Nuclear retaliation threat prevented war

I refer to Mr R. West’s letter of November 29 and would thank him for his calm and measured reply. I will attempt to answer his points as briefly as possible.

I have no idea what gave him the idea that the EU has prevented war for the past 60 years. War was prevented by the threat of nuclear retaliation to a land invasion of western Europe by the Soviet Union, which could have been carried out by a massively superior Soviet force.

The West were hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned and “out-armoured”, and did not have air superiority. It followed, therefore, that a nuclear strike by the West would have been inevitable.

It is no secret that every unit in West Germany had a constantly-updated plan to transport service families to the Channel ports in the event of an invasion. I am quite sure of this, as my wife was one of the designated drivers.

It grieves me to say that I have to agree that Messrs Blair and Brown were two of the worst prime ministers in history, notwithstanding Ted Heath.

With reference to his remark that “tells us all we need to know about Mr McKenzie’s view of that country”, I spent seven years in Germany, and exchange Christmas cards with friends in Krefeld, Herford and Lippstatd. Would Mr West argue that Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler, was not the most evil regime the world has ever seen, worse even than the USA?

My wife appreciates Mr West’s suggestion that she “read a different newspaper”. Would he like to arrange a regular exchange of her Telegraph and Times for his Daily Record? I must warn him that neither publication prints anything complimentary about “wee Eck”.

With his once more reckless assumption that I have “little understanding of Marxism”, he is probably correct up to a point, but I have visited his place of birth while on a trip down the Rhine, also his grave in Highgate cemetery. I must also confess to attempting to read Das Kapital before almost descending into terminal boredom.

I would have much appreciated his offer of a Union flag until reading a letter from Alex Orr in last Thursday’s Edinburgh Evening News that after independence we may be allowed to keep the flag without the Saltire being deleted. He had better retain it to wave at the victory parade when wee Eck rides in splendour through Kelso Square.

As I have neither the time nor the inclination to embark on a verbal war of attrition with Mr West, might I sign off with a quote by Plato: “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something”.

D. McKenzie


Richard West clearly didn’t properly read my letter – far less understand it (Pointing the finger at the “evil empire”’, November 29).

I must say I’m more used to dealing with more academically styled responses. What he wrote in his reply rebutted none of the points that I had made to him and his new letter amounts to nothing more than a slur full of untruths.

I made quite clear that I’m pro-European. I speak Gaelic, French, Irish, Spanish, German and some Russian, in addition to English. When he has made the same efforts at a European level on highlighting human rights violations in Tibet and other places like I have then I’ll begin to take him seriously. Not before.

Although it is a private matter, for the record I’m a centrist and err on the side of libertarianism. I’m not a creature of the far right in any way and it was wrong of him to suggest as much.

Richard Raw