Letter: Political insult added to injury

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The Independent Online
MY attention has been drawn to your mistaken use of my photograph ('The right tightens grip on education', 2 August). The caption under my picture, '. . . bogeyman of the education 'trendies' ', is quite ridiculous if read to apply to me, and misrepresents my views. I am not involved in education, apart from medical education, but I am completely out of sympathy with the views of both the 'right' and the 'left', and believe in centralist moderation.

During the BMA campaign of 1989-90, which set out to inform the public about the potentially disastrous effect of Kenneth Clarke's so-called 'reforms' of the NHS, I was repeatedly referred to disparagingly as 'a left-winger'. That continues, in spite of my repeated public assertion that I have never at any time been associated with any political party or trend.

On the contrary, in 1974 I opposed Barbara Castle's proposals for the NHS as strenuously as I opposed Kenneth Clarke's, and for the same reason: both were introduced for purely doctrinaire reasons unrelated to the real problems of the service.

Dr John Marks

Elstree, Herts

We regret that the photograph used to illustrate our article on education reform was of Dr John Marks, eminent medical practitioner, member of the General Medical Council and chairman of the BMA from 1984-90. He has no connection with Dr John Marks, author of a radical manifesto and member of the National Curriculum Council. We apologise to both men for any embarrassment.

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