MR James Roberts is I am quite sure, an estimable chap in many respects.

But in his two recently published letters he castigated a number of groups of people somewhat extravagantly.

He does not seem to have much time for stockbrokers, shareholders and the like but his conception of the purpose of a number of people in our economy is flawed.

Spivs existed in the 40s and 50s of the last century and speculators will always be with us.

The purchase of a lottery ticket is a form of speculation together with the unrealistic hope that a jackpot will be awarded at the weekend.

In the town where I live, a man called William Hesketh Lever developed an internationally renowned business - how does Mr Roberts think he obtained the resources to do so?

The extensive ramifications of such an enterprise are quite beyond the ability of an individual entrepreneur.

Unilever's growth and success are as a result of other people furnishing money for growth.

These people are shareholders and, in fact, the owners of Unilever.

Their investment of funds enables Unilever to operate on an international scale, and hopefully the investor will receive a share of the profits in accordance with the size of his investment, and at the same time provide a great many employment opportunities for a lot of people.

If concerns like Unilever, or any other concern do not satisfy a need by providing goods or services at a time, and a price, when they are required, then they will not make a profit to pay their employees.

No profit equals no jobs.

If Mr Roberts has a chat with a local shopkeeper, he will learn of problems associated with running a business these days and perhaps understand why Marks and Spencer closed their Birkenhead store, and why there are so many vacant retail outlets.

Marks did not close their store in order to make people redundant.

They did so because it was not making a profit- again no profit equals no employment opportunities for their workers and M&S have an outstanding reputation for the care and welfare of their staff.

If Mr Roberts has a few bob to spare each month, I suggest that he goes into town and makes the acquaintance of a stockbroker who will be able to put him in touch with an affiliated financial advisor.

He will receive guidance and encouragement in his fiscal affairs.

Just keep away from banks, building societies and life assurance companies.

Alex McMillan, Higher Bebington.