YP Letters: Striking back at Sir Bernard Ingham’s rose-tinted view of the Empire

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From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.

IT is clear that Sir Bernard Ingham voted for Brexit, the points that he makes in this article are rather partial, to say the least, like many of those that were bandied about during the referendum (The Yorkshire Post, October 12).

Saying that “Untold thousands sailed to create the most civilised empire this planet has ever known…” is very questionable. We only have to look at the causes of the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-52) to see that the actions of the British Government were far from civilised, without going any further afield.

Then, we are “generally a constructive and responsible force in the world” – so responsible and constructive that we forced the Chinese to legalise opium and expanded the “coolie trade” in 1856-60. We are one of the largest sellers of armaments to dubious regimes that use them against their own citizens. The list of our undesirable activities is endless.

I do not pretend that the EU is without its share of faults, but pot and kettle come to mind when the likes of Sir Bernard invoke our “superiority”. Samuel Johnson’s “Patriotism is the last refuge…” seems appropriate here.

Some faults of the EU stem from its origins in the European Coal and Steel Community which created the basis of the bureaucracy. Others arose because of the conflicting interests of the major players Germany and France. In spite of these problems, the EU has continued to grow.

If the problems are so dire, why aren’t other member countries lining up to leave?

Or why didn’t we, in our “constructive and responsible manner”, work with like-minded governments to make the EU more democratic and less bureaucratic. Perhaps there aren’t any “like-minded governments” so rather than “slinging our hook”, we took our bat home.

From: TJ Green, Easingwold.

FOLLOWING up the points made by Keith Jowett (The Yorkshire Post, October 5). Even if Scotland remains in the UK, most of the population is in England. Several million immigrants cannot be absorbed by this small country, as easily as they would in France, say, which has only 28 per cent of the population density of England.

Anyone who has experienced traffic jams when commuting 10 miles to work, trying to find a parking space, queuing in A&E, suffering congestion at our airports etc, must realise that immigration needs strict control.