19 AUGUST 1989, Page 20

Mad Queen

Sir: A typical behaviour for a lager-lout is said to be an urge to bother and harass harmless people without provocation. I never thought that wine experts suffered from the same purposeless resentment. In Another voice (22 July), however, Mr Auberon Waugh is spitting bile and venom at a harmless and friendly nation just because some common law in Sweden differs from conditions in Britain. We have not asked to be mentors for the British in any respect. Why don't you, Mr Waugh, treat the chief rambler, Mr Mattingly, with relevant arguments, pointing out that Sweden has only nine million people in an area larger than Britain, which creates quite another situation for rambling?

Why do you write nonsense about the Swedish birth-rate? We have had a baby- boom for many years. Some time ago you wrote with concern about the decreasing birth-rate in Britain. Perhaps you should ship your countrywomen over here for a polar night. Then you would perhaps stand a chance to get a British player into the quarter finals at Wimbledon.

As to original thinking, which Mr Waugh disallows us, let me mention people like Raoul Wallenberg, Olof Palme, Ing- mar Bergman and Astrid Lindgren, who are respected all over the world, even by opponents.

It is evident that Mr Waugh suffers from xenophobia and misanthropy, a sad di- agnosis. But he means fascinating reading; it is like meeting Alice's mad Queen from a safe distance.

S. A Rydberg

Ostra Lyckan 6 A, 30251 Halmstad, Sweden