Today’s first letter is from our reader Peter Ashcroft:
St. George’s Day is passing yet again. I think that we should take it as an English public holiday.
However, as there are so many public holidays at this time of year, we should transpose it to the Autumn as a public holiday then. We could have it on the Monday following the last Sunday in October when the clocks are put back to G.M.T. This would be midway between the Summer Bank Holiday and Christmas.
Respectfully, Peter Ashcroft
Next, our reader Tim Pope sent this critical letter on a recent article:
The article by Stefan Kellmer (see here)I am tempted to characterise as a piece of ‘fake news’ propaganda. It is hardly a serious analysis of the post war era nor of the authority and responsibility of the US President, including in the context of NATO treaties.
The central issue is that there is an international treaty forbidding the manufacture and use of chemical weapons. That treaty requires enforcement by the free democracies capable of doing so for the benefit of the entire world, too much of which is mired in conventional warfare and conflict. Inevitably that means the US will lead and the UK will play a supporting role but not a puppet role. This is not because we must but because we have always stood behind our international obligations for the benefit of world peace. We should hold our heads high in this regard. Tony Blair was the one Prime Minister who fatally led us to war on a false premise. We are not at war in Syria. We are not at war with Russia and our intervention in Syria will not in any sensible analysis lead to a war with Russia. Suggesting it will is a piece of hysteria that has no place in mature discussion.
What has been proven countless times, including twice in the last century for the UK and its Empire in devastating World Wars is that failing to address an aggressor, turning a blind eye, failing to act on the unacceptable only hastens conflict and war. Appeasement and turning our backs to ignore the facts does not work. That is a bitter lesson of history that we simply must learn.
US and UK armed forces stationed in Germany after the Second World War were a guarantor of peace and put a stop to the Soviet advance across Europe. You only have to look at the Berlin Airlift to realise just how aggressive Russia was in the immediate post war years.
It is no good UKIP saying the UK should keep out of such issues. As a world power, which we still are, and after BREXIT we will be more so, we simply cannot afford to keep out of them.
Respectfully, Tim Pope
Finally, here’s a poem on St George’s Day by our correspondent Ann Farmer:
In England long ago a myth was forged:
This land was under hand of sainted George,
Protecting us from danger;
But the myth is now that George was ‘just a Turkish stranger’ –
As mythical as dragons –
But pause awhile before you raise your flagons
To scientific ways – lower your tankard –
For when they come to seize you for a drunkard –
To change your ways and weights and measures,
Your foods and coins and loves and leisures –
And last of all to seize that flagon –
You may feel your spirits sagging;
But all that bureaucratic nagging
That lowers your defences may also raise your gorge;
Then cry for England, Our Lady and St. George;
And pray to God your cry will not have grown too faint,
For you have found your dragon but have lost your saint.