SIR: I write in response to the ill-informed outpourings of Mr. J. Wilkinson, (BEN; February 14). Mr. Wilkinson states that "we struggle vainly for our rights against the EU". What rubbish! If it was not for European laws, he would have precious few rights to struggle for! Many of our current laws pertaining to human rights, workplace rights, or laws protecting the environment, owe their genesis to the European Union.

Mr. Wilkinson goes on to argue that the British Empire was "frittered away" by "career politicians". What Mr. Wilkinson and his ilk fail to appreciate, is that the process of decolonialization begun after the Second World War, was designed to bring peace and democracy to countries where a popular will for self-government had been clearly expressed. It was the right thing to do, and all British political parties accepted it as such.

Mr. Wilkinson's anti-democratic rhetoric on the question of the Empire, is at odds with his whingeing attitude to the European Union. If he thinks other countries such as India or Pakistan should be deprived of their democratic rights, why is he so bothered about our "sovereignty?" Democracy is an absolute, you either believe in it or you do not. Mr. Wilkinson's position is either hypocritical or ill-informed, or indeed both.

Kevin Meagher,

Hereford Crescent,

Little Lever, Bolton.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.