Dear Sir,

YOUR columnist Ray Fleming shrewdly notes that Tony Blair will have to go sooner rather than later if he continues to subordinate British policy to American interests. For the first time in my life I am beginning to see the desirability of the parliamentary system over the presidential one. Regretfully Bush will not have to go because he is subordinating American policy to Israeli interests. Your poodle is serving our puppet. As an active, partisan, lifelong Republican I cannot tell you how much I loathe what is going on. I am completely simpatico with the rank and file Labourites who are tearing up their cards. Sometimes party loyalty demands too much. Blood is more important.

Ralph McGaughey

Boston. MA USA

Dear Sir,

Millions of words have been spoken and written on the Middle East crisis, with hundreds of suggestions and solutions being voiced, from appeasement to war in Iraq, but rarely the underlying cause for the fundamentalists' hatred for America, Israel and most of the Western world is debated, namely the refusal to recognise an independent state for Palestine. What excuse can there possibly be for such injustice and hypocrisy? America wants to disarm Iraq by force (there is a lot of money to be made in waging war) but keeps Israel armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction (not to mention their own weapons). There will always be hatred for America unless they recognise the right for Palestinians to have their own nation. Until this right is recognised, Al Qaeda will always exist. Surely this solution should go to the top of the United Nations agenda. As neither side can be trusted to cease their belligerent acts and after a fair and just division of the territory, surely a United Nations peace keeping force should be permanently placed in both countries. It would certainly be a far more economical and compassionate solution to a situation that has continued far too long.

Helen Courtey Lewis

Sta Eugenia