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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK

Commons bear pit is crucial for debate

Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer during prime minister's questions in the House of Commons in London
‘The purpose of politics is to act out peacefully the clashes of interests that exist in society.’ Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK parliament/AFP/Getty Images

In an otherwise sensible letter, Roy Appleyard suggests parliament’s chambers should have “semicircular layouts to get rid of the confrontational bear pits” (Letters, 1 March). This would hardly be a step forward. Confrontation is the essence of debate. The purpose of politics is to act out peacefully the clashes of interests that exist in society. Compare the vivid exchanges in the Commons with the bland tedium of, say, the European parliament or the US Senate.
Dr Harry Harmer
Shrewsbury, Shropshire

• David Prothero (Letters, 1 March) is right to include, in the list of songs with placenames, Michael Chapman’s iconic Postcards of Scarborough, one line of which is “Took a walk up to Paradise”. Paradise is a short street above Scarborough harbour. When he introduced the song, Michael would say that he wished he lived there, so that if he was ever pulled over by the police and they asked for his address he could say, “Paradise, man”.
Ray Kipling
Holt, Dorset

• Adrian Chiles wouldn’t be able to meet his old teacher Mr Fenwick in the Labour in Vain (2 March); it’s long been closed and is being converted into apartments. They’d have to meet in the Seven Stars, which is still open, and much closer to Stourbridge Junction station.
Roger Wells
Stourbridge, West Midlands

• There is a new form of poor etiquette; it’s when someone in a public place loudly announces the letters they have got right in Wordle, before I’ve had a chance to start mine.
Copland Smith
Whalley Range, Manchester

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

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