4 NOVEMBER 2000, Page 43

In other words.. .

From Mr Andrew Roberts Sir: Tony Benn, in his review of Peter Hen- nessy's new book The Prime Minister (Books, 21 October), wrote that

Jim Callaghan had very few months to estab- lish himself and was destroyed by the IMF, consciously and deliberately paving the way for the Thatcher government which threw over the welfare state, destroyed our industry, the trade unions and local government until she was finally removed by her own party.

Perhaps this intemperate rant could be rephrased thus:

Jim Callaghan had three years to establish him- self, but was destroyed by the trade unions despite help from the IMF, and he lost an elec- tion to the Thatcher government which spent unprecedented sums on the welfare state, restructured our industry, tamed the over- mighty trade unions and would have reformed local government had she not been stabbed in the back by a minority of her own party.

Andrew Roberts

London SW3