Letters In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Any downturn in high street spending this Christmas is in part explained by your report (12 December) that a million Britons have gone shopping in New York in the last couple of months. To offset airfares and hotel bills a conservative estimate would suggest that such shoppers would probably be spending pounds 500 each in New York shops. That is some pounds 500m out of our economy and into the US one. The remedy, of course, is in the hands of our retailers.

JAN POKORNY

Leicester

Sir: Brigadier Peter Sincock (letter, 12 December) claims that British forces were stationed in Bahrain "serving our own interests". Whose interests were being served exactly? Not mine. Could it have been those of Britain's arms traders and other corporate interests to whom human rights are secondary?

DAVID CROMWELL

Southampton,

Hampshire

Sir: There is nothing aristocratic about the Dutch prefix "van" ("Landowner puts walkers on warpath", 14 December). It simply means "of". The gentleman in question's family apparently originated from a place called Hoogstraten; that is all.

MAYKE HOGESTIJN

Radnage, Buckinghamshire

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