Letter: Democratic Europe

Sir: Does anybody actually care which political party Katharine Hamnett joins? Like all Europhobes she wanders about the subject making wild generalisations ("A fashionable swing to the Eurosceptic side", 9 November). May I challenge a few of her assertions?

We cannot remain a proper democracy, because we are not one in the first place. Britain is a monarchy with an elected government. We do not enjoy a fraction of the participative democracy enjoyed by most of our European neighbours. One of the reasons for joining the Union for many of us is a wish for real democracy here.

The single currency is a real necessity for all business, especially small and medium-sized. As one who manages the finances of such a business I can confirm that the big ones will deal in the euro whether we join or not. It is the rest of us that stand to lose by not joining.

Language is indeed very important. But since we are custodians of the world language it really does not matter very much how many other languages we speak.

Miss Hamnett is right that the Government has become insufferable. But - has she not noticed? - all our governments become so because we have no separation of powers and no participative democracy. All we ever have is a weak opposition crying in the wilderness, ignored by the Government and, more importantly, the Treasury.

Any serious person who believes that British political institutions, cobbled together in the eighteenth century are something to be proud of should ask themselves who copies us today. We live in a country riddled with strands of unaccountable power and influence. By joining Europe we shall eventually have to reform. This is why the Tories and their allies are against the Union and the currency.

RICHARD GRAHAM

London SW6

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