Letters: Malcolm Cox, January 5, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn told the TUC that ministers were declaring war on workers PPP-150925-100930001
Jeremy Corbyn told the TUC that ministers were declaring war on workers PPP-150925-100930001
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So good to see Mr Mortimer back in print (Letters, December 18).

True to form he reverts to type. All those who oppose government policy on Syria are less than patriotic and appeasers of terrorists. Not for the first time Mr Mortimer reminds us that he served in uniform in Ulster. If the British government of the day had not shown such cowardice in the face of a quasi fascist Unionist faction (1916-1930) we might have seen a United Ireland eight decades ago thus freeing British squaddies their onerous ‘peacekeeping’ duties ever since. Also, one of the rare examples of Mr Cameron’s honesty saw him apologise to the nationalist community for Bloody Sunday and other tragic errors.

Mr Mortimer predictably castigates Jeremy Corbyn for his contacts with Sinn Féin openly three decades ago. This while the Thatcher regime secretly negotiated with the IRA. I do not excuse republican atrocities any more than those of the unionist paramilitaries, but please Mr Mortimer, can we have more honesty and balance? We need less flag waving and more objectivity.

On the subject of the Lockerbie outrage, Mr Mortimer further exposes his ignorance. All governments tell lies, Mr Mortimer, when it suits them. Fortunately in liberal democracies something approaching truth can be teased out. The Lockerbie bombing and its official response remains packed with unexplained oddities not least the freedom given to US agents to supersede the authority of UK law enforcement at the crash site.

And then we come to Mr Mortimer’s further confusions: “The Labour party sent me and thousands of others into Northern Ireland and did nothing until that province went up in flames…” The Good Friday Agreement remains a rare success for the Blair government and decades of British governments Liberal, Tory and Labour share responsibility for the province. Mr Mortimer writes that: “Tony Blair had no option but to do something about Hussein.” Presumably he has never heard of the ‘Dodgy Dossier’ upon which Blair based his entire casus belli in order to support George W Bush.

I come to Mr Mortimer’s last paragraph. “Is that democracy from the opposition or is it the retake of Hitler’s Black shirts?” A shameful and foolish conflation of Mr Corbyn’s position, and no, I am not a Labour Party member.

Malcolm Cox

Terrington St Clement