F&M: Name the guilty

SO Cumbria is going to hold its own inquiry into foot and mouth.

Like Northumberland and Devon, before it, it will founder because it will be snubbed by Defra and the government.

One of the reasons given by the government for not holding its own public inquiry is to avoid a witch-hunt, suggesting that, somehow, a public inquiry will point the finger at innocent people.

If, however, a witch-hunt means pointing the finger at the guilty persons, the people who made the mistakes and allowed the situation to get out of hand - the people who were afraid to take decisions and sat by and did nothing - then I am all for a witch-hunt.

The fact that this government is prepared to tolerate the Jo Moores of this world gives some indication of their worries.

Mr Blair tells us it is a time for looking forward not backward, but I believe that no-one can look forward confidently who hasn't looked backward critically.

DAN THORPE

Warwick Road, Carlisle