IAN Horn’s response to my letter (Gazette, July 31) was welcome as democracy is dialogue and the toleration of differences.

One thing that needs questioning is the assertion that people need to be compelled to do the right thing when even the experts do not know what this may be.

Most people have made great sacrifices and many of us who have carried on essential work, often at risk, have shown inspiring community spirit.

To be demonised for going out in the healthy fresh air and sun or socialising with friends shows bad faith as most people have been very considerate and compliant in these settings.

Mr Horn quotes George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” - but the Government is not telling us to wear a mask but criminalising its non-wearing after telling us before that they were ineffective.

I wear one to be polite, but as citizens we should have the right to question the efficacy of masks and other aspects of the strategy imposed on us.

Maybe the thing that people do not want to hear is that masks have no proven beneficial safety value.

Paul Gurnett

Constable Close, West Mersea