LETTER: Pacific nuclear tests: French public opinion, British history, Labour policy

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From Mr Ken Collins, MEP

Sir: It is, I suppose, a tribute to the Westminster fixation of most British political commentary that you have covered the French nuclear tests by reflecting only what Westminster leaders have been saying. You tell us (leading article, 8 September) that

the [British] political classes have failed to offer the leadership that has been required by the French tests.

And, in another article, you tell us that

Labour's environment spokespeople ... have however maintained a strikingly low profile.

Were you to turn your attention to politics on the other side of the Channel, where Labour spokespeople are at least as active, you would find that this is not the case.

Labour spokespeople have been active in having public meetings with not only the president of the Council of Environment Ministers, but also with the president of the Commission himself. As chairman of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, I have been active in discussions with Commissioner Bjerregaard, the Environment Commissioner, the Spanish president of the Environment Council and with President Santer.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Collins

MEP for Strathclyde East (Lab)

East Kilbride, Glasgow

11 September

The writer is chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection of the European Parliament.