LETTERS: `No' vote for referendum

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The Independent Online
From Dr Steven Ford Sir: Populist appeals for a referendum are a refuge for truculent politicians (Letters, 14 December). A more valuable exercise would be the quarterly polling of a large sample of the population on a range of current issues. This wouldbe a means of assessing the public mood and the changes in sentiment, and could form a reasonable basis for moulding government intentions. At the least, a government would not have the fig leaf of ignorance of public feeling and would be better placed to explain the necessity, as it saw it, of scorning popular opinion.

Yours sincerely, STEVEN FORD Haydon Bridge, Northumberland 14 December