IT’S entirely appropriate that issues of war and peace be aired during a General Election, no matter what political elites, or those who think they are, believe. Compulsory conscription should be aired as it helps focus the minds of those who would rather not think about deadly power wielded in their name. Likewise the nuclear dimensions of the current Russo-Ukrainian war.

There’s the issue of the military implications of the presence of nuclear power stations on a live battlefield which I discussed in my Castle Zaporizhzhia paper for Scottish CND last year.

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There’s also the issue of the reality of Russia’s massive nuclear arsenal and the potentially deadly implications of Western mission creep in our otherwise understandable support for a country under attack.

In fairness the USA seems to be taking a more responsible attitude than some of our friends and allies in Europe in relation to the dangers of mission creep in Ukraine. President Biden’s age is an issue but in this regard it may well be an asset, as he has the lived experience of the consequences of mission creep in the Vietnam War.

Words of support for Ukraine are one thing, weapons are another, particularly those that can reach into Russia itself.

President Macron has for years now been accused of having “Napoleonic” airs and attitudes and these are on display in spades when his strategic gaze settles on the lands, now free, that used to be part of the Imperial Russian Empire.

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President Macron would do well to consider the consequences of mission creep too, as one of his predecessors as head of the French state did when he arrived in Vitebsk in the broiling heat of late July 1812.

Like Macron today, Napoleon then was very frustrated that the Russians had slipped his grasp, an occurrence to be repeated again and again with disastrous results for the French.

Unlike Macron today, when Napoleon arrived in Villa (now in Northern Belarus) he initially swore that he would not, like Sweden’s Charles XII, get sucked into the depths of Russian territory. A bit like our military commentators in the summer of 2022 when they implored our politicians to put aside dangerous talk of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This, they explained, would lead to Nato planes in a direct shooting war with their outmatched Russian counterparts, who would threaten to go tactical nuclear.

For Western long-range missiles to reach into Russia they need to be programmed to do it. The Ukrainians do not do the programming; it’s the original owners of the missiles. This fact is not lost on the Russians.

Bill Ramsay
via email

DELIBERATELY or otherwise, those insistent on demanding the last pound of flesh of the former health secretary over an £11,000 mistake, which he naively sought to deny, are diverting attention from those complicit in the PPE procurement scandal and a number of other financially disastrous UK Government ventures which together have cost UK taxpayers hundreds of billions (not thousands) of pounds.

Baroness Mone, who apparently has still not resigned her Tory-gifted seat in that undemocratic institution the House of Lords, was not the only individual to have benefited (directly or via a trust) to the tune of tens of millions (not thousands) of pounds through a corrupt process, yet we still do not even know the names of the many who colossally profited, and partied, while many more much-less-wealthy individuals grieved.

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The UK Government via Brexit and the reckless prime minister Truss exacerbated the UK’s economic plight to the extent that living standards in the UK have not risen, but dropped, while the UK continues to arm a fanatical regime intent on adding to the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent women and children.

While aspiring to attain the highest standards in public life, both in terms of processes and individual actions, is highly important, we must not be diverted by a devious political agenda that seeks to avoid prosecution of those guilty of hugely profiting, financially or in kind, from the perfidious siphoning of the taxes of a UK public comprising many who are struggling to simply survive day by day.

It would also be naive not to realise that an MSP’s resignation and a resultant by-election coinciding with a General Election, would facilitate a major distraction – welcomed by scurrilous politicians in both Tory and Labour parties in Scotland – from confronting the massive failings of “Broken Brexit Britain”.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

WHEN are the mainstream media going to explain to the electorate that they can’t vote for “The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party”, “The Scottish Labour Party” or “The Scottish LibDem Party” because for this election they don’t exist and will not appear on the ballot paper!

An absolute, deliberate disgrace!

via email