PRESIDENT Bush's critical speech about Iraq was bad enough, but Mr Blair's parallel speech at Plymouth about a constantly interventionist Britain was worse.

Absent from the Prime Minister's speech was proper reference to the British lives to be lost. And there was no reference to the financial drain upon public services at home.

This is right-wing American stuff, even rejected by Bush's own Iraq Study Group. It's also a dangerous cowboy stance - as if we must always have the Indians to fight.

The real winner will be the bankers and missile-makers, while poor old Britain's public services, starved of money, continue their drift towards ruin.

As your correspondent, David Quarrie, has pointed out, a new foreign policy is needed. The "others" must be kept in dialogue with us. We know their faults, but are we in the West so pure and godly, with people locked up for years without trial and the thousands dead in an illegal war?

The last tragedy is that Whitehall, and to some extent parliament in the shape of a bemused and sheep-like Labour Party, no longer represents the British people.

We want more hope, and more kindness, at home, not (disguised) old-fashioned empire-building abroad.

Blair must be persuaded to drop his Napoleonic stance before he brings us all nearer ruin, at home and abroad.

Roy Stevens, Willow Bank, New Earswick, York.