We should stop using referendums in the UK

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

Tuesday 06 March 2018 16:46
The NHS pledge on the Vote Leave battlebus still causes controversy today
The NHS pledge on the Vote Leave battlebus still causes controversy today

Lewis Chinchen claims that the electorate knew what they were voting for at the EU referendum. My advice to him is to talk to some of those that voted Leave and ask them why they voted so.

I have asked six Leave voters why they voted Leave. Only one was clear that Leave would mean coming out of the customs union and the single market. Two openly stated they didn’t understand what these are. One said he voted Leave because he didn’t want any more Muslims coming to this country. He thought leaving the EU meant controlling immigration from all over the world. Another said she doesn’t want any more “Sootys” coming to our country. Her best friend is Dutch!

I say it is not true that people understood what they were voting for.

We must have a referendum on the negotiated outcome of the Brexit talks to settle this matter. Thereafter, we should abandon the use of referenda as a far too divisive mechanism for making political decisions.

Name and Address supplied

The English sporting gentleman is a myth

Further to the excellent article by Tom Peck (“Don’t imagine sport was any purer in Bannister’s day”), I should like to add that the concept of amateurism was a fabrication from the Victorian establishment. They considered that to be “British”, sporting men – yes , no women in those days apart from rich toxophilites (archery) – had to be amateur and perform to better their character and for the nation. They rewrote history as if it had always been and many people still believe the myth now of the eternal honest amateur.

Before this there was plenty of money to be earned in sport. Mainly, of course from gambling and, surprise surprise, there was plenty of cheating, violence and intimidation! Maybe in 200 years a different populist movement will invent a new era for virtuosity in sport.

Robert Boston

America is lagging behind when it comes to animal rights

The ban on fox hunting is supported by the majority of the British public, so what a shame that America appears to be lagging behind in its desire to end such cruelty in the name of fun – even hoping that a new generation will save the controversial sport.

Some of this new generation are incorrect in their claims that foxes actually enjoy being hunted. Evidence presented in the Burns Enquiry which looked at the facts surrounding hunting with hounds, found that in “being closely pursued, caught and killed above ground by hounds ... this experience seriously compromises the welfare of the fox” – so not enjoyable at all.

Fox hunting in America may have survived war and revolution, but for the fox’s sake, we hope it doesn’t survive much longer.

Chris Luffingham – League Against Cruel Sports

Divorce is contributing to the housing shortage

In response to Ellen Jackson’s letter (“Spare a thought for the younger generation over housing”), I would suggest that as birth rates on average have fallen over the past few decades, it’s more likely that the soaring divorce/separation rates (resulting in two households per family), could be an important cause of the housing shortage.

Just a thought.

Susan Jarosz

We shouldn’t worry about AI

I believe that recently voiced concerns about the possible future subjugation of humanity by AI are misplaced. The evidence I have is the email I just received from a hotel review and booking website. In this email are suggestions for a spring break at eight hotels “recommended just for you”.

These were:

Three hotels I’ve stayed in and reviewed on said website

One hotel I’d booked but cancelled

Four hotels I’d looked at in the last month on other hotel search sites

If this is the best that AI can do when making personalised recommendations then we can all sleep soundly in our beds!

Nick Haward

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