28 JULY 1990, Page 22

Sermon on Mount

Sir: Having on several occasions looked down on Mr Ferdinand Mount, rubicund and giving evidence of moderate rational- ity, I am taken aback to read in his review of my book Conservatism (Books, 14 July) that there are three kinds of Conservative, the Worsthornian and the Middle. Can it be that his time at No. 10 affected his counting? Was there an effluvium given off by those who prepare the unemployment statistics?

I have left out some of Mr Mount's lines. Just so, and no less blithely, does he leave out a pageful or two of mine. He does so in order to say that I dimly think that a certain passage of Conservative thought about copses, clowns, etc. is obscure, and hence to speculate that I am not a good guide to his politics.

If you will turn to pages 10-12 of my book, you will see that what I declare is obscure is the marrying of the passage of which he quotes part with something else, which other thing Mr Mount just breezes by. He breezes by a lot else too, including the fact that I do not agree with Mr Hattersley about talk of freedom.

Ted Honderich

University College London, Gower Street, London WC1