Definitely not deaf

Alas, for the second week running, I must write to put the record straight. Your columnist Paul Routledge alleges that I am claiming compensation for deafness contracted in the shipyards at the start of my working life (18 December).

Checking facts may have gone out of fashion in your new New Statesman, but a call from Paul would have established that I am not deaf and that the story is totally untrue.

Gus Macdonald
Minister for Transport
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, London SW1