THE fact that R Segal is a full time professional academic is not borne out by the standard of his correspondence.

His diatribe in the Citizen last week read like a deliberate provocation, an attempt to goad people into writing replies so that he or people connected to him can record the names and addresses of people who oppose the capitalist system.

His 'arguments' are little more than a series of declarations with nothing factual backing them up - let's examine a few of them.

Scandinavia is 'socialist' to him. That must be news to the monarchs and aristocrats of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, not to mention millions of working people and the local capitalist magnates.

Capitalism and individual freedom go hand in hand, he says. Not in Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina in the 197os ands 80s, or in Indonesia post-1965, or in many other US-backed states.

Capitalism does not mean imperialism, says Mr Segal. Why, then, was Iraqi industry sold off to US concerns after the 2003 invasion, not only the oil but also service industries?

Need I continue? No doubt Mr Segal is proud to be a US citizen but we have been told before what pride precedes.

We next see the re-emergence in the Citizen of Gregg Beaman - that super-patriot of the UK Independence Party - lost in admiration for the 'common sense' of Mr Segal.

The trouble is that 'common sense' takes no account of the knowledge and wisdom gained by anything other than personal experience.

Common sense says that if you have always run around a blind corner and got away with it until now it will always be so. Intelligence advises caution because things can change - there may be a steam-roller waiting there one day.

Steve Metcalfe, Lancaster.