Letters to the editor

HMV revisited

[Re: The rise and fall of HMV: Why great companies find it so hard to adapt, Wednesday]

The demise of HMV is, of course, sad. I was its finance director between 1983 and 1987, and the growth in those days was stellar. Revenue grew fourfold, and profit growth was even higher. During that period, cassette sales overtook records, and eventually the CD was launched. Digital music storage was still in the research labs. I agree with the author that HMV could have worked on its online offering earlier. But there was also, perhaps, still a place for its high street stores. I might be atypical, but I carried on buying physical products from HMV at the same time as using Amazon.

Mike Jones


EU alternatives

[Re: Would other member states allow the UK to renegotiate the terms of its EU membership?, yesterday]

It would be easy for the UK to have a simpler relationship with the EU. There are countless off-the-shelf alternatives to pick from. The European Economic Area offers free movement of goods, services, people and capital. Norway has this arrangement and can run its own agriculture, fisheries, home affairs, justice and more. Instead of being forced to accept over 1,000 regulations a year, it only has to implement around 350. Switzerland’s bilateral agreements are another suggestion. Or perhaps even Turkey’s loose trade relationship might be suitable for Britain.

Hugo van Randwyck



David Cameron is right. The situation in Algeria is now top of the list of things that are more important than a referendum.

Cameron may have been right to cancel, but isn’t this the third time? Indecisiveness doesn’t win elections.

Cameron’s postponed speech looks like more than concern for the situation in Algeria. It looks like he’s terrified to make it.

Cameron may be right to postpone his speech, but he can’t postpone the crisis brewing in his party much longer.