Letter: Prime Minister's question time

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his report last Thursday (4 March) of his interview with John Major, Andrew Marr preceded Mr Major's remarks on manufacturing with the question:

But what, I asked, of the Thatcherite idea that the service sector was the thing, that making things was becoming less important to this country?

His Friday article reveals that he actually put to Mr Major a very different question:

But the idea got about in the Eighties that actually making things wasn't so important in this country?

Mr Marr's justification for using a question he didn't ask is that it made the meaning of Mr Major's reply 'more explicit'. Well, why didn't he, instead of joining in the politicians' games of ambiguity and blurred meanings, make his question clear in the first place, when he was asking it? And given that he didn't, couldn't he at least have reported the actual question put, added his own interpretation and left the reader to judge?

Yours sincerely,

STEPHEN HOWES

Croydon

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