Sorry Boris, but freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you like

Please send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk

Thursday 30 May 2019 18:00
Comments
Tory leadership race: Boris Johnson in profile

Could someone please explain to Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson that freedom of speech does not mean that you can say what you like, about who or what you like, in whatever way you like. Freedom of speech also carries with it the concepts of responsibility and accountability.

R Kimble
Leeds

Enough of Cleese, please

With regards to John Cleese’s recent remarks on Twitter, I wonder if Caribbean people feel like it’s no longer the Caribbean with Cleese and so many of his rich mates around? Perhaps many are motivated to come here, to get away from people like him?

David McDowall​​
Richmond, London

Critics of Johnson’s court case are missing the point

People who claim that the attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson is an attempt to reverse Brexit and crush the “will of the people” are missing the whole point. The “will of the people” would perhaps have been different if politicians had stuck to facts during the referendum campaign.

John Breeds MBE
Braunton, Devon

Will pride be the downfall of a second referendum?

Though by no means certain, it seems the probability of a second referendum as an alternative to Brexit is becoming increasingly likely. The outcome of a people’s vote could well be that the public opts to remain, now so enlightened as to the realities of what a no-deal Brexit might mean both politically and economically. But what if it is no longer the objective facts of the divorce that influence votes, but pride? What if the public is so disaffected with the way the EU has acted and responded to requests for further concessions, that even faced with the harsh realities of Brexit, they vote to leave again?

The truth is, Brexit is becoming less about the facts and more about the perceived ignominy in choosing to remain. So much time and political muscle, not to mention taxpayers money, has been spent trying to resolve the Brexit debacle that we, a great and powerful nation, surely cannot now go back to the EU and revoke Article 50 with our tails between our legs? But it is clear to so many that this is, at least now, the best option on the table should we just reach out and take it. We must not succumb to our pride, for we will surely be blinded by it.

Joe Blake
London N1

The EU parliament has lost all its meaning

Let’s face the truth, the EU elections had little to do with Europe and everything to do with national politics. There were hardly any serious debates or projects on European issues with the parties all preoccupied with their own position at home. The EU parliament is an image of national parliaments where the traditional major parties have lost ground to populist, ecological and other minority groups.

The EU parliament has lost its meaning. It is time to stop the colossal waste of money and form an EU parliament with around 300 qualified people – born in Europe and speaking a minimum of two languages – made up of a selected number of MPs from their own national parliaments who would spend part of their time in Strasbourg and report back to their governments.

Peter Fieldman​
Address supplied

If indyref2 happens, the ballot should not be the same

The signs are that the SNP will once again try to weigh the terms of any second independence referendum in its favour.

During the preparations for the 2014 referendum, Alex Salmond managed to cajole the Electoral Commission to gift the advantage of the “Yes” response to his side of the argument, even though election experts believe it is worth a few percentage points to have the positive answer in your favour. Any doubt that this was a valuable benefit disappeared during the campaign when the SNP constantly focused on the negativity of their opponents who of course were having to argue the case for No.

In 2016, the Electoral Commission realised its mistake and for the EU referendum changed the question to allow for the more neutral answers of Remain or Leave. Yet the referendum bill now making its way through Holyrood is clearly trying to establish a precedent that the previous question used in 2014 can be reused. If the Electoral Commission is to maintain a reputation for an even-handed approach, it must follow its own more up-to-date view, ensuring any referendum rerun does not benefit one side or the other with a question requiring an obviously negative or positive answer.

Keith Howell
Scottish Borders

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in