JUST how thick is Boris Johnson? Can he not understand that in order to maintain the Good Friday Agreement, (GFA), there must be a “soft border” between Northern Ireland and Eire?

This is the basis of the International Treaty that forms the establishment of peace in the whole of Ireland. It is also what Boris himself agreed to in the withdrawal agreement from the EU. In order to maintain this soft border, Northern Ireland may well have left the EU but it must remain part of the European Common Market and must observe the rules attached to that membership.

Britain left the EU through Brexit. It wasn’t the EU that left Britain. Johnson must therefore be prepared to accept the restrictions that this departure now places upon us. There has to be a hard border between the UK and the EU. That is part of leaving the EU. There cannot be a hard border between rUK and the EU if there is a soft border between rUK and Northern Ireland and a further soft border between Northern Ireland and the EU, via Eire. Northern Ireland must, at some point, be involved in a hard border.

It can be either between NI and Eire, or between NI and the rest of the UK. It doesn’t matter how much the DUP may moan and groan; or how much Boris may stutter and bluster, it has to exist somewhere in order to comply with the EU Withdrawal Agreement, (EUWA).

If they place that border between Eire and NI then both the GFA and the EUWA will be breached. Not only that but there will then be “no deal” with the EU. The US have also said they will not deal with us if we breach the GFA. New Zealand has already spoken out and stated that they will not form a trade deal with the UK if it does not keep to the International Treaty agreements it has already made. I am pretty sure that many of the countries that the UK exploited as part of their Empire will also be queueing up to block a trade deal with Westminster.

What Boris has to realise is that when you abuse and exploit people, they very quickly come to dislike you and when you need to turn to them for help or trade deals, they are more likely to walk away. The same applies to people with whom you are not prepared to keep to the agreements already made in writing and signed up to. They also will turn their backs on you.

In order to get trade deals around the world; but, more importantly, to obey international Law and rebuild the UK’s status in the world, Boris must scrap his Internal Market Bill immediately. There must be a hard border down the Irish Sea. I can understand that Boris is afraid this will move NI closer to the EU than to Westminster, but that will be just the first stage of the break-up of Britain that is inevitable over the next couple of years. I’m afraid the Brexiteer Tories have brought it upon themselves.

Charlie Kerr

WHILE we respect the right of Michael Fry to defend capitalism he does so in a rather disingenuous way. He really does not understand socialism, and it would appear that also by his uncritical support – capitalism. He may understand the mechanics and process of each but it is the outcomes and consequences that are of greater importance.

He decries so-called socialist and communist states for “failing” without examining the reasons.

The standout difference is that they are all run as corrupt dictatorships either as an individual or a collective elite. They do so to preserve their own status and interests while pretending to be the saviours of their common-folk.

To describe these states as socialist is wrong and wholly inappropriate. Exactly the same observations apply to so-called capitalist states, as both serve to promote the interests of their leaders and backers with both systems using their citizens as pawns (or slaves) in the furtherance of the leaders interests. Both systems are dictatorships, the capitalist ones tending to be collective rather than individual. Each system serves to exploit the citizens or environment and invariably to the detriment of both.

Yes, standards of living have improved to a greater or lesser extent under both systems but they are the crumbs left for the less privileged to fight over while the leaders and their backers amass ever more vast resources and privilege for themselves. The label of capitalist or socialist matters not a jot to these people but is used to try and hide their real nature, as are imagined enemies. We are living through a period of overt capitalist dictatorship by our leaders in England who manipulate or ignore the law to suit their own ends, supported by their own pawns all hoping for some big crumbs like peerages and knighthoods to fall their way after doing their master’s bidding – without regard for the wider consequences.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring for better things be they materiel or cerebral, that is after all human nature, but the true nature of a system is the impact on the ordinary citizens and in this regard the communist/socialist states fail as do the overt capitalist ones. It is not reasonable to promote the failures of communism/socialism while ignoring or dismissing the failures of capitalism. Despite the fact success is not defined, the only truism out of this is that successful capitalists appear to be more successful than their socialist counterparts.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire