From Professor C. J. Adams Sir: Your leading article today goes only halfway towards the heart of the current debate on "devolution" ("Think again about England", 13 January). All of us want government that is more competent, more responsive and more locally representative. Howeve r, very few people, even fewer "opinion formers", not even your leader writers, will admit that the way to achieve this might be to reduce significantly, or better to eliminate completely, the power of the three Ws: Westminster, Whitehall and Windsor.

The debate that the country needs to have is not about inserting an extra tier of government and what its powers should be; rather, those who seek to rule us from Whitehall or Windsor should convince the British people just how and why the current form of government is superior to the alternative of creating fully autonomous European states of a few million inhabitants, based on the British regions.

We have nothing to lose by consigning our metropolitan government to the annals of history. Every day the current government and administration are denounced as deceitful, negligent, and incompetent: no autonomous region could fear doing worse.

The argument for centralising the British islands is based on the politics and the low taxation of the late medieval society: only a strong king could wage wars successfully. The successes of the 21st century will be small countries, building on small decencies and imaginative and sensitive to the possibilities of the new world.

There are already a number of good examples of very successful small nations in the European community. Why can't we start now to imitate them?

Yours faithfully, CHRIS ADAMS Birkenhead, Merseyside 13 January