Pointing the finger at the ‘evil empire’

The letters from D. McKenzie and Richard Raw (Southern, November 22) kind of prove my points about so much of the English body politic and its sympathisers.

If preferring to see your taxes spent on an (admittedly imperfect) organisation that has given Europe 60 odd years of peace and relative prosperity, rather than on the armed forces and instruments of war make me “bombastic, foolish and a hard-line communist”, then I am happy to accept such accolades. I do suspect, however, that there would be little understanding of Marxism among these two.

As for Scots MPs at Westminster endorsing wars, an independent Scotland would not have been dragged into either Iraq or Afghanistan, although I agree that the likes of Gordon Brown, who bankrolled the Iraq war, are just as much war criminals as one T. Blair.

As for the USA, the Second World War ended 67 years ago and for anyone to claim to have any idea of how Europe would look now in various “what if” scenarios is patently absurd. But the reference to the “German jackboot” tells us all we need to know about Mr McKenzie’s view of that country.

Since 1945, Americans have interfered in countless countries through direct invasion and CIA/NSA-sponsored interference, the one constant being thousands of innocent deaths. Think Chile and Central America, as well as the headline cases in Iraq and Afghanistan. That justifies the description “evil empire”.

It is surprising that Mr McKenzie does not propose making the renouncing of one’s country of birth a treasonable offence. I find absolutely nothing to be proud of in England today, but am very happy to defend my adopted homeland.

I have several English friends, many of whom have far stronger opinions than I about their fellow countrymen and their political naivety. Perhaps Mr McKenzie’s wife should read a different newspaper.

Finally, as for xenophobia and nationalism, it is not I who spews out the daily poison of the seemingly widely-read, right-wing English press – European friends are always puzzled why “your newspapers hate us so”. As well they might be.

Sadly, I fear the referendum will not be won, but that probably matters little as the separation process is now unstoppable and operational independence is already well advanced. Severing the diplomatic and militaristic ties will be much more difficult and possibly very messy, but is also inevitable in the long term.

When a polity becomes as polluted with hate as is the case with so much of England now, nationalism is the only response.

I think it was Nicola Sturgeon who described English nationalism as “backward-looking and chippy” at the SNP conference this year. A very neat summary.

If I can tear myself away from “Braveheart”, I will happily send Messrs McKenzie and Raw a couple of Union flags to wrap themselves in.

Richard West

Inch Park

Kelso