Andrew Marr is right (Politics, March 18) that the UK needs to get closer to the EU quickly. Rather than equating Ukraine’s bid for sovereignty with the Brexit vote (as the Prime Minister did on March 19), the country must recognize that the whole premise of Brexit has changed and that we need stronger ties. narrow.
In terms of security and common interests, the war in Ukraine has awakened the whole of Europe as to why we must unite. Labor should seize this moment to raise its head above the parapet, spark new pro-EU momentum and reassert a strong British voice in Europe. If we are to survive as an independent continent, Britain and Europe must agree to their long game and stick to it together.
Mark Johnson, Lymington, Hampshire
Peter Wilby (Journal, March 18) is not alone in suggesting that “NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union was a grave mistake”, implying that NATO is partly responsible for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The rather dismissive term “Eastern Europe” actually describes a number of countries which, after decades of Soviet occupation and oppression, became democratic sovereign states. They freely asked to join NATO as part of a desire for lasting security. It is arrogant to suggest that Western countries should have denied them this, or EU membership, for fear of upsetting Russia.
Establishing a moral equivalence between NATO expansion and Russia’s attempt to conquer a neighboring country is a mistake. There is expansion and expansionism. In this case, the first is based on a democratic mandate, the second on a murderous military aggression. The idea that the imperialist ambitions of Vladimir Putin would have been destroyed by the denial of the collective security of the nations emerging from Soviet hegemony is totally naive and erroneous.
Brian Wilson, Glossop, Derbyshire
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Peter Wilby asks pertinently: “Are those who are loudly demanding that Britain and its NATO allies impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine ready to enlist in the RAF?” Loudly or not, perhaps such a rhetorical question should be the sine qua non conduct of the military engagement policy. This does not necessarily lead to pacifism. Both Winston Churchill and his deputy Clement Attlee had witnessed the horrors of the battlefront, which gave legitimacy to their wartime leadership. There was a generation of high-ranking post-war politicians whose international vision and wisdom was also guided by wartime experiences – Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath and Denis Healey are just three who immediately come to mind. ‘spirit.
Paul Thomson, Mobberley, Cheshire
Rowan Williams (Another Voice, March 18) mocks the “secular geopolitical calculations” of the war in Ukraine and claims that Vladimir Putin sees himself as the defender of Orthodox Christianity. He then analyzes the Ukrainian war in terms of a clash of religious ideas. In reality, Putin is mainly concerned with power, how to get it and how to keep it. He uses cultural issues, including religion, in pursuit of this power. In this sense, he behaves as tyrants have done for centuries. Likewise, his allies in the Orthodox Church are primarily concerned with maintaining their own dominance.
Jim Young, Halesworth, Suffolk
Few would dispute Simon Sebag Montefiore’s argument (“A Tale of Two Dictators”, March 11) that any leader of the Russian state faces some of the same problems as previous leaders, but it is a pity that he precedes him by misinterpreting Karl Marx. The latter did not “joke that ‘history repeats itself twice, first as tragedy and then as farce'”.
What Marx, in fact, wrote – at the beginning of “Louis Bonaparte’s 18 Brumaire” – was the following: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all the facts and personages of great importance in the history of the world occur, so to speak , twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. His argument, of course, was the absurdity of Bonaparte trying to claim the mantle of his uncle, Napoleon I.
Nurse Charlie, Cambridge
Like Tim Burrows (“The Town That Wouldn’t Grow Up”, March 18), I was brought up in the less salubrious eastern part of Southend. It lacks a cultural element, the “Southend sound” of the mid to late 70s: Dr Feelgood of Canvey Island, the Kursaal Flyers, Eddie and the Hot Rods, etc. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson and vocalist and harmonica player Lee Brilleaux put Southend’s name on the map with a driving beat and blues that matched New York’s pre-punk revelry.
Tim Devane, London E17
The pleasure of repetition
I am perplexed by the antipathy there is towards the remake of The Ipcress folder (Correspondence, March 18). Personally I loved it. However, the reason I’m annoyed is the implication that he has no right to exist. You’ll never hear in theater country, “Honey, we can’t put twelfth nightit has already been done.
Alastair Thomson, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Don’t let them eat cake
Why does Anoosh Chakelian (Notebook, March 18) tell us that the women of St Mabyn’s parish church in Cornwall intend to treat themselves to cream buns at their next meeting to discuss the problem of refugees? I don’t think so and it was condescending to say so. Anyway, it’s Lent.
Kathy Priddis, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
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