letters In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You refer to "our third-rate local politicians" (leading article, 24 June). Because many of us oppose the idea of directly elected mayors? There are arguments against directly elected mayors, especially in authorities which cover a number of distinct communities. Unsurprisingly, local politicians are a mixed bunch of widely varying abilities. I suggest you shadow a local politician struggling to serve his/her community under a deluge of poorly thought-out central government initiatives and constrained within a straitjacket of government rules.

MIKE SIMPSON

Leader, Tandridge District Council

Warlingham, Surrey

Sir: Sir Julian Critchley says that the Conservative Party should be "an internationalist party or it is nothing" (Comment, 24 June). As a UK Independence Party member it is hardly my job to defend the Conservative Party. I would suggest, however, that a vision of the UK open to and trading with the whole world and with cosmopolitan cultural contacts is a wider vision than that of one fifteenth of a stagnant regional bloc.

PETER GARDNER

Oxford

Sir: Oliver Kamm is wrong to state that sanctions on Iraq will be lifted if Saddam Hussein complies with UN resolutions (letter, 24 June). The US and UK governments have made it abundantly clear that they will not stop torturing the people of Iraq until Saddam is replaced by a more compliant dictatorship along the lines of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. They will also not want to lift sanctions if it seriously affects the stability of oil prices.

PETER McKENNA

Liverpool

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