What's worrying New Labour?
SIR - I read the New Labour AM's comments (Western Mail, August 14) about my party's walk through the Rhondda valleys with interest. Perhaps his mischief-making is due to his concern with a Labour leadership in Wales that has run out of steam and is increasingly out of touch with the Welsh public. His fear is that Plaid is the only party that can challenge New Labour in all parts of Wales.
My walk as Plaid Cymru's Leader was to reach out to people across communities across Wales, and ensure they have a voice when it comes to the Assembly Election in 2007.
During my walk what was apparent was widespread dissatisfaction with Rhodri Morgan's government. Plaid's message is clear; at the next election if you want change then people should vote for Plaid Cymru at a constituency and regional level.
Although my walk is over people can still contact our website What Wales Wants http://www.www2007.info to put forward their ideas.
IEUAN WYN JONES AM
Leader of the Opposition, Plaid Cymru
Good work, Ann
SIR - I must say that I am appalled at the ignorance displayed by Syd Morgan's outburst against South Wales Labour MPs (Western Mail, letters, August 14).
It seems Mr Morgan is unaware of the decades of hard work and dedication Ann Clwyd undertook in attempting to highlight the brutalities of Saddam's regime and trying to get this monstrous tyrant indicted for numerous crimes committed against humanity.
The torture, murder and tyranny took place largely without international condemnation. This was apart from the tireless and often life-threatening efforts of individuals like Ann Clwyd.
Why? Were the tens of thousands of lives slaughtered by Saddam and his use of chemical weapons of mass destruction not deserving of the same scrutiny and criticism? It matters to me and millions of other Iraqis whose lives suffered as a result.
The same point can be made about the terrible events which have occurred in Lebanon and Israel. The influence Ann Clwyd has within the upper echelons of government and her very real experience with the troubled region coupled with her repeated calls for a ceasefire should never simply be labelled as "self-indulgence". In my opinion, self-indulgence is more evident in such easy attacks and criticisms of honest and dedicated politicians striving to push forward diplomacy, human rights and workable solutions to complex international problems.
The efforts which the Labour Government and individuals such as Ann Clwyd MP have made should not simply be brushed aside, no matter how easy it might be to do so.
Severn Grove, Canton
SIR - I was one of the four arrested in the anti-war protest at the National Museum in Cardiff last week "War protesters cautioned", (Western Mail, August 11).
Our street theatre on the museum steps depicted Ehud Olmert and Bush shaking blood-dripping hands, with Blair tagging along on a dog-lead.
Bafta award-winning actress Helen Griffin was choreographer. Red paint hand-prints on the museum pillars gave a UK institutional setting.
We expected to wash off the red poster paint. However, the museum pillars were highly absorbing, so traces remain even after a power wash. The police rightly arrested us for "criminal damage", but the museum did not press charges.
I appreciate both authorities showed sympathy with our cause - to highlight the complicity of Bush and Blair in Israeli crimes of war against the Lebanese population and infrastructure. I do regret the criminal damage to the museum columns, even though the criminal damage against the Lebanese people is far off-scale in comparison.
Westbourne Road, Penarth
SIR - I was astonished to read Swansea University Professor Sheehan's diatribe in the Western Mail ("Britain and US seen by Muslims to have failed the Islamic world", August 14).
By these statements Swansea University is actually justifying future terrorist acts on Welsh and British soil, an astonishing and disgusting position for Swansea University to adopt.
In the absence of immediate clarification, this position taken by Swansea University will have devastating repercussions and will reverberate around the world.
As a Welshman and as a US citizen, I am disgusted by Swansea's University's stance in justifying past and future terrorist acts.
In the absence of immediate clarification I intend to take this matter up with Senators and Members of Congress to demand Swansea University's position as a participating institution in the US government federal loan program is anything but.
Swansea University has, In the absence of immediate clarification, rendered itself a pariah in the fight against international terrorism.
Attorney at Law, (US Federal Law), DC metro area,
Arlington, VA 22204, USA
A job in tourism
SIR - Richard Lewis's view that "the tourism industry in Wales is a low pay industry" isn't fair or true. If he compared the retail and construction sector he'd find tourism is pretty competitive, particularly when the fringe benefits of meals on duty, late night transport, uniforms and free use of leisure facilities are included.
He is correct that there has been an influx of workers from the accession countries, but the assertion that tourism employers are paying these people less than the minimum wage would need empirical evidence to back up such a generalisation. Surely the issue is one of education and the way we sell careers in Wales' largest industry.
We should be focusing on dispelling the myths that employment in tourism is always long hours, low pay and poor working conditions.
Springboard Wales is working to promote the positives in Welsh tourism so young people, adult returners and those from disadvantaged groups within Wales get a chance to work with employers that exemplify best practice.
That way we will ensure we have a pipeline of talented, customer focused, indigenous individuals who'll help develop what is a fantastic product.
Director, Springboard Wales/Sbardun Cymru,
Bute Street, Cardiff Bay
Show some respect
SIR - While I do not always agree with some of Mr Brunstrom's speed camera policies I respect the success he has had as a police officer and am disgusted at the way he has been ridiculed by the tabloids for his participation in the Gorsedd ceremony last Friday.
I was present at the ceremony and it was an excellent advert of how a person has thrust himself into his adopted nation's culture and lifestyle.
He should be praised for not only learning our mother-tongue, but for also using the language in the work place and encouraging others to do the same.
The fact the English tabloids decided to ridicule him for wearing the traditional Gorsedd dress just shows how little knowledge or regard they have for this achievement.
It also shows how little respect they have for a long-established Welsh tradition.
Even in modern times, some "out dated" or old fashioned traditions should remain, including the dressing up of the Gorsedd.
I question how the British public and press would react if we were to respond to this criticism of Richard Brunstrom's white robes by suggesting similar dress traditions should be banished from British heritage.
Should we put an end to the Black rod parading in the House of Commons?
Should we put a halt to barristers and judges wearing long cloaks and wigs in court?
Of course not because they are, quite rightly, important parts of British history and heritage - as is the Gorsedd dress.
Well done Mr Brunstrom for your achievement in mastering "Iaith y nefoedd"!
Let's hope that "Prif Copyn" will attend Gorsedd meetings for years to come and that in future years the British tabloids show slightly more respect to both Gorsedd members and a Welsh tradition.
DAVID GWYNFOR SAMUEL
Caeracca Villas, Pant, Merthyr Tydfil
Benefit from bias
SIR - So Bethan Jenkins thinks that "aspiring female politicians need to have role models... to show it is possible for women to succeed in a male-dominated world".
Given that Ms Jenkins' current status on the Regional List was obtained on the basis of her being female I find her words totally offensive and an insult to the women in all walks of life who deal with bias and adversity on a daily basis.
Rarely do they have the benefit Ms Jenkins has been gifted.
Women in politics are no longer rare, and most enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they have gained their place in history purely on hard work and merit.
If women make up 50% of the Assembly then surely there is no need to disadvantage half of the population of Wales by imposing an unnecessary gender balance.
Many men are now being disadvantaged as a result of this unfair system, yet it seems this type of inequality is quite acceptable to Plaid and its members.
COUNCILLOR JACKIE RADFORD
Liberal Democrat Regional List Candidate for South Wales West