Cath Potter (Letters, 3 October) is mistaken in thinking the Spitfire’s sole purpose was to kill Germans. It was developed to bolster the RAF’s fighter fleet. It so happened that at the time we were at war with Nazi Germany and our fighter planes were used to prevent Britons from being killed by German bombers. The Spitfire played a significant role in the defeat of Nazi Germany, which then allowed Germany to develop a major role in the European community. Incidentally, Spitfire is one of my favourite beers and I did vote remain.
(Aged 90 and a blitz survivor), Silchester, Hampshire
• Your article reporting on our new artistic director describes ENO as “embattled” (Report, 9 October). In what sense is it embattled? Audiences are up 11% in a year and we have just turned the biggest profit in almost a decade. This in turn allows us to offer free tickets to under-18s to Friday, Saturday and opening night performances. The Guardian should catch up with audiences’ perceptions of ENO, not perpetuate out-of-date myths.
Chief executive, English National Opera
• What’s so offensive about being “over the hill”? Five years older than Judith Abbs (Letters, 8 October), I am happily coasting down the other side. I shall probably soon be falling off my perch and pushing up daisies.
• For those of us not versed in Latin, could you not have provided an asterisk at the end of Christopher Gordon’s letter (9 October), with a translation elsewhere on the page?
• The leader of the free world tweets he has “great and unmatched wisdom” (Report, 8 October). I am not that bright but would consider a challenge, if offered.