Corus DIRECTORS: DISGUSTING and inappropriate as they are, the huge bonuses Corus bosses intend awarding themselves are no big deal.

Anyone who keeps an eye on the financial press knows such bonus payments are standard practice by senior management in British industry and they will use any and every pretext for this purpose.

The firm develops a new product; they pay themselves a bonus. They change the firm's logo; they pay themselves a bonus. They install new office furniture; they pay themselves a bonus. The firm amalgamates with another; they pay themselves a bonus. The managing director breaks wind; they pay themselves a bonus.

These are the people who control British industry, they couldn't care less about their shareholders, let alone their workforce, and their greed is only equalled by their hypocrisy. - Tony Kelly, Crook.


DETAILS of recommended increases in allowances for councillors (Echo, Apr 7) show once again that we in County Durham have too many councils and too many councillors with their snouts in the trough.

In Cleveland there are only four unitary authorities, which means that there are only four leaders of the council each to receive the reported £5,000 or 23 per cent annual increase.

In Durham we have a total of nine councils, each with a leader of the council receiving this massive increase in allowances.

The same can be said of deputy leaders and the chairmen of scrutiny committees. For every four such positions in Cleveland, we in Durham have nine.

There is, of course, a way for these councillors to show that what they say is what they mean.

During the firefighters' strike local authority leaders repeatedly stated that they could not afford to pay more than the 15 per cent over three years that was on offer.

Now is the time for them to say that they will only accept 15 per cent over three years and refuse to accept what is being recommended. - Brian Gibson, Socialist Labour Party, Ferryhill.


IT is absolute rubbish to suggest the war in Iraq is being fought to feed the egos of George Bush and Tony Blair.

The ultimate aim is impossible to ascertain, and oil has been put forward as one reason.

We should ask ourselves how much oil was there in South Korea and Vietnam, where many American lives were lost in an effort to prevent the spread of the evils of Communism.

George Bush is the elected American President, albeit by the narrowest of margins, but there is no doubt at present that he has the overwhelming support of over 75 per cent of the nation, according to all American public opinion polls.

Let us all hope there will be an early end to this fragile situation, so the well-being of all Iraqis will be of the utmost importance. - Peter Johnson, Darlington.

I WAS as concerned as the next man about the deadly, untidy combat taking place in Iraq. It looks like the Coalition has more or less achieved its object.

So those who have (and still are) protesting so vigorously against this action, could perhaps think that we have killed a fraction of the number killed by Saddam. Which is not pleasant.

But how else would Saddam be removed? The Coalition has done well in this thankless task, lengthened by protestors (giving Saddam false hopes), who won't admit they have miscalculated.

George Galloway and co - go jump in the Euphrates. - F Atkinson, Shincliffe.

SURELY there can be nothing more demoralising for troops in battle than being fired on by your own kind.

With high technology having reached unprecedented levels, they still cannot tell friend from foe.

Modern aircraft fly too fast. In difficult terrain, the piston engined rocket firing Typhoon of the Second World War would have been much more effective.

During the Russian-German conflict, when front line German troops requested assistance from the Stuka dive bombers, they would often pin large swastikas on the ground showing their exact position. It is possible that such a simple method could still be of use today. - Douglas Punchard, Kirkbymoorside.

MAY I ask one question via your newspaper to all our MPs? Bearing in mind that Tony Blair and George Bush are saying that it is just right and humanely correct that Iraq should be run by the Iraqi people, does that mean the same should apply to the English people?

Scots rule Scotland, Welsh rule Wales, Irish rule Ireland and Englishmen or women rule England. It's not a lot to ask for, is it? - Peter Brown, Trimdon Village.


MANY aspects of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? case leave me slightly baffled.

None more so than the unimaginative odds of how three members of the same family and a close friend were not only able to defy enormous odds to qualify, but each managed to get in the hot seat.

I would estimate the odds of this happening as about the same as four members of the same family scooping the lottery jackpot. - Bob Bailey, Horden.