Readers' letters: Scotland has no need of UK after Brexit
With the convenient delay in publication of Sue Gray’s ‘partygate’ report and the British Labour party’s chronic failure to dent the confidence of one of the most corrupt and malevolent Westminster Tory governments Scotland has ever had to endure, more important geopolitical matters have been playing out concerning Ukraine.
According to our media, the UK is an important player in this current crisis and a ‘go-to’ partner for the Ukrainian government.
Yet the key event last week was Wednesday’s meeting in Paris between senior government officials from Russia, the Ukraine, Germany and France, to try to defuse the crisis and avoid a major war in the east of the European mainland.
And the UK was nowhere to be seen. So much for the stature and ‘soft power’ of post-Brexit ‘global Britain’ – not invited to key talks concerning the security of our own hemisphere!
Indeed, when was the last time we saw international statesmen/women of any stature visiting No 10 Downing Street to discuss matters of great import? (and Hungary’s Victor Orban doesn’t count).
Even little Ireland has more ‘soft power’ than the UK now and persuaded the Russian government to meet it to discuss changes to their planned naval exercises in the Atlantic Ocean off SW Ireland next month.
The truth is that the UK has become a pariah state, the docile wee pal of the US and a cousin of the distant Aussies, but with no close partners in our own European backyard.
And no wonder, while it continues to obsess with petty EU squabbles and Article 16 threats from the vacuous Liz Truss, back from Australia in a private jet, paid for by UK taxpayers, to enable wealthy Aussie farmers get unrestricted access to our food markets. More UK anyone?
D Jamieson, Dunbar.
Growing threat in former Yugoslavia
While we in the UK are immersed in ‘partygate’, a cost-of-living crisis and increasing concerns over tensions between the Ukraine and Russia, there is a major issue for the international community that has not been garnering the same headlines.
The peace settlement imposed after the 1990s civil war in Yugoslavia is under serious threat as President Putin infiltrates Bosnia’s Serbian population, allies of Russia. A well-established Russian playbook of disinformation, paramilitary forces and organised crime has created growing tensions between the ethnic populations. This destabilisation has been ongoing by Russia since the last decade in the western Balkans: Montenegro, where it staged an attempted coup, Macedonia and in Kosovo.
Disinformation campaigns are prevalent, reinforcing the Serb sense of victimhood and creating divisions. Serbian politicians in Serbia now call for unity for Serbs inside and outside of their country, an ethnic homeland for all Serbians, and for the Serbian Army to protect them wherever they live.
We need to wake up and wake up quickly to what is happening in the Balkans, working with the international community to counter the Russian ‘playbook’. If we fail to do so, we will witness the brutal and bloody history of the early 1990s repeating itself.
Alex Orr, Edinburgh.
Why do the SNPs have such a fascination with the type, if any, of sex that children have? They recently issued a question and answer paper to our councils for children.
Having been told ‘no’ by many councils, the government are now at it again, trying to gain personal sexual information with a questionnaire when a child applies for a free bus pass. This does seem like an unhealthy obsession.
Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.
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