Mr Forbes (Have Your Say Aug. 15th) offers no reason for his evident belief that knowing something is such a bad thing.

He is right that I don’t wave many flags on VE or VJ Day. Having being brought up close to the rubble of World War Two’s aftermath, and seen the effects on my parents’ generation of what we now recognise as PTSD - breakdown, violence, suicide - I think about these things more frequently than that.

Mr Forbes is right, too, that I omitted mention of things that as a country we have cause to be proud of.

For example, in the aftermath of WW2 we devised a system of universal health care that remains an example to the world. Moreover, UK Government lawyers - as it happens, representing both major political parties - after successfully working to extend the range of international law at the Nuremberg Trials, went on to draft the European Convention on Human Rights, a vision that we British can legitimately be proud of and continue to cherish.

That doesn’t mean that we do not also have things to be ashamed of and, given the secrecy of government, we keep on finding more.

Mr Forbes, who accuses me of not caring about our country, seems content with things as they are.

I think they should be better. I argue my case and that is why I don’t, as he asks, relocate.

If he had read the last sentence of the letter to which he purportedly replies, he would already, I think, have understood that.

Barry Tempest