Why is it sleazy to save jobs?

Your leader and Westminster column (18 February) speculate about "sleaze" in the context of Labour, Lakshmi Mittal and the Sidex steelworks in Romania. It appears that other potential purchasers of Sidex intended to liquidate the plant to reduce competition for their existing operations.

The 30,000 people employed at Sidex may owe their livelihoods to Tony Blair's intervention. Britain's representatives in Bucha-rest are, I believe, genuinely concerned about the poverty of the Romanian people.

Julian Ross
Lunca Ilvei, Romania

This article first appeared in the 04 March 2002 issue of the New Statesman, Lord Snooty and his party pals