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The Independent Culture
Sir: I congratulate David Aaronovitch for his honesty ("Yes, I smack my kids too - but it's an admission of my failure", 21 May). We are all harder on our children in private, which makes it all the more hard to bear when we see children beaten publicly by a parent. It's about time we recognised that children are learning violence from their parents as much as from TV and videos.


Marlborough, Wiltshire

Sir: Mary Braid may have visited Marks and Spencer recently, but it's obvious from her article "Cool? It has all the verve and style of a Saga holiday" (19 May) that she hasn't been anywhere near a Saga holiday. People who travel with Saga are far from "fuddy-duddy". If Ms Braid wants to know what a Saga holiday is like these days, I challenge her to come parasailing in Bali or white-water rafting in Borneo. We will make an exception for her youth!


Public Relations Manager

Saga Group

Folkestone, Kent

Sir: In his article on the Royal Court's interesting relationship with the Jerwood Foundation (19 May), David Benedict refers to the "usually high" salaries paid to arts organisations' funding development officers. The salaries that such people command are roughly 40 per cent below what their skills would earn outside the arts; for example, in the education or national charity sectors. The fact is that the arts in this country are heavily subsidised by those who work to keep the wheels turning, and this deserves recognition.


PR & Development Manager

European Union Baroque Orchestra

Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Sir: Karl Marx himself could not have summarised the ethos of free-market capitalism as succinctly as your business page headline "Barclays shares soar as City welcomes job cuts" (21 May).


Tetbury, Gloucestershire