BASED on the premise that whoever wins the war gets to write the history, Michael Fry has demonstrated a failure to understand political systems by suggesting that there is something inherently flawed about socialist methods of government.

He conveniently overlooks that it was US-led economic pressure that forced the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Left to rebuild and develop in their own way following the Second World War rather than having to enter an arms race and a space race to defend against a US military threat, there is no reason why the Soviet Union could not have redeveloped in a manner similar to West Germany or Japan.

READ MORE: An independent Scotland based on socialism is recipe for a failed state

Furthermore, Mr Fry has no sound reason to exclude the People’s Republic of China from his list of surviving socialist states other than the wealth that is currently being generated there. The distribution of that wealth is vastly different to the myth of trickle-down economics that he appears to prefer. It will not be long before the People’s Republic of China does to the USA what the USA did to the Soviet Union. It will be interesting to see how history will be written in those times.

Ni Holmes
St Andrews

IF Michael’s weekly anti-socialist rant is designed to aggravate those who disagree with his somewhat pejorative interpretation of socialism then it’s certainly working (An independent Scotland based on socialism is recipe for a failed state, June 29).

He deliberately and conveniently amalgamates the political ideologies of socialism and communism to come to the conclusion that he wishes, and cites North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba as examples of the failure of socialist ethos and practice. Using terms like “Marxist ideas” illustrates his calculated ambiguity in trying to sell his own idiosyncratic version of history to unsuspecting and naive readers.

The Labour government of 1945-51 was an example of how democratic socialism can alter the fabric of a country’s social and economic life for the benefit of all. The NHS, free access to education and social welfare reform provided the basis of the welfare state that we are continually trying to defend today against Conservative party dogma and greed.

The Labour manifesto of 1945, “Let’s face the future”, informed the nation that in establishing a socialist Commonwealth of Britain it would organise its material resources in the service of its people. It is these principles that an independent Scotland should aspire to, not a reformed capitalist state but a democracy that is guided by a socialist constitution based on egalitarian socialist principles.

No mention of revolution, Michael, but redistribution of wealth and social justice. Now give us all a break and use your considerable journalistic skills to scrutinise Westminster!

Owen Kelly

I SEE that Michael Fry still fails to understand socialism. In his article he decries certain states, some of which are “failed”. He does, however, conflate the names they use to describe themselves as socialist with the fact that they are actually single-party dictatorships, run for the benefit of their despotic leaders. Parallels with how our Westminster government operates being uncannily familiar, though currently without the overt use of force to maintain control.

Mr Fry’s converse to socialism is capitalism, which also fails. Unbridled capitalism directly produces and promotes the disparity of incomes and wellbeing, accompanied by significant environmental destruction, all in the name of obscene levels of private profit. True socialism or indeed communism is in principle a force for common good, but as with capitalism they are subject to the whims of the megalomaniac tendencies of whoever happens to be in control.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire

“SOCIALISM” is promoted in Scotland just like Brexit is in England: it’s just populist politics giving folk a purported solution and something to blame for their discontent, despite all the evidence that it won’t serve the electorate well. The Greens are probably the biggest hypocrites. I despair of reading personal attacks on Michael Fry, rather than any rational, evidenced challenge to much of what he says.

Bryan Stuart

A NEW assisted dying bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur, is, as usual, being opposed by religious lobbies.

Their arguments must be heard but it’s hard to shake the feeling that their position is underpinned by a religious belief that only their god can give and take life.

While this is entirely legitimate for fellow believers, they do not have a monopoly on morality and religious views should be considered only in proportion to their minority representation.

Neil Barber
Edinburgh Secular Society