Letters: In Brief

In Brief

Sir: May I put in a plea in support of Austin Mitchell's defence of the Upper House (Comment, 22 July). Recent history has provided many examples of administrative reforms that have failed to deliver the promised advantages. The widespread return to unitary local authorities has in many cases reinvented the county borough after a series of enormously costly changes. No amount of expenditure could allow us nowadays to reinvent such an anachronism as the House of Lords, however well it functioned.

JOHN GRIGG

London WC1

Sir: David Williams (letter, 26 July), querying the need to ban mobile phones on aircraft, doesn't understand the inverse square law. If you double your distance from a transmitter you reduce the signal strength by a factor of four, and so on. It is possible that a passenger might be within20 feet of a vital piece of equipment. It is unlikely that anybody on the ground will be within 200 feet of a landing aeroplane.The man on the ground's signal is one hundredth of the passenger's.

JOHN GRESHAM

Southport, Merseyside

Sir: The Government is to be congratulated on the dramatic improvement in English and maths tests results for 11-year-olds (report, 23 July). Imagine the improvement there would have been if teachers could have discovered the magic of the daily "literacy hour" before last autumn. It is also amazing the effect a numeracy hour can have on maths results before it has even started!

ALAN OLDFIELD

Mold,

Flintshire

Sir: It may be creative to change the colours of the Union Jack for the front cover of Vision: Fifty Years of British Creativity (Book Review, 23 July), but would other nationals fly their flag upside-down?

KAREN SPINK

Pinner, Middlesex

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