Let us hope that the 1914 Great War commemoration does not turn into the usual attempt by our politicians to transform the violence and the misery of war into a noble gesture of humanitarian concern.

The 1914-1918 war was the penultimate full-scale tribal war between European nations, which resulted – thank God – in the setting up of the League of Nations and subsequently the United Nations and the European Union.

Those involved in organising the slaughter slowly saw the light and came to an agreement to work together and to resolve differences by diplomacy.

The bloody tribal wars now being fought in Syria, Southern Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic pinpoint the need of the European example as a blueprint for their future.

It is ironic, therefore, that as we celebrate a practical milestone in the recognition of the brotherhood of man, many of the politicians in this country are conspiring to break up the United Kingdom and walk out of the European Union.

They would be wiser to take a lead from the example of the well-documented exchange of Christmas carols and the famous football match between the British and German soldiers of the two front lines in the Great War.

Maurice Vassie, Deighton, York.