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SO BBC "executives want to use the World Service as a showcase for British talent" ("BBC plans 'cool' makeover for World Service", 13 September). Splendid. They can start by scrapping their absurd internal- market rules, which force the World Service to pay vast sums for links to BBC regional studios. Thus it can be cheaper to have an expert from Washington than, say, Leeds. A strange way to promote Britain, cool or otherwise.


Shipley, West Yorkshire

"LET HIM who is without sin cast the first stone." So far Christopher Hitchens may well have been sinless. For the sin of unforgiving meanness, for pretending that titillating details are matters of public importance, and for rubbing salt in the wounds of others, Mr Hitchens could be redeemed only by the "grovelling" he condemns in Bill Clinton ("It's a scandal...", 13 September).


Brighton, East Sussex

PETER DENTON (Letters, 13 September) is wrong. Historically, succession to the crown was by proclamation/ affirmation. The successor may be the heir or someone else in the line of succession. Rightful heirs have variously been excluded because they were a woman, Catholic, or wanted to marry a divorcee. The present royal incumbent would not have been there if the monarchy were truly hereditary and the Lords and Commons had not been able to "pick and choose" in the 1930s.



THE "COMMUNIST Manifesto" was published 150 years ago; one of its co-authors had close links with Manchester. The time is surely right for Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch to jointly publish an up-dated version ("New Labour's All-Stars XI", 13 September). The new version could read: "The bourgeoisie has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound supporters to their local club, and has left remaining no other nexus between player and manager than naked self-interest, than callous 'cash payment'. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of football fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation."