Letters: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Now that Baroness Blackstone has announced that A-levels are not as hard as they were in her day (report, 3 July), the Silly Season may be declared open and the transmutation of New Labour into Old Tory completed.

PHILIP D DELNON

Swanscombe, Kent

Sir: I find the renaming of Gay Pride as Mardi Gras offensive (Philip Hensher, 2 July). It is 30 years since the Stonewall riot, during which time very little legal improvements have occurred for gays. Despite the awful position still facing gays in 1999, the controllers of Mardi Gras want us to stick on an outrageous costume and show the world how much fun we are, whilst charging us pounds 10 for the effort. Political ordinary gays should reclaim their agenda.

RICHARD WILLIAMS

London SW16

Sir: I was not so bothered by the chap apparently chewing the snake (Gambian snake charmer: letters page photograph, 5 July), as by the depths the cigarette companies will sink to in order to promote the cause of lung cancer around the world, as shown by the advertising slogan on his T-shirt. I welcome the publishing of the picture to raise the profile of this form of exploitation.

ANDREW LONG

Reading, Berkshire

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