So according to the Royal College of Nursing (letters, 25 November) nurses employed by the RCN are paid far higher salaries than they would earn outside as an example to the government to do the same. Do they really expect members to believe that fairy tale?

Imagine the scene: RCN general secretary Christine Hancock negotiating with health secretary Alan Milburn.

CH: Alan, as you know I will receive a pay rise of over£4,000 next April, that's 5 per cent. My members have voted for this so that the government will realise that all nurses should be paid the same as me.

AM: That's interesting, but as you know, we are following the spending limits imposed by the last government and quite simply have not got enough money to give every nurse an extra£4,000. We rely on the pay review body, and have every intention of following its recommendations.

CH: Yes, Alan. But if you abolished the pay review body , just think what you could save by following the increases RCN members have given me each year . It would make both our lives so much easier .

At this point, Rodney the big wizard joins the party , and suggests they start singing in Unison.

D Hughes London SE5