Brian Mc Clinton shows concern in his opinion piece (July 15) that “Brexit has dealt a savage blow to liberal humanist values.”
All humanists worship humanity but they do not agree on its definition.
One can have liberal humanism (the inner voice of humanity) which can lead to human rights as exemplified by Mc Clinton. Then there is socialist humanism which is collective and resides within the species best described by Stalinism and the persecution and pogroms of Soviet peasantry.
Lastly there is evolutionary humanism or the variety practised by the Nazis in the exaltation of the Aryan master race which saw the Jewish people as bacteria to be eradicated.
Mc Clinton refers to the misuse of referendums by Hitler and brackets him with British Prime Minister Attlee who reportedly described “them as too often the instrument of Nazism and fascism”.
Referendums may be malign or benevolent in their outcomes. The Good Friday Agreement could not have come about without a referendum in 1998.
It is time for carefully chosen words and not rants about “narrow ethnic English nationalism, racism and xenophobia” or sneers about “Britain’s perceived greatness in World Wars, fostering nostalgia for a ‘great’ British past”.
George Mc Nally, Londonderry