GORDON MacIntyre-Kemp’s clear and focussed article (British exceptionalism just doesn’t sit well with the EU, July 12) sums up the innate flaw in the Westminster psyche, namely: we the Anglo-body politic are different, we are the norm and all others are the abnorm, so all you “natives” out there, all “you lot” need to bend to our rightful demands.

Liam Fox even went as far as to “threaten”those EU countries that their populations would overthrow their current governments if the Chequers plan was rejected! I am not sure if that is delusion or hubris, but it typifies the undercurrent within the Westminster delusion.

At the same time one needs to lift the gaze wider, and across the now delusional Western psyche post-Cold War. In the actions – or more appropriately, “antics” – of the current US president in matters of global trade agreements, international treaties, Nato and other issues pertaining to its allies, we see an ongoing storm of disruption and infighting. Primarily, it is the US demanding its friendly allies submit to US exceptionalism. Do as the US president demands.

The curtain has dropped. We can see that the US is no longer covert in its absolutism worldwide. It is starting to issue diktats to its hapless allies who have been schtum for so long.

The continental members of the EU are starting to dig in against Donald Trump, the “special relationship” land is just being humiliated by Donald Trump, who has no qualms about putting its PM on the spot by openly referring to Boris Johnston as his friend with whom he will meet on his visit to London!

In such ways the political tectonic plates since 1945 are changing. British exceptionalism is going to end up outstandingly unique. Its much boasted exceptionalism is “coming home” indeed. It will remain a country trapped in a nostalgic Ruritania with all the flummery of a worn-out monarchism and contradictory parliamentarian system pinned between the advancing European mainland and a US on the warpath.

The UK’s delusional anchor points are slipping fast.

John Edgar

TRUMP seems to almost coincide with my old opinion that Nato should not be supported. This used to be because it was an unnecessary military threat or balance to the Soviet Union or China.

Now these countries are overtly and very successful examples of active capitalism. They compete with the USA for producing billionaires and an unequal model for society.

Nato has also always been a wasteful use of our productive resources when civil defence and resistance is both more effective and efficient.

Norman Lockhart

THE Rand Corporation says that Russia’s defence expenditure is one-seventeenth of Nato’s total, though a Russian analyst on Wednesday told the BBC it’s a thirteenth. Our own Defence Select Committee, it would appear unanimously, agreed it would be a good thing to go north of 2%.

I can only conclude this is to equip our armed forces to play a significant role in future expeditionary wars.

Bill Ramsay
Convener, SNP CND

I WAS most interested to read your article about the “Framing v Reframing” approach to persuasion and argument and how this approach might be used to change the behaviour of voters resistant to the idea of Scottish independence (We must reframe the narrative of Scottish independence, July 11).

If I understand the technique correctly, because it seems that most people fear loss more than they value possible gain, it would be useful to focus the independence debate not on risking the loss of our association with England but on the advantages of our freedom to create future and different beneficial relationships. This seems obvious to we convinced nationalists. But it is clearly not obvious to the unconvinced.

The reframed question could then be changed from “do you want to risk the loss of our relationship with England or do you not?” to something like “do you want a future tied to a declining British state or one linked to a major European power block?”.

Or some other question that emphasises the risk of no change.

I suspect I have grossly over simplified the Framing v Reframing approach. If so I hope someone more authoritative will correct me!

Peter Craigie

REGARDING the letter from Julia Pannell (July 10). Yet again secularists are subjected to criticism from people who have a religious belief.

Julia points out that Christianity is a worldwide belief but omits to say that it was forced on most people through violence and fear. Being Christian or indeed of any other religion which has been made by man does not necessarily mean that you are Godly. There have been many good men who have tried to change the life of the poor and meek, but usually some self-seekers turn this into a religion for gain. It is very arrogant to think that throughout the millions and perhaps billions of years that we have existed and people have worshipped, that a religion of 2000 years holds the truth. These religions are losing followers and I have no doubt that other religions will take their place, so be open-minded Julia and allow us to believe that you should not fill a child’s head with fear of God but love of your fellow human beings.

The Christian past which Julia laments is what kept the poor in their place, with the promise of “pie in the sky when you die”.

Rosemary Smith
East Kilbride