Of course there's nothing wrong with a bit of genial North-South rivalry, as the Weasel points out (Up & Down Canary Wharf, 21 January). Yet the danger in books like Charles Jennings's Up North: Travels Beyond the Watford Gap is that they reinforc e prejudices against a region which has struggled economically in recent years. I remain convinced that people's misconceptions make it harder for much-needed recovery to begin. Indeed, one reason for the North's plight has been the unwillingness of a So uthern-based government to invest there.
Yet one shouldn't dwell on the negative side, for there's much to boast about. Why else do millions visit the Lake District? The Yorkshire Dales? Or even much-maligned Blackpool? And perhaps the Weasel ought to commission Alan Bleasdale or Melvyn Bragg to write about Down South: Life Below the Watford Gap; after all, if the whole idea is such a big joke, I think it's our turn to be laughing.
tim mickleburgh Grimsby, Lincolnshire n