LETTERS: BRIEFLY

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The Independent Online
CAN I correct a number of points in your article on English Heritage (News, 18 October)? It is true we are proposing a merger of English Heritage and the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England. But I do not believe that English Heritage is "backward-looking"; nor do I intend to change its name. I have no brief for the "Cool Britannia" bandwagon: I'm more concerned with the future of arts and heritage in this country - and that's why we're putting an extra pounds 290m into these areas of activity over the next three years. I have no intention of asking Sir Jocelyn Stevens to step down as chairman. English Heritage, the Royal Commission and Sir Jocelyn are doing an excellent job. The unveiling of the Albert Memorial this past week is testimony to that.

CHRIS SMITH MP

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

THE authority of your article about the iconic qualities of the Fender Stratocaster (Real Life, 18 October) is weakened by the fact that the accompanying photograph is of a Gibson Les Paul.

RICHARD REES JONES

London SW12

IN HIS article about the production of Aeschylus's Oresteia, Daniel Rosenthal states that such productions keep Greek drama alive when academic interest in the Ancient Greeks is minute. But what about those taking Classics, Classical Studies and Ancient History? The Council of University Classics Departments records reveal that the number of those studying something classical in 1997 was 16,616.

DR PETER JONES

Newcastle upon Tyne

YOUR correspondent claims that swearing degrades women since most swear words refer to parts of the female anatomy (Letters, 18 October). But young women these days habitually use the F-word in an active sense to describe what they do to young men.

J M CARTER

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

JOAN SMITH refers to "the witch-hunt embarked upon by Senator Eugene McCarthy in the 1950s" (18 October). That persecution was led by Senator Joe McCarthy. Senator Eugene McCarthy was the liberal Democratic Party candidate who ran against Richard Nixon in 1972.

MEIRION TOMOS

Jasper, Alberta, USA

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