Letter: Pampered rustics

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Sir: Before marching to London for a collective whinge ("Rural crisis", 26 January), the over-subsidised denizens of the shires should reflect on the source of the wealth that makes their lifestyle possible.

To send a postman in a van thirty or forty miles down narrow roads to deliver a single postcard to a rural idyll costs a great deal more than the chap who bicycles 500 yards from the sorting office and walks down my street, but the postcard carries the same stamp. The outcry that accompanies plans to privatise the Post Office makes it clear that everyone, yokels included, is aware of this compulsory subsidy from town to country, which would no doubt soon end.

City wealth enables uniform provision of government services such as healthcare, education and jobcentres, regardless of location. I await the demand from the spoilt "country folk" that mobile telephone companies and Channel 5 be obliged to ignore the dictates of the market and extend their coverage to include the remotest croft on the grounds of "countryside rights".

The cities pay the piper; why should they not call the tune?

PHILIP RESHEPH

Rainham, Essex

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