Letters: Briefly

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The Independent Online
YOUR correspondent Adam Sage begins a report (5 July) on a new device to identify law-breaking motorists who exceed the motorway speed limit, with the words: 'A new menace appeared on the roads last week'.

May one inquire whether Mr Sage, after installing a burglar alarm at his home, would tell friends: 'A new menace appeared on my house last week.'

Gerrard Raven, Richmond, Surrey

THE QUEEN MARY ('Old Queen seeks new career', July 5) is rusting away, the public rooms are dirty, musty and so altered that they bear no resemblance to their original grand design. The restaurant where it is claimed that Winston Churchill had his meals is, in fact, the officers' mess, while the Verandah Grill (where Churchill did eat), is a hamburger bar. I would prefer this grand old lady to be taken out to sea and given a dignified funeral in the ocean where she once ruled supreme.

James Rusbridger, Bodmin, Cornwall

NOT satisfied with telling us that 'Britten is widely regarded as the most important figure in English musical history', your music critic Michael White continues a week later with another fatuous superlative when he writes that the LSO has the 'best brass in the country'. Punishment: drinks, on him, with the brass sections of the Philharmonia, LPO, BBC Philharmonic, etc, etc.

Jeremy Barlow, London NW5

DONALD Macintyre believes, or his 'young Treasury Turk' source believes, that the phrase 'military-industrial complex' is 'neo-Marxist language' ('Cabinet flies by seat of its pants', 5 July). Reference to the origin of the phrase is called for: 'In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.' The speaker? President Dwight Eisenhower, newly retired.

Mike Holderness, London E2

WHY do we disparage BR's results in running 80-90 per cent of trains on time, when there is another much more deserving target? While not a vastly experienced air traveller (some 100 flights during the past 20 years), my diary notes show that only six of these took off or landed on time. I am drafting this during a two-hour delay in take-off from Zurich, 'due to factors beyond our control, heavy air-traffic congestion all over Europe'.

M W Cuming, Orpington, Kent

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