Worldy wise

Andrew Gray (Letters, 21 March) says that “Nat World is a fact-free universe”. He then says that the amount given by the UK government to bail out the banks was £1,000 billion.

This will come as a terrible shock to the taxpayer, the government, the banks and the ­National Audit Office which he quotes.

The National Audit Office says that the actual amount of “£123.93bn was provided in the form of loans and shares purchases”. This was support given to all the banks and financial institutions, and not just to the two “Scottish banks” Mr Gray likes to blame.

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It seems that Mr Gray is quite happy to lump in guarantees and pledges given but not drawn down in order to give some credence to his argument.

Mr Gray also says that in Nat World we are wilfully blind. In Nat World we would rather reduce the deficit at a gentler pace in order to stimulate growth and lessen the impact on the most vulnerable, whom Mr Gray never mentions.

In Unionist/Ukip World they would rather spend £100bn we don’t have on nuclear weapons to have a fleet of submarines plowtering about the ocean waiting for Armageddon.

By now of course the alert will have noticed that the bailout amount quoted by Mr Gray is some £240bn more than the entire national debt of £760bn inherited by Conservative Chancellor George Osborne from ­Labour.

In Unionist World it took Labour 13 years to double the national debt. The Conservative managed to do that in five. Now that is a pretty spectacular achievement.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street