Yes, Bernie, I am a real person

I ask your forbearance to allow me to respond to Mr. Smith’s letter (The News, July 26) comments on my earlier letter about former Premier Campbell’s appointment as High Commissioner to the UK.

I ask your forbearance to allow me to respond to Mr. Smith’s letter (The News, July 26) comments on my earlier letter about former Premier Campbell’s appointment as High Commissioner to the UK.

He both seriously misrepresents what I said in support of the appointment and seems to question my veracity.

Nowhere in my letter did I even remotely suggest that left-wing people like Mr. Smith should “shut up” and that only government employees should have a say on issues of the day. I simply offered a different and supportive view of the Campbell appointment to his own, to which I am entitled — as he is to his own.

I did not offer, as he claims, “glowing praise” of messrs. Campbell and Harper. I said that Campbell had received independent praise for his 10 years service as premier and that his status as a long- serving premier would give him immediate credence and respect in London and was therefore an excellent choice for the position. I then gave full credit to PM Harper for the appointment — as I do to his appointment of former NDP Premier Gary Doer as Ambassador to Washington.

Mr. Smith obviously took umbrage at my signing my letter as former High Commissioner to Australia and Singapore. And yes, Mr. Smith, despite your implications to the contrary, I am the real person. I have written letters to The News before and have not so identified myself because it was never before germane to the content of those letters.

In the case of a diplomatic appointment, I thought it relevant to  indicate that I had some experience and objective knowledge in this area. But Mr. Smith interprets this as my telling people like him to shut up. I leave it to the judgment of your readers.

L. Michael Berry, Qualicum Beach