The C of E should apologise
Sir: Peter Hitchens’s article on the allegations against the late Bishop Bell is a welcome intervention in a sorry affair (‘Justice for Bishop Bell’, 7 November). If the best evidence against Bishop Bell was sufficient only to merit his arrest (were he alive), then the recent statements concerning him issued by the church authorities should be withdrawn; if they have better evidence, then that should be published.
It should not be forgotten that this is not the first time this year that senior figures in the Church of England have made dubious accusations of child abuse against the dead. Earlier this year the Bishop of Durham saw fit to announce that he had passed to the police the names of Lord Whitelaw and Enoch Powell as suspects in child abuse cases. No evidence has ever emerged to support these claims. Nevertheless, the Bishop of Durham has not yet apologised to the Whitelaw and Powell families for any distress he may have caused them.
The Church of England was once able to boast bishops with the moral stature of George Bell; now it seems to produce only mitred Tom Watsons.
No obligations to Ukraine
Sir: I do not often disagree with Con Coughlin, and I agree with most of what he says about our defence policy and priorities (‘An indefensible truth’, 7 November). But he is wrong when he writes about our sending ‘100 or so military advisers to Kiev to help train government forces’. We have no obligations to Ukraine at all, and we have no business to be sending any troops there. Ukraine is not a member of Nato or the EU, and if we persist then we can hardly object if Putin sends 75 or 100 advisers to Scotland on the invitation of Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond — which is quite possible.