WHEN they surveyed the devastated landscape of Europe after World War One, visionaries were resolved on one thing: never again. No more war. So the European Union was formed. Its primary function was to prevent war, and in this it has succeeded. War as a means of solving inter-state disputes has been abolished over a significant part of the world. A huge achievement for humankind.

Thus, historically, it was not a capitalist cabal created to oppress the working class, as claimed by doctrinaire Marxists. On the contrary, it has enacted rafts of legislation to enshrine workers’ rights in law. Admittedly, the rebarbative neo-liberalism of Thatcher (“there is no such thing as society”) has lately seeped into its thinking. The treatment of Greece was appalling, as was its silence during Spanish brutality in Catalonia. It urgently needs renewal and reformation – not rejection.

British Brexiteers turning their backs on the European Parliament at the singing of Beethoven’s magnificent Ode to Joy was an embarrassing display of pique and hostility. A childishly rude gesture that shames us all.

Marx said that some time in the future all distinction would be abolished and equality would reign. Jesus said this has happened now. (“There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus”). The Christian revolution was to articulate the intrinsic worth of each individual human being, and this has shaken the world. It is the basis of international humanitarian law. The EU tries to uphold these principles.

Flags are just symbols, but symbols are important. They convey meaning. The people who express their irritation at a sea of blue saltires are the same people who plaster Union Jacks on “British” haggis or Scottish whisky or Arbroath strawberries, the Brexiteers who detest Europe and all its works.

The flag of the EU, with its 12 stars, was designed by Arsène Heitz, inspired by the 12 stars surrounding the Virgin Mary [the Queen of Heaven, as described in the Book of Revelation. Most of the founders of the European Union – Konrad Adenauer, Jacques Delors, Alcide de Gasperi and Robert Schuman – were devout Catholics, appalled at the sinful carnage of war.

I sometimes wonder if the rabid xenophobia of the British nationalist is not perhaps a mask concealing the face of good old-fashioned anti-Catholicism. Maybe I should have a chat with Arlene Foster and Theresa May about this someday.

Brian Quail

I LIKE the word eco-socialism, which has been cropping up more and more recently, not least within your illustrious pages. I really think it is the future; only eco-socialism, with freedom for small nations, can save the planet now. It also has a very nice flag.

The Scottish Greens should adopt this as their emblem, especially going by the comments of Emma McShane of the Scottish Green Party in yesterday’s letters. I’m all for an unashamedly left-wing eco-socialist message with an unreserved embrace of independence!

Solomon Steinbett

A CORRESPONDENT suggested there needs to be a programme to show how the British state really works (Letter, July 2).

What needs to be exploded most is the myth of the British Imperial Labour party being on the side of working people.

Labour is an arm of the British state and a reliable defender of British imperial interests. In the 30s they dropped bombs on striking Indian workers, locked up and tortured its leaders, they rearmed Japanese fascists in 1945 to reintroduce French colonial rule in Indo-China (this set the stage for the Vietnam War), they went to war in Malaya on behalf of the rubber industry, they collaborated with apartheid South Africa in order to get Uranium for the UK’s nuclear weapons programme, they supported the CIA coup in Indonesia that killed between 500,000 and one million, supported the Nigerian Government in its slaughter of millions in Biafra, illegally kicked the Chagos Islanders off their land to facilitate a US Air force base, introduced the Work Capability Assessment, brought in tuition fees in England and Wales, participated in the illegal invasion of Iraq which killed one million people, and took Tory money to front a campaign of lies and distortions against Scottish independence.

As for Jeremy Corbyn, under him Labour have: supported the renewal of Trident, voted against a parliamentary enquiry into Blair’s Iraq War lies, abstained on Theresa May’s extended snooper’s charter, supported the Welsh Government in Wales implementing the 1% pay cap all while demanding the SNP scrap it in Scotland, and dumped tons of toxic sludge in Cardiff bay. John McDonnell has held talks with Goldman Sachs.

So given all that, I don’t know how someone well-informed and perceptive could not see through the myth of the “people’s party”.

Alan Hinnrichs