Dear Sir

With Martin Kettle, I do "see the awfulness of the world that they [Ministers] inhabit, and which they strive so unavailingly to control" ("Living dangerously, but what other option is there?" December 30), but what is missing from his article and from Government policy is any mention of identifying and tackling the causes of terrorism. Every prescription is directed towards the symptoms rather than the disease.

The increasing constraints on personal liberty and the growing restrictions on mobility demonstrate just how successfully the terrorists are winning the struggle to undermine North American and European lifestyles. Moreover, the dangerous trend towards a restrictive and xenophobic nationalism flies in the face of a terrorism which is international and supranational. Take for instance the US Government's insistence on armed "air marshals" on flights to, from and over the USA. Clearly, it cannot insist on them on flights from, say Paris to Martinique, or London to Jamaica, which are just as vulnerable to hi-jacking to the USA, making a nonsense of the directive.

What is urgently required is an open and clear commitment to international co-operation, with a strengthened United Nations; to a more constructive attitude to migrants; and a recognition of the positive attractions of multicultural societies. It also requires the phasing out of constitutional or legal provisions that indicate a state preference for a particular religion, and an end to the recruitment of doctors, nurses and teachers from developing countries where they are more needed than in the west. Finally, and the most concrete item of all, it requires a determination to end the Israeli creation of a walled Palestinian ghetto, and instead the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Yours faithfully

Michael Meadowcroft