I have always thought Boris Johnson to be a rather likeable and intelligent buffoon, but his ill-judged anti-German rhetoric (Comment July 13), spiced up as usual by reminding us of his classical education, has brought the Little-Englanders scurrying out. David Olsen (Letters, July 14) feels able to write a rather unpleasant little piece reminding us (as if the TV and films will ever let us forget) that we have fought two great wars to prevent German dominance of Europe. We must wake up, he says, to Germany achieving that aim, without firing a shot. This apparently, because Germany, that is, the German taxpayers, who hold by far the greatest share of Greek debt, have the temerity to insist on strict terms for a financial bailout of Greece.
I find it difficult to believe that I am reading this xenophobic drivel in a quality newspaper. For seventy years millions of people in France, Germany and the other European Union countries, Britain included, have sweated to ensure that nothing like those two wars can ever happen again – at least within Europe. I love Greece and I love the Greeks, but clearly they do not belong in the Euro Zone. Their economy just does not match those of their partners. How would Boris feel, I wonder, if his bank told him, ‘sorry Mr Johnson, we’ve invested your savings in what appeared to be a good venture, but it’s gone bankrupt; the money’s all gone I’m afraid.’
How can I look my German friends in the face after they have read Boris’s latest flummery dressed up as informed comment?