LETTER : Time to come off the fence over East Timor

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The Independent Online
Andrea Needham and her friends ("To prevent a greater crime", 25 August) are to be congratulated for their calculated planning and destruction of a Hawk aircraft, destined for the indiscriminate napalming of East Timor civilians.

More's the pity, therefore, and more's the shame that the Anglican church gave the women such lily-livered backing. While giving token support to their cause, the Bishop of Liverpool covered himself by declaring that the women intruders were lawbreakers who deserved to be found guilty. The Establishment and, sadly, the Anglican establishment persist in selecting leaders who are expert at compromises and who prefer accommodation to principle. We in the Establishment suppose that we must uphold the status quo. This, of course, is fence-sitting by another name, reminding us of Edmund Burke's dictum that "for evil to flourish good 'men' need only do nothing".

Rev Andrew P de Berry

Thurgarton, Nottinghamshire