Defence spending is crucial

SIR - Your correspondent, Arthur Wright, advocates that we should spend nothing on defence.

All that is needed to face down a despot is the moral force of a multitude of unarmed, righteous men and women.

Shades of Tiananmen Square, count me out for one! Arthur’s sincerity is not in question, but his policy seems a little unworldly.

Ours is a naughty world and we must learn from history; there will always be rogue states with whom you cannot reason; they have to be opposed militarily.

If that makes anyone uncomfortable and they want biblical authority they should try Matthew 10: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sward”.

The immediate threat to this country is from militant Islam. We pride ourselves on being a tolerant, Christian people, ever- ready to accommodate those of other faiths and super-sensitive to their views.

How do we satisfy these zealots, who insist on living here and want to impose their ways on us because they have a visceral hatred of our culture (yes, we know it’s not perfect)?

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If they can’t be coaxed to a more reasonable frame of mind, don’t we have to oppose them physically? And don’t tell me that if only we would quit Iraq and Afghanistan they would settle down to blameless lives of altruism and good works.

Ken Bridgman

Martlets, Connaught Close, Sidmouth