Readers' letters - February 19

Defence Secretary Gavin WilliamsonDefence Secretary Gavin Williamson
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson
UK must not follow policy of imperalism

A first bout of send-a-gunboat madness comes from the new Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, pictured, already proving himself an ‘obedient poodle’ of US foreign policy, telling the Australians that Britain is planning to send warships through territorial waters claimed by China in the South China Sea.

The US, a global super power which already could destroy the world many times over, couldn’t get any more lethal than now.

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In the looking glass world occupied by US and NATO military chiefs, China is aggressive and expansionist because it occupies a clutch of tiny land in the South China sea.

On the other hand, the US is being defensive when it stations its forces in more than 700 permanent bases in 70 countries, including Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

Operation Cobra gold, an annual event with the US around the world, has something special this


Myanmar’s military chiefs are invited to observe, fresh from the murderous ethnic cleansing of Rohingya.

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What would the US say if Chinese armed forces were camped in Mexico, Cuba and Haiti and played war games in the Caribbean and Russia had warships off Florida?

HMS Sutherland should be told by Williamson to steer clear of China and do something useful like rescue migrants off Africa or help the suffering people of Yemen. This madness must stop.

We must develop a foreign policy that does not suck up to US imperialism, NATO or the militarised EU.

Royston Jones

via email


‘Psychiatric drugs a factor’

The thoughts of people around the world will lie with the families affected by the latest tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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As the search for answers begin, the cause of violent behaviour will again go under the spotlight, along with the gun laws in the United States.

While there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced—prescribed psychiatric drugs, documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and, in some cases, homicidal ideation.

At least 36 school shootings and or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in 172 wounded and 80 killed. Another 17 is going to be added to that death toll.

The correlation between psychiatric drugs and acts of violence and homicide is well documented – by international drug regulatory warnings and studies, as well as by hundreds of cases where high profile acts of violence and mass murder were committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs. Despite 27 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link.

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We have to continue to get this message out so school shootings become history rather than headline news.

Brian Daniels

Citizens Commission on Human Rights


For the few

not the many

I don’t know if anyone still pays any attention to anything that Boris Johnson says, but I hope not. He has got to be the most vacuous windbag yet produced by the British political system, which is saying something.

His recent speech on Brexit was an example of the sort of empty rhetoric, issue dodging and water muddying that has become his trademark.

His trick this time was to describe a Europe that does not exist in order to justify his case for getting out.

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What he did not do was spell out what people really need to know.

He needed to admit that there can be no talk of future trade agreements with other countries because this is ruled out by Article 218 of the Lisbon Treaty which Britain has signed up to.

He needed to admit that if there is no deal with the EU, there will be no transitional period which would mean a run on the pound, businesses quitting the UK and a sharp rise in unemployment.

The last thing that Johnson will ever admit, though, is that Brexit is for the few, not the many. For the very wealthy, Brexit will be a wonderful thing. They will be able to operate in a country with even fewer obligations to employees and less tax to pay. For ordinary working people, it is becoming painfully obvious that Britain after Brexit is going to make the era of austerity look like a golden age.

John Prance



Urgent action is needed

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Dame Louise Casey was a ‘homeless tsar’ in the past. She was on BBC Radio 4 and said Theresa May’s government had made things worse for the homeless. The Tory government has talked about solving the rough sleepers’ problem in many years time. Surely urgency is the ticket?

Max Nottingham

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