The EU influences us – but we fail to influence them

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Sunday 19 June 2016 13:16 BST
Flags of the European Union member states hang inside the Council of the European Union
Flags of the European Union member states hang inside the Council of the European Union (Getty )

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The EU referendum is not about money and it is not about immigration it is about power. The unaccountable bureaucratic behemoth which is the EU is influencing all of us and we can’t influence it back.

The claim by the Remainers that we should cling on in the forlorn hope that we can influence is laughable: clearly no one can. It is rapidly turning into a weird new form of despotism without a figurehead and we should cut it loose before it becomes dangerous.

At the moment it is too big to succeed but when this dawns on its walnut-sized brain it will become too big to fail – and we will then have the mother of all calamities on our hands.

Martin Kennedy
London, W1

If politicians answered our questions perhaps we wouldn't dislike them

Find me a politician who can give a direct answer to a direct question and I will not hold him/her in contempt.

Colin Hartwright

This EU referendum has been marred by personal attacks

I rarely disagree with Mary Dejevsky. However, on her views related to the murder of Jo Cox and the relevance of the EU referendum I'm afraid she may be wide of the mark.

The major difference between this campaign and previous election campaigns has been the vitriolic personal attacks, the majority from the Leave camp, on individuals and experts who have published opinions on potential outcomes following the result. The overt focus on, and exploitation of immigration fears has also contributed to the febrile atmosphere.

The constant denigration of highly respected individuals, such as the Governor of the Bank of England and the head of the IFS, have inevitably led to the same treatment being meted out to other MPs and campaigners across the country.

Peter Coghlan

Nothing positive has arisen from this campaign

I was unconvinced by the Scottish government White Paper on independence but at least it was an attempt to answer the many questions raised by the prospect of leaving the UK.

Nothing comparable has come from those wanting us to leave the EU – just bogus statistics, racial negativity and an unlikely future as Europe’s off-shore, deregulated free-trade zone.

At the end of this dismal contest – chillingly memorable for the murder of a young Remain MP – we have a decision to take.

As the last stop before the wastes of the North Atlantic we are a nation of immigrants and I hope their descendants will rise above Brexit’s fear-mongering and vote to remain.

Rev Dr John Cameron
St Andrews

Why is the IMF interfering?

I am outraged at how Christine Lagarde of the IMF (an external partly political organisation) has been allowed to interfere in our democracy. Purdah rules of the referendum are there to prevent those in authority using government resources to use publicity which seeks to influence voters in the last few weeks of the campaign.

Although an external body, the IMF does receive funding from our government and the Prime Minister could have, if he so wished, asked the IMF to delay its report until after the referendum, and to not issue statements that could influence voters in the purdah period. Why are we allowing these non-democratic institutions to erode our fundamental principles of democracy?

Dr Santi Vathenen

Fasting is the easiest part of Ramadan

Many people think Ramadan is refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from dawn to dusk. In many ways that's the easy part! Muslims are also meant to refrain from all bad habits so they should not be swearing, fighting, arguing, looking at or watching what is forbidden. Such acts would either hinder or invalidate their fasting..

I am a Muslim and it does not bother me one bit if people around me are eating and drinking. Why should it?

Do we lock the kitchen door and hide all food in our homes during the day during Ramadan? Absolutely not!

The month of Ramadan is not just a physical exercise of self-restraint but an emotional, spiritual and psychological one too. If someone says something to you that upsets you or that would normally start a fight, you are meant to respond with the words "Allah-humma inni sayim" – I am fasting – to remind yourself and the person in front of you that you are only meant to respond in goodness.

An excellent exercise in self-restraint that is sometimes harder than abstaining from food and drink, especially in rush hour traffic!

Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Westerville, Ohio

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