THE idea that a national radio and television service can claim impartiality whilst maintaining a cosy relationship with the government of the day (HAS, Sept 17) is surely a novel one.

In many countries, notably in the third world, it is rare to find broadcasters following any other course.

Many of them are in fact tools of government, and whatever claims they make, impartiality is not among them. - Bob Jarratt, Caldwell, Richmond.


AS we witness the Hutton Inquiry, fluctuating one way then the other, Tony Blair's attempts to justify a war he knew was already planned have certainly caused some doubts about his trustworthiness.

However, another deception is now being enacted. Mr Blair and his fellow europhiles say the EU constitution is merely a tidying up exercise of no importance, when in fact most of its proposals seem to point to a federal state taking precedence over the nation state.

The President of the European Commission says: "The current draft is unworkable, the member states retain too much power to block decisions." So much for Mr Blair's red lines on the veto.

The illogical arguments against holding a referendum on such a radical matter as the EU constitution show our leaders' contempt for public opinion and the British people, on whose independence it will have such long lasting consequences. - J Heslop, Gainford.


FALSE hope lays open Labour's policy on the privatisation of council homes.

Already condemned for wasting tax payers money by the Audit Commission and scorned by many Labour MPs and councillors, this policy has been seen for what it is - a deliberate and punitively executed plan to deny services.

Tenants have become victims to the market-driven ideological zealousness of a Labour executive hell-bent on throwing away any ideal of defending the poorest of us in society.

Cuts in housing benefit will see the rise of an underclass made up of pensioners, the low paid and the unemployed, as they fall prey to market rents and gentrification.

Can this be the future of the North-East, already divided from a United Kingdom by poverty?. - Carl Bennett, Bishop Auckland.


IN response to your editorial Comment (Echo, Sept 13) surely sending British troops to war is not a decision for Tony Blair to make.

Isn't that the responsibility of Parliament? MPs made a decision on the evidence provided by the JIC in the September 2002 dossier and the February 2003 dossier.

Hindsight is a wonderful teacher, but we now know that:

1. The 45-minute warning referred to battlefield weapons and not weapons that would threaten British people and interests in Cyprus.

2. Iraq did not have a factory producing phosgene gas.

3. Documents and information re Iraq seeking uranium from Niger were false.

4. A destabilised Iraq might enable terrorist organisations to get their hands on Saddam's WMD.

It is a great pity that the above points were not made public and pushed with the same vigour by Mr Blair as he did with his other reasons for war.

So, who really is guilty of helping to "undermine democracy"? The media or the Blair Government?

Decisions are made on the information available at the time. Did MPs have all the available information when they voted on whether or not to go to war against Iraq? - Bill Longstaff, Barton.


TO disprove Darwin, support creationism and indirectly support the existence of God, T Kelly (HAS, Sept 11) invoked the creationist argument that it is impossible for anything to come into existence of its own accord.

Since the Bible holds there to be only one God, then logically the coming into existence of God did not employ any outside body (ie other gods) and was thus existence of its own accord.

By taking the Bible as literal truth, creationists nullify their own argument, because by doing so they accept God as coming into existence through self will, which, according to the creationists' own argument, is impossible.

Thus the argument used by creationists to discredit Darwin only serves disprove the existence of their own God, their entire argument and belief system. - CT Riley, Spennymoor.