17 OCTOBER 1998, Page 27

Lady of the Left

Sir: I return to England after a month in France to find that the usual low standards prevail, exemplified by Sion Simon's child- ish abuse quoted by Liz Davies (Letters, 3 October).

When Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour party, I was told that he was a Stalinist, using personal abuse to denigrate political opponents. Si6n Simon has obvi- `Of course, force is the only language they understand.' ously taken up this approach with enthusi- asm.

Even common abuse must surely bear some relation to reality — an exaggeration, a twisting of a characteristic — but I can find nothing in Mr Simon's adjectives which even approaches my own observation of Liz Davies as a softly spoken, intelligent, logi- cal, courteous person whom my mother would have described as 'a lady'. My moth- er would certainly not have described Si6n Simon as 'a gentleman'.

Nina Tuckman

86 Harberton Road, London N19