Where would we be without them?

SIR - It may benefit Karl Dallas to reflect a moment on the content of his letter ("Media bias over march coverage", October 3).

He speaks of having been active on peace demonstrations since 1938. Very commendable. Yet I, for one, am grateful that there were others on hand at the time (like my late father who fought for six years in the Second World War) to stop Hitler and his Nazi regime stormtrooping across England and the rest of the world, as they had done across Europe.

Most certainly the "British tradition of fair play and free speech" Mr Dallas appeals to would be now a historic memory of 50 years ago had our valiant forefathers, together with our American and Russian allies, accepted at the time peace at any price.

I am profoundly grateful that they did not.

Mrs M Lindsay, Broster Avenue, Keighley.

Choice removed

SIR - I am afraid that Mr Dallas, in his letter last week, fell into the trap of assuming that the BBC is normally an impartial organisation. Unfortunately their Director General is a close friend of President Blair.

The Countryside Alliance March that he referred to had the pro-hunt lobby as a small minority. It was mainly made up of people seriously concerned about the effects of the EU policies on the countryside in general. Not that it was depicted that way on TV.

The EU is turning out to be a non-democratic organisation looking suspiciously like the USSR used to be - a pseudo-democracy governed by an elite group of commissioners.

Big business seems to have powerful links with the top, hence the present steady removal of consumer choice as regards vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.

Arthur Bailey, Nelson Road, Ilkley.

The real test

SIR - It is important to finish the story that Councillor Simon Cooke (T&A, October 1) started in his championing of the independent schools in the district.

Of course the students did well, with most achieving the highest grades, and they worked hard and deserve to be congratulated.

However the point missed by Simon and the Chief Executive of the Council is that anything less than this level of success would be a failure for these privileged schools, which reach for the most able beyond the boundaries of Bradford and bus them in. In the main they have excellent parental support and well-resourced facilities.

You really can't go far wrong with these advantages.

The real test is in the classrooms of the non-selective state schools that take all the youngsters in an area irrespective of aptitude or need or support.

It was not helpful for the Chief Executive to suggest that these maintained schools could have the same results as the private schools.

In the interest of a more equable and cohesive society it would have been more appropriate if he had welcomed the improvements in local schools and acknowledged the educational value added.

Councillor Keith Thomson, Heights Lane, Bradford 9.

Closure scandals

SIR - I wish all the parents and governors who are fighting the proposed Hoyle Court Primary School closure the very best of luck in their endeavours to keep the school open.

I am a parent of a child who attended the now-closed Church of England school on Jenny Lane. Both parents and staff spent countless hours fundraising for extra facilities only to see this comparatively new school torn down a few years later.

In the real word if someone made such a disastrous mess of school numbers then they would have lost their job. Clearly this does not happen at the LEA.

The land from abandoned schools is proving to be very lucrative in economic terms. It is never used for the benefit of the community, for example for the provision of badly-needed recreational facilities for young people or some decent bungalows for the elderly.

Perhaps if the LEA continue to get their way and excellent schools are closed and four-bedroom detached properties are put in their place, then we will need more schools not fewer.

Jane Dunn, Hallfield Drive, Baildon.

We want our pool!

SIR - It was pleasing to read that Bradford West is to get a £2.5million swimming pool but disappointing that it won't be in the village of Thornton only "within reach" of it.

Why can't the money be spent on doing up our own village pool in Queensbury? Every family hasn't got transport and we want the children to be safe and able to go swimming in the village pool and know that it is a family pool. We don't need a big Olympic pool. We just want our own Thornton pool returned to the village.

Will those in charge please think again and let the happy voices of the Thornton children return to our own pool.

Veronica Farnell, Market Street, Thornton.

The wrong site

SIR - I am appalled that the site of the old Thornton pool is not being redeveloped as a new swimming pool within the village.

I sincerely hope that the new one is not a bus ride away or even a car ride away, and that no greenfield site is being used for it. We seem to be intent on destroying village amenities in favour of car drivers and environmental pollution.

Gloria Dallas, New Toftshaw, Bradford 4.