26 SEPTEMBER 1992, Page 32

20/20 foresight

Sir: In your 'Unlettered' series you used to publish examples of letters or notices from companies or public bodies which are 'crass, illiterate, ignorant, irrelevant or embarrassing' and pay £10 to the lucky finder. The example I offer below scores well under a number of these headings and if you extended them to include a category of 'totally illogical' it would surely rate a bullseye: on issue after issue he has first taken a stand (sometimes before any stand needed to be taken), and then refused to change it long after change became inevitable. His repeated assurance that Britain would never send any troops to Bosnia — followed, in the end, by the offer to send 1,800 of them — is just one exam- ple.' (Your editorial of 5 September) `He' was, of course, the Prime Minister and the piece was part of the irrational and hysterical campaign against Britain's partic- ipation in the EEC, Maastricht and the Government's refusal to bow to the clam- our for further devaluation of sterling, which you and many of your contributors have inflicted on us, your loyal readers, for far too long.

The fact that I happened to read it on a Mediterranean beach, after a series of holi- day chats with assorted Italians, Germans and Frenchmen, served to underline even more clearly than before just how out of touch you are with the realities of Europe. We all had concerns about the problems facing our respective countries, but we also found that we all accepted that our future must lie in the successful development of the EEC.

It is high time that you ended the tedious carping which regularly leads you into the sort of absurdity I have quoted above and set out clearly your own views on how the Community should evolve and what (if any) role Britain should play in this process. You seem to hanker after — or be prepared to tolerate — some sort of trading bloc, but it is difficult to believe that you can be so out of date. Even Mrs Thatcher, when, as Prime Minister, she still acted and spoke responsibly, insisted years ago that the Community was, and should be, much more than that.

Ray Whitney

House of Commons, London SW1