JOHN R ARMSTRONG in his letter “Great nation” (HAS, May 12) accuses me of “again denigrating this great nation” by seeming to infer that I am undermining the sacrifices made by British people in the Second World War.

Frankly, I find this rather insulting. During the war, my dad was a Normandy veteran and my mother worked producing armaments in the Royal Ordnance Factory at Aycliffe and I am very proud of their achievements.

Fascism was a hideous ideology and it had to be stopped.

Fascism also enjoyed widespread support from the ruling classes of Europe, not just in Italy and Germany, but also from many members of the Conservative Party, whose leaders such as Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax licked Hitler’s jackboots throughout the 1930s.

Fortunately, the working classes of Britain, the US, the Soviet Union and elsewhere rose to occasion, making tremendous personal sacrifices and succeeded in making the world a better place.

However, we are no longer living in the Second World War and I merely pointed out that in 2020 Britain has vast amounts of unnecessary and expensive military hardware and yet there is insufficient PPE in hospitals and care homes to safeguard vulnerable patients from contracting Covid-19.

This is not denigrating the nation, but a valid criticism of Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

He also then points out that the British people rejected socialism in the 2019 General Election.

This of course is true, but it doesn’t mean that the 33 per cent of the electorate were wrong to vote Labour. I for one consider that if Labour had won the election then there would have been far fewer deaths from the coronavirus as Jeremy Corbyn would have locked down sooner and protected the vulnerable more effectively.

John Gilmore, Bishop Auckland.