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Letters: The EU referendum isn't about economics - it's about democracy

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Sunday 01 May 2016 15:55 BST
The leaflet about the EU referendum sent to every household in the United Kingdom
The leaflet about the EU referendum sent to every household in the United Kingdom (PA)

The EU In/Out debate has largely been focussed upon economics, which are imponderables, yet described as facts.

When we vote in general and in the referendum in particular we are doing something much more important. We vote for the political institution to which we wish to surrender our personal sovereignty and for them to then make laws that govern us. Democracy accepts that no one is an island, but that none of us can have two masters, such as the UK AND the EU. All else is smoke and mirrors designed to suppress national sovereignty and democracy.

The EU commissioners are in the same political position as the recently defunct Russian federation commissars. Self appointed and unelected yet both control the political agenda. The nationhood instincts of the people are subsumed to the greater bureaucrat comfort, but which for the EU does not include audited accounts. History suggests that the EU will go the same way as the Russian Federation and for the same reasons. The longer it takes the greater the collapse.

James Russell Lowell said that “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide in the strife between truth and falsehood for the good or evil side”. That moment is soon.

Bill Summers

What BHS tells us about care homes

Last week BHS went into administration. 11,000 employees stand to lose their jobs, while various previous owners of BHS have done very nicely, thank you.

There are portents here for the Care Home sector. Many of these businesses have been sucked dry by the huge sums extracted by their owners and directors. The owners have the cheek to blame the living wage for the current fragile financial state of their businesses.

When care homes cease to be financially viable, it's not just the employees who suffer. The elderly and vulnerable people for whom this is their only 'home' are the biggest losers.

Does anybody out there care?

Angela Comer


Face it: Labour needs reform

It seems to me quite simple: if Naz Shah had revealed or had it been uncovered at selection the remarks she made - she would NOT have ended up as a Labour MP. The intervention by Ken Livingstone calling upon the authority of Adolf Hitler together with his suggestion that what she published was [only] "over the top", and following the Radio interview with Labour MP Rupa Huq who said Shah's antisemitic views were [only] "silly" demonstrates the reform that the Party desperately needs!

Richard Norrie


The press revel in bad news for the Labour Party

Yes, the remarks of Naz Shah were naïve and stupid and Ken Livingstone’s attempts to support her were clumsy and crass, but surely no one is suggesting that either of them is antisemitic in the true meaning of the word. Yet for the third day running the issue continues to receive front page attention. Why?

First, because it then allows Jeremy Corbyn to be depicted as a weak and indecisive leader. Second, it reminds the public that he is a close friend and ally of dangerous left-wing loose cannons like Ken Livingstone. Third, it takes attention away from a government faced with a very popular junior doctors’ strike, falling economic growth, an inability to find a buyer for Tata Steel, a rebellion over an ill-conceived academies policy and the problem of the unacceptable face of capitalism in the dock again, courtesy of the BHS pension fund.

How convenient! Oh, and there just happen to be important elections coming up on Thursday. The phrase ‘a good time to bury bad news’ was coined at the time of 9/11. It’s funny how the press, seemingly at will, always seem able to unearth, and run with, bad news about the Labour Party.

M.T Harris

North East Lincolnshire

Israel's existence is under constant threat

In all the airtime given to the debate about antisemitism and antizionism, most people who contributed seemed to agree that antisemitism was wrong, but that it was reasonable to condemn the so-called “apartheid” behaviour of the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

These are the facts: When the State of Israel was formed, the Arabs were not expelled. Many chose to stay and nowadays roughly 21% of Israel’s more than eight million citizens are Arabs. The vast majority of the Israeli Arabs - 81% - are Muslims. Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights; in fact, it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs currently hold ten seats in the Knesset. Israeli Arabs have also held various government posts. Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel. At the time of Israel’s founding, only one Arab high school was operating, today, there are hundreds of Arab schools. Most Arab children attend these schools. If you attend a hospital in Israel, you will see as many Arabs as Jews, both as doctors as patients mingling peacefully. The sole legal distinction between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel is that the latter are not required to serve in the Israeli army. This was to spare Arab citizens the need to take up arms against their brethren. Nevertheless, many Arabs have volunteered for military duty.

Israel’s existence nowadays is under constant threat from its neighbours and its apparently controversial actions must be seen in the light of it acting in its own defence. This tiny country is surrounded by those who wish to wipe it from the face of the earth. Of course, some of the acts of the citizens and government of Israel should be condemned. There is no country in the world which can claim that it and its citizens are perfect.

Amalia Michaels


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