No, the referendum result was not ‘clear’

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The Independent Online

With respect to Amol Rajan, the result of the referendum was not at all “clear”. Nearly half of those in the country who actually voted were Remainers, and it is now clear that many who voted for Brexit were protest voters with little thought beyond giving the government a kick, without expecting Brexit actually to happen. Many others were so blinded by their dislike of immigration (and evidently with little understanding of its importance to the British economy) that they refused to listen to any of the economic warnings.

In other countries where there are written constitutions, major constitutional change would require a two-thirds majority, not an almost split verdict with a tiny majority for what are seriously alarming changes. This dubious vote cannot be a justification for the three fantasist Brexiteers in Government to sweep all before them.

Parliament remains supreme in our constitution and of course it has the right to scrutinise the progress of the negotiations and ultimately to vote down the final package if it does not believe it is in the interests of the UK and its future prosperity.

Gavin Turner

Corbyn’s policies are similar to Churchill’s

David Breden (Letters) seems to be saying that Labour under Corbyn is the leftist equivalent of the extreme right. Actually most of Corbyn Labour’s policies including nationalisation and post imperialist foreign policy positions are the same as those of post war Tory governments led by Prime Minsters Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home and Ted Heath. 

Excluding the example of Anthony Eden’s disgraceful Blair-like Suez imperialism, Corbyn’s Labour policy proposals even has certain similarities to the statism of his government. It’s indicative of how far to the right oligarchic capitalism has driven debate in Britain that some people try and pass off old fashioned 19th C imperialist “wars for oil” and privatised public services as “the centre ground”?

Dr Gavin Lewis

We need action, not protests

Boris Johnson was foolish to call for protests outside the Russian embassy in London. The plight of Syrians, the magnitude and complexity of the crisis cannot be solved by people wavering flags and chanting anti-Russian slogans. This is a mere deviation from our common cause to thwart terrorism. As King Abdullah II of Jordan alluded this is a global war that needs to be fought together. The horrible atrocities in Paris, Brussels and Nice stand testament to the salient fact that Europe is too vulnerable to encroaching terrorism.

Defeating this enemy militarily is only one dimension. We are against an enemy which espouses expansionist ideology that feeds on hatred and intimidation, and try to justify despicable crimes by associating them with a noble religion. The ideological war is more ferocious to prevent nihilists from terrorising people, persecuting minorities, enslaving women and burning people alive. To win, we in the civilised world must arm our self with an arsenal of ideas, justice and political, economic and social inclusion and religious diversity. 

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London, NW2

We need to trust our MPs 

In their letters (14 October) both David Mustoe and Colin Bower assume that the principal duty of an MP is to implement the will of the majority. But that is not what they are elected to do. Yes, when I vote, I vote for the candidate whose views and policy aspirations most closely reflect mine. But I want and trust them also to help form my views and those of my fellow citizens. I put that trust in them because they are better placed, better informed, more experienced and better advised to consider and make decisions on complex matters than I am, and because they can do that for the wider interests – not necessarily preferences – of their constituents and of the nation.

That’s the essence of a parliamentary democracy, and it relies on MPs using their own considered judgment, whether or not it reflects populism. It’s a principle that no government should ignore. And a powerful argument against government by referendum.

Richard Hanson-James

House prices in London are obscene 

Since when did you become an estate agents, looking at the prices of the new flats being built in London in today’s edition I am absolutely disgusted. I work with families who if they worked for an entire lifetime would never even be able to afford a deposit and just how many of these will be brought for investment purposes only. Where is the housing for people on a low income and that today would seem to include anyone with an income of under £50,000. Where do we expect people doing normal jobs in London to live?

I retired outside of London when our landlord, a charity, increased our rent in a damp flat to an eye watering £1,750 a month. Who seems to care!

R Wells

No outsider has the right to call for Assad to step down 

When there were uprisings in Bahrain and Egypt, they were put down with force, backed by America and its allies. The uprising in Syria could also have been put down but Barack Obama decreed that Assad had to go. He had no right to do that but his action in doing so was a turning point, boosting the confidence of all rebels, encouraging jihadis to flood into the country and giving the green light to regional powers to send arms into Syria to their proxies. The insistence that Assad must go has made all negotiation impossible.

The fact is, Assad has substantial support in Syria and no outsider had the right to demand that he step down. The best way forward now would be to work towards an Assad victory in Aleppo which is as bloodless as possible. America could do that by working with Putin and Assad. That could lead the way to peace in Syria. Boris Johnson and Theresa May should be working towards that goal, not talking about an air war with Russia which would be just as likely to prolong the suffering in Syria as end it.

Dr Brendan O’Brien
London, N21 

Donald Trump needs a psychiatric assessment 

Trump has a long history of misogyny as the 2005 TV video displayed that his abusive language about women didn't start the day the cameras rolled. He is a rich guy, feels entitled and is famous. That is a formula for sexual predator if you are so disposed.

Watch him with his own daughter. When own his daughter was called a "piece of ass" on the Howard Stern Show, he laughed and agreed with the other fool.

As a father, if someone said that to me or to any dad I know, I would have stood, called him a jerk and waited a long minute to get a response. Donald, however, agreed with Stern about his own daughter’s characterisation by Stern.

President? He needs psychiatric counselling, not voted in as President of our country. Give me a break.

N Stewart