26 APRIL 2003, Page 31

The good Hashemite

From Mr Johnny Lea vesley Sir: Mark Steyn is often right and always engaging to read but he is wrong about the Hashemites (Leave Iraq to US', 5 April). The Hashemites rule Jordan rather well, given its notable lack of wealth and the huge regional tensions. They are famously benevolent to their subjects, tirelessly promote regional peace, and are in the process of voluntarily introducing democracy to Jordan. Steyn trots out the old line that, without the Hashemites, Jordan would be the Palestinian state. That may be Aridl Sharon's earnest desire, but there is no evidence that with the monarchy removed all Palestinians would prefer Jordan to the West Bank. The fact that many do anyway is an argument in favour of Hashemite rule, not against.

Johnny Lea vesley Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire