WHAT an antediluvian institution the House of Commons is! A member makes a statement that has been proven to be accurate, giving quotes to illustrate that accuracy, and finds herself ordered to leave the chamber for using a word which, in the modern English language, perfectly and accurately fits the activity she describes. This, while the pseudologist behind these terminological inexactitudes (or fantasist behind these lies) is given licence to produce more of the same!

Throughout the day-to-day dialogue we see another example of outmoded etiquette which compounds this felony. Instead of referring to each other by their given names, the members refer to each other as “the honourable member for...”, or the “right honourable member for...”. Heavy reliance, then, on the word “honour”.

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Well, let’s look at a definition of “honour” and see what the Oxford English Dictionary says. Among the four examples, where the word is appropriate, we have: “The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right – ‘I must as a matter of honour avoid any taint of dishonesty’.” Among the Cambridge Dictionary’s definitions we have: “a quality that combines respect, being proud, and honesty”.

Now, in the centuries during which the House of Commons was gestating, it may have been reasonable to assume those who occupied seats in the chamber were blessed with these qualities. Personally, I find that dubious! However, today it is more than evident that to rely on these archaic methods of procedure is to allow those who are without honour to profit.

Look up the dictionary definitions of the word “dishonour” and see how much of it can be applied not just to the Prime Minister, but to the cabal of mountebanks he calls a Cabinet! Some are happy to, misguidedly, refer to Westminster as “the Mother of all Parliaments”. Well, “Mother”, your garments are faded, shoddy and worn and your underwear has been badly soiled by a gang of self-serving perfidious poltroons led by a serial mythomaniac!

Isn’t it past the time when they should be called, in parliament, what they are; crooks, deceivers, obfuscators and downright liars so the whole panoply of parliamentary debate becomes more transparent to the electorate?

Ned Larkin

OF course the USA government (Biden or not) is no friend of the Nicaraguan people, but that’s no reason to excuse the murderous oppression by their own Ortega (It’s naive to think the US is not interfering in Nicaraguan politics, July 27).

While elections can often be a useful indication of democratic health, they’re not any guarantee. They are best considered in context. Even Hitler and Mussolini won some elections!

The Sandinistas replaced the US’s Somoza dictatorship after a long campaign and popular insurrection.

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After another brutal war by the USA against the threat of the Sandinista National Liberation Front’s “good example” in education, health and land/property reform, they won an election with the actively mobilised Nicaraguan people.

Three years ago the Ortega/Murillo government forces murdered more than 300 peasants and students protesting against cuts in pensions and social security as well as the environmental destruction by another proposed canal, this time financed by Chinese capital.

Many other veteran Sandinista comrades have had to leave Nicaragua (exiles again), this time as they oppose Ortega’s regime.

That doesn’t mean they now support the USA that financed and directed the civil war when I was there 35 years ago.

I am still a socialist here, voting and campaigning for self-determination, but not the Labour Party or SNP example.

Still in active solidarity,

Norman Lockhart

JAMES Dobbie (Letters, Jul 25) says he is disgusted that the majority of Scots are in favour of the monarchy and asks how this makes sense to those who want independence. I fail to see how being independent and a monarchy are not compatible. Many independent countries are monarchies.

As another correspondent pointed out a few weeks ago, a monarch is more able to unite a nation than a politician is, and that was one reason why Norway chose to remain a monarchy upon independence. Also, the royal families of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania have all returned to their countries and those countries are seriously considering restoring their monarchies, as is Albania – again, because there is belief that a monarch is better than a politician.

There is no reason why the House of Windsor should continue on the Scottish throne after independence, and we could choose another royal house to take over. Monarchies are a link with the past, and as someone else has already pointed out, Scotland is the oldest monarchy in Europe and that is something to be proud of.

Charmaine Lamont
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