Letters: Malcolm Cox, February 19, 2016

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Oh dear, Mr Mortimer (February 9), has nobody ever told you, when you are in a hole stop digging? On the other hand I do owe you an apology for my misprint with your surname.

Sadly however the bulk of your latest effort is once again waffle and bluster.

No attempt to answer the specific issues and historical inaccuracies which initially prompted these exchanges. Thankfully you have eased somewhat on the anti-Corbyn obsession and have dropped the insistence upon the near-holiness of the Thatcher years. As far I know, though, Jeremy Corbyn has never advocated a United Ireland. I raised this in historical context as a missed opportunity by Tory/Liberal governments of the day. Alas you failed to understand this.

And then we have, “

There are three areas in life you will never win a discussion at: sport, religion and politics.” So utterly meaningless to the core of our exchanges. That is precisely why on weighty issues I seek out authoritive, historical evidence rather than relying on that of an anecdotal or personal nature.

This leads me to “Our friends across the ocean played a great part in negotiations, the Americans and they need applauding.” We know of course that over many years millions of dollars funded IRA operations. George Mitchell’s efforts were exhaustive. General John de Chastelain who oversaw decommissioning of IRA weapons, is, of course, a Canadian.

The devil as ever is in the detail. In your shoes, Mr Mortimer, I would have with good grace, accepted that I had got it badly wrong and either moved on or acknowledged my errors.

Appropriately I will end with a quote from a military man whom I am sure you admire, Colonel Tim Collins. “Be ferocious in battle but magnanimous in victory”, so no need to apologise, but if you write again on this issue please check the facts.

Malcolm Cox

Terrington St Clement