ALAN WRIGHT: IT'S nice to know what Alan Wright has been up to since being axed from BBC Radio Cleveland last year.

Like thousands of other listeners I was outraged and lost no time putting pen to paper to Radio Cleveland bosses.

I wonder if the BBC licence can still be justified. After all, we, the listeners, the licence payers, don't have any say at all, even though they keep telling us it is our BBC. The hell it is. It's theirs to do just as they like.

With Alan Wright there was always good debate, wit and humour and although I was never too keen on phone-ins in the past, I can honestly say I've never heard more common sense come out of the people in our patch.

As Alan said himself (Echo, Feb 18) there is such a gap that exists for an intelligent radio station with a mature audience in this region.

I guess like Jimmy Young he proved too popular.

I could see no justification for his sacking. You don't get rid of your finest asset if you are acting in the best interests of the station. I hope it isn't too long before Alan is back on our airwaves again. I wish him well in the future. - N Staff, Durham.


AFTER September 11 many American voices asked: 'Why are we so disliked internationally?'

In my opinion, it is because that once upon a time they were morally and spiritually richer, but this state of grace has been badly eroded as they have slowly emerged since the end of the Second World War to become all powerful, militarily and economically.

To some extent they see the dislike of America being down to jealousy of their might, when in reality it is down to a frightening decline in their spiritual and moral values, which are being replaced by material and self-seeking values.

The lame ducks of this world, those in dire poverty through no fault of their own, are disregarded and trampled underfoot, where once the benevolent hand of the US would have aided them.

China during the 1930s and early 1940s and aid to a beaten enemy during the Berlin Airlift are two good examples of this.

Since those times embargoes, no matter how hurtful to the populations involved, and arms shipments to prop up dictators, have largely replaced the Christian hand of aid and international friendship.

Is it any wonder that, with the disregard, indifference and self-interest of Americans, they are so disliked?

May I suggest a change in the wording on their coinage, from In God We Trust to In Might We Trust. At least until they get back on track spiritually. - G.H. Grieveson, Richmond.

SINCE when did one million marchers in London represent 48 million to 60 million people who chose to stay at home with their views for an issue greater and more dangerous than that which faced us in 1939.

That was when our ally was France, a nation that has since proved always good for a handout in both world wars and their colony in Vietnam which cost America 55,000 lives, but now finds it has not the moral fibre to back Britain and America in the coming struggle.

Our two nations have given so much to make this country what it is. But now leaves the question is our future in Europe or with the Commonwealth of Nations. - Raymond Reed, Richmond.

HOW terrible that we should be preparing for war because of events in a far away country of which we know little.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's words at the time of the Czechoslovakian crisis in 1938, find in their isolationist folly an echo in many letters to HAS about Iraq.

Let me point out to the writers of those letters that, even if it were morally permissible to ignore a threat to others, which it isn't, in this case it would be suicidal to do so.

Saddam Hussein is part of a global phenomenon from Bali in the east to Algeria in the west that threatens the entire world community.

Now if we know what's good for us we'll deal with this issue now. The fact that others, like France, Germany and the UN, have reneged on their responsibilities to do so is no reason for us to follow suit.

And as for the UN, but for them this issue would have been got out of the way at relatively little cost in 1991. - T Kelly, Crook.

TONY Blair's stirring rhetoric and moral indignation has a hollow ring when we consider that the leadership of the Labour Party glossed over Saddam's use of chemical weapons against the Kurds and Iran.

Our opposition against Saddam did not start yesterday, like many people on the recent march in London, we were protesting when New Labour was sinning by silence and turning a blind eye to these atrocities for fear of offending the United States' capitalist hierarchy.

Tony Blair has endorsed the American policy of sanctions against Iraq, which has not harmed Saddam personally one iota but has lead to the deaths of well over half a million Iraqi children. Where's the morality in that?

We socialists are in favour of liberating oppressed people and not only in Iraq.

However, American foreign policy is always conducted in the interest of those groups who have money, power and political clout. It is all about gaining and maintaining economic advantage.

Democracy, freedom and human rights are just part of the sales pitch and are optional items in practice.

Mr Blair is not an honourable or brave politician. The simple truth is that he is more afraid and holds in more esteem the economic military might and prestige of America than the democratic will of the British people. - James Fitzpatrick, Gateshead.