Can I add my support to the letter on deportations (17 March). They are worse than shocking; they break international UN law which the UK is signatory to, and the European convention. The cuts to legal aid and the private security companies exist side by side with the deportations. Under the present and previous governments Britain has become a sordid, cruel, lawless country which has demolished the most precious and necessary elements of a democracy.
• Keith Bomber (Letters, 16 March) remarks on the lack of weather for Belfast in the paper. But there’s no need. As every citizen of the city knows: “If you can’t see the Cavehill, it’s raining. If you can see the Cavehill, it’s about to rain.”
• It wasn’t Kubrick who transposed IBM into HAL for the film 2001 (Letters, 17 March). The HAL 9000 was a main character in the book by Arthur C Clarke.
Dr David England
• Arthur C Clarke claimed HAL wasn’t IBM shifted one letter to the left but actually stood for “Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer” – which he acknowledged was a logical impossibility. It seemed enough to keep the lawyers at bay, though.
• In infants schools we were taught the acronym “big elephants can always understand small elephants” (Letters, 16 March). Can anyone remind me why? As I recall, it was something to do with spelling.
• The answer to the question how many villages have a Waitrose (Letters, 16 March) is Ponteland in Northumberland.
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