The Irish question13th October 2005 There is an error in your “In fact” column (October). You claim, citing the blog Slugger O’Toole, that “in the 1830s, the population of the island of Ireland was 8m, while the population of England, Wales and Scotland was 10m.” The figure for Ireland is more or less correct (7.8m at the 1831 census), but the correct figure for Britain in 1831 is 16.3m. However, the underlying point is valid, that the relative population of Ireland is much smaller now than it was then—due largely to some unpleasant British policies for which Prospect, had it been around then, would no doubt have found a way to apologise.
Wilson McLeod Edinburgh
Speaking to Europe30th September 2005 Andrew Moravcsik (October) is wrong: President Bush was not the first US president to visit the EU institutions. Ronald Reagan addressed the European parliament eloquently and movingly.
Richard Carswell Richmond
Trash cricket12th September 2005 Hundreds of club cricketers will feel insulted by Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s description (September) of the one-day game as “trash-cricket.” On the contrary, a good case can be made that the one-day game is the norm, and that the four and five-day versions are an over-refined development, generally a rather tedious one, though admittedly with exceptions. Did they play four-day matches on Hambledon?
Peter Rose Newport
India joins the west27th October 2005 Mark Leonard’s suggestion (November)—that India, by joining the west in opposing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and recognising Israel, was deeply shifting its foreign policy strategy—is wrong. These decisions probably had more to do with India’s hostility to the Islamic world. The BJP government’s recognition of Israel was an example of this—a case of my enemy’s foe is my friend.
Michael Palmer Addis Ababa
Paying for lighthouses17th October 2005 Terence Kealey’s eagerness (October) to show that there is no need for state action to provide public goods leads him to offer an example that shows the opposite. The market does not support the provision of lighthouses, in England or almost anywhere else. The fees paid by shipowners which finance lighthouses are in effect a tax, and the proceeds are handed to a monopoly supplier.
Paul Temple Institute of Education
Protestant resentment4th November 2005 Eric Kaufmann writes sympathetically about “Protestant alienation” in Northern Ireland (November). Yet the truth is that Northern Ireland’s Protestants have traditionally blocked moderate reform and got more radical reform…