Sir, – Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s interview by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria was a pre-emptive move in response to the UK Government’s inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot, into the 2003 Iraq War.
He spoke to Mr Zakaria, a personal friend, only in order to issue a partial apology for specific aspects of his role in the conflict.
This was designed to divert from the central issue of his joining with President George W. Bush in launching an illegal war of aggression to bring about regime change.
Tony Blair only replied in an ostensibly self-critical fashion to the run-up to the war and its aftermath, while continuing to defend an intervention that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, destroyed Iraq, created untold human suffering and destabilised the entire Middle East to this day.
The specificity of his replies is made necessary by the need to justify his actions and made possible by the fact that Mr Blair, and all those who face possible criticism in Lord Chilcot’s inquiry into the Iraq War, has been given full access to its findings and the right to respond prior to publication.
Tony Blair admits only supposed errors of judgment on his own part.
He did not support war because of faulty intelligence.
Intelligence agencies assembled evidence they knew to be false in order to further war aims already decided upon by politicians.
Alan Hinnrichs. 2 Gillespie Terrace, Dundee.
Completion of a whitewash
Sir, – In New Labour’s salad days, Tony Blair apologised for every historic British “sin” from the slave trade to the Irish potato famine and the Guildford Four.
But that stopped when his Iraq fiasco set the Levant ablaze and undermined every Middle Eastern secular ruler who protected minorities and stood between us the Islamists.
Finally, on a cosy US TV show, he admitted: “Of course, you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.” I suppose that double negative is as close as we will get to an apology so Sir John Chilcot can put away his whitewash brush.
Rev Dr John Cameron. 10 Howard Place, St Andrews.
Socialists live beyond means
Sir, – Socialist policies are always popular, as they simply give people what they want without explaining that it has to be paid for.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour predecessors, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, were masters of the art and the recessions that their spending caused and the bills that actually had to be paid, were explained away as Tory austerity.
Mr Corbyn is now in training for his own turn at this, still apparently unaware that there has never been a successful socialist government in the history of the world.
But the clear leader of this political genre is Scotland’s First Minister, whose chirpy brand of socialism incorporates a perpetual escape clause blaming Westminster for everything that clouds her vision of an SNP-driven Scotland making a go of things.
Her simple message is: be rid of England and the Westminster Government and all will be well under the diktats of the EU, which will also conveniently provide a new currency.
Who could possibly doubt her?
Malcolm Parkin. Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross.
An insult to democrats
Sir, – Yet another grossly offensive letter seeks to equate the SNP Government with the Nazis, and this time from Ian McRae (October 26) who warns of dangerous parallels between our present Scottish Government’s behaviour and that of Hitler’s in 1930s Germany.
Such ignorance I find astounding given that the SNP’s political philosophy is one of civic nationalism defined as: nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in a non-xenophobic form of nationalism compatible with values of freedom, tolerance, equality and individual rights.
Try as I might, I cannot recall the SNP decrying those of another race or ethnicity as being subhuman as Hitler did, or using terms such as swarms or talking of refugees invading the UK.
When Theresa May addressed the Conservative Party conference, however, she used exactly those terms and I cannot recall Captain McRae protesting then that our liberties were being threatened.
What I do I hear are SNP ministers welcoming foreigners to Scotland and pleading for more refugees to be allowed to enter, an approach exactly opposite to that of the UK Government.
To attempt to draw a parallel between the SNP and Nazis is not only demonstrably wrong, it is also obscene and it insults the real injury done to the victims of Hitler’s regime.
George White. 2 Cupar Road, Auchtermuchty.
Can Labour fight back?
Sir, – SNP supporters are often accused of being very derogatory of those who are usually members of theConservative and Unionist Party and of accusing them of not being Scottish or willing to stand up for their country.
Judging by some of the letters on this page, I would say this works both ways.
One such letter made comparisons between the SNP and their supporters and Nazi Germany, while another claimed Scotland is run like a one-party state.
The fact is it is not the SNP who are waging war on the working poor by reducing tax credits, it is the Conservatives.
It is the Conservatives who are implementing a system of unworkable plans at Westminster to reduce the rights of Scottish and Welsh MPs. I think most of us recognise who are the real enemies of the majority of Scottish people.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie now admits many of his party’s supporters have crossed over to the SNP and has asked them to come back. I would say some hope because his party propped up the Conservatives.
Luckily, Scots will have a say in who they trust come May and that will be the test for the rest.
With the Conservatives being an irrelevance in Scotland for a number of years and the Liberals almost extinct, can Labour stand up and be counted or continue as a branch office?
I know who I trust to stand up for me and I think there will be many more thinking the same come May.
Bryan Auchterlonie. Bluebell Cottage, Ardargie.
Politics of desperation
Sir, – There seems to be a growing desperation among those in opposition to the Scottish Government as the date of the 2016 Holyrood election draws ever nearer.
Certainly, recent views comparing the current political situation in Scotland to that of 1930s Germany would suggest so.
However, not only does that notion spring from the realms of fantasy but is more indicative of a real fear that the SNP could be returned to power with an increased majority.
Unlike the first-past-the-post system favoured by Westminster, the Scottish process is designed to ensure that the number of party representatives at the Holyrood parliament reflects the total number of votes cast in their favour.
Compare this to the unfair Westminster system which allows a party to govern with less than 40% of the popular vote.
The democratic way to stop parties you oppose from gaining power is to ensure that your postal voters do not miss their voting deadline and to persuade the rest of them to visit a polling station.
To indulge in fanciful scaremongering will turn out to be counterproductive on this occasion because we have experienced the fear tactics before.
Allan MacDougall. 37 Forth Park, Bridge of Allan.
House of compassion
Sir, – It is a sad day when the house of unelected privilege shows more compassion for the people of the country than the elected.
Les Mackay. 5 Carmichael Gardens, Dundee.