPs call for the pauperisation of millions as an incentive to work, their views are quaintly labelled, “spiky”?
• The suggestion of removing the minimum wage to provide the first step on the jobs ladder could be of benefit if the profits that accrued as the company flourished were shared out to all concerned. However, it doesn’t work like this. As the organisation gets richer, the differentials increase until we reach the stage where the “grafters” are barely existing, while the “organisers” debate their next inflated bonus. Until a fair and equable wage structure is the norm, most workers may prefer the safety net of a minimum wage. Better still, the one advocated by Boris Johnson, that of the living wage.
• The Conservative Free Enterprise Group needs a history lesson. We have already tried this. It was called the 18th century. We are where we are now because the adverse impacts on society were considered even by some of the rich to be unacceptable.
Saffron Walden, Essex
• You have on occasion published letters expressing a wish that the Liberal Democrats get wiped out for their role in the coalition. Your article on the Free Enterprise Group suggests the consequences, with the dozens of formerly true-blue constituencies painstakingly won over to the Lib Dems reverting to type, leading to a majority Conservative government. The Lib Dems are getting no thanks for holding off the worst of these extremists within the coalition. However, Liberal Democrat influence seems invisible only because it balances a shift to the economic far right in the Conservative party.
• In light of the news from Las Vegas, I’d be interested to hear this group’s views on a man whose gap decade is draining millions from the public purse and who enjoys a contract for life.
• “We can all graft,” says Dominic Rabb. I shall be interested to hear of all his experiences as a minimum wage earner trying to raise a family or indeed any other graft (nurse in a care for the elderly ward, teacher in an inner-city school) he has actually done.
• Being lectured on the virtues of hard graft by a lawyer (Dominic Raab) is a bit like being lectured on the virtues of prudence by a banker.
Yardley Gobion, Northamptonshire