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JOAN SMITH writes in her column that the merger of the departments for education and employment is "an alarming linkage whose blatant message [is] that the purpose of education is to turn out the workforce industry requires". That is the very reason I'm a Tory. If we do not have an industry that makes a profit then nobody will be able to pay for her writing, which would be small recompense for our grandchildren having to live in global poverty.

Keith Healey, Stoke-on-Trent