President Trump, in protecting the Confederate monuments, might believe he is protecting his base. However, the states with Confederate monuments have voted Republican since the mid-20th century. The key states to his winning the 2016 election were the northern states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, with a total of 70 electoral votes that went to Obama in 2012. These states have monuments to the Union war dead, who fought and died to free the slaves. Surely numbers of Trump voters in these states would take offence at putting their war dead equal to those who fought to retain the slaves in chains. Truly Trump is ignorant of the people who voted for him in these key northern states.
George D Lewis
I’m afraid the Independent gets a D for its leader ‘The A-level results show that show Gove’s reforms the right move’. University and the world of work do not require “good short term memory” and working under “emotional and health distractions” particularly under periods of intense pressure.
Both require carefully worked problem solving on the basis of evidence, not just on short term memory, which is why much University work is rightly based on coursework. And there is copious evidence for girls applying themselves more consistently over the whole course, but not in the short term memory of your leader writer. The reforms were a step backwards and arguably discriminatory.
Recently there has been a certain amount of criticism of weather forecasters due to the fact that their predicted weather never arrived and there is never an apology the following day.
Well, many years ago, when I worked for Anglia Television, the company employed a charming weather man, Michael Hunt, who was always apologising and who regularly started his forecast by saying: “Yesterday, I said…and it never happened. The reason was…”
Half of his allotted time was spent apologising and explaining why his predicted weather did not materialise.
Michael told me he learnt his trade in the RAF.
One day, Michael told me that predicting the weather for the UK was almost impossible due to the fact that we are a small island surrounded by water.
When in the RAF, he tried his hand at predicting the weather for America and was nearly always correct, because America is a large land mass and weather follows certain predictable rules over land.
Let me predict, that right or wrong, discussing the weather will always be a great British pastime!
The power of symbols to evoke fear and hatred is so clearly shown in a number of events this week around the world.
The horrors of yet another terrorist attack, this time in Barcelona is in itself an unforgivable crime but also is the public symbolic act designed to promote fear and publicity for an evil cause.
The racial problems of America are shown by the reluctance of President Trump to willingly and completely condemn the Ku Klux Klan, a symbol and source of racial hatred. The removal of Confederate statues, a symbol of a war to preserve slavery, is also long overdue.
As the leader of a minority Australian political party, Pauline Hanson, a non-Muslim, has chosen to wear a burqa into Parliament with her stated message that it is a symbol of oppression when in reality it is a symbol of religious freedom. This was condemned by one and all.
Most people salute a flag as a symbol of their country and the freedoms that they enjoy and in memory of the costs of defending this freedom. We should all look for the positive symbols.
I was interested to read the article by Lizzie Dearden about the new aircraft carrier.
Dr Roberts is wrong in blaming the carrier programme for shortfalls in the defence budget. Military equipment is expensive (sometimes over expensive) but the carriers were fully funded within the planned defence programme and at £6.2bn for two are one sixth the cost of a US carrier. It also seems good value for money in relation to the £90bn spent on the Typhoon programme.
As regards vulnerability the most vulnerable targets are static such as airfields, troop concentrations, land headquarters etc. Locating, fixing and bringing sufficient force to bear on a carrier is exceptionally difficult. The recent drone incident is irrelevant in the context of a fully worked up naval vessel normally a couple of hundred miles clear of land. Moscow is hardly likely to extol the virtues of our carriers and the fact they mentioned them shows they are of significance. I have no doubt that if I were still a battle group commander in the mid-2020s and had to fight Russian surface forces that I would be home for “tea and medals” very swiftly having despatched them.
To say ships can only be in one place at one time is correct and true of any asset but a carrier can move 500 miles in any direction each day something airfield and land forces are incapable of doing.
Professor John Louth seems to regurgitate the tired argument that carriers are weapons of the past. That is presumably why the USA, China and India have major carrier building programmes as to a lesser extent do a number of other nations. The carrier is of course not the weapon but rather its air-group whether fixed, rotary wing, UCAVs or any other systems that can deploy from four and a half acres of UK sovereign territory.
For Dr Roberts to maintain that the “Navy” is unaware of changes to the warfare environment particularly cyber is extraordinary. A naval officer produced the UK’s first ever Cyber Security Strategy and the RN more than any other service has always been very sensitive to all aspects of the electronic spectrum.
To say that an aircraft carrier has never solved a crisis on its own is bizarre. What single asset has? What is sure is that a carrier was key in stopping Iraq invade Kuwait in the 1960s and that without carriers the Falklands could not have been retaken in 1982.
The arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth marks the growing awareness that the UK is an island and needs a primarily maritime strategy. Carrier strike is a crucial part of that maritime strategy.
Admiral Lord West
House of Lords
Surely a substitute Big Ben bonging noise could be made without having to bang two pieces of metal together? Most of us never hear the “real” noise anyway.
Perhaps Trump should invite Kim for a state visit. A couple of days of pomp and ceremony and lots of ego stroking on the golf course and this well matched pair should be the best of friends.
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