The problems with EU democracy are echoed at home

Send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk

Democracy is no more under threat in Europe than it is at home
Democracy is no more under threat in Europe than it is at home

There is indeed a lot wrong with the "democracy” of the EU, but then there is also a great deal wrong with the "democracy" of this country. We have a government which claims it has a mandate for its ideologically driven dismantling of the welfare state when in reality less than 25 per cent of the electorate said they wanted them to be in power.

Every year thousands of statutory instruments come into effect with little or no scrutiny by our elected representatives. Anyone who doubts the insidiousness effect should remember that they are not all tweaks to how much insulation you should have in your loft. Significant new laws have been introduced using them such instruments, including benefit cuts which were not in the Conservative manifesto, and so cannot be said to have a mandate from even 24 per cent of the electorate.

A bit of reading about the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act and "skeleton Bills" should chill the blood of anybody who believes in democracy. A problem with democracy in the EU is no more of a reason to leave it than the problem with ours is a reason to emigrate.

Mike Perry
Ickenham, Middx

Does anyone know when Jeremy Corbyn changed his view on the EU and exactly why? What unexpected miracle has Mr Corbyn perceived the EU to have delivered in the past two years which has swayed him? What possible excuse is there for being anti EU in 1975, and throughout the 80s, 90s and noughties, then changing your mind to being pro EU recently, let alone after the advent of TTIP? He’ll be extolling the virtues of Global Capitalism next.

Ronald Olden
Machynlleth, Powys

So my grandchildren are going to be asked to persuade me to vote to stay in Europe. Why? Poor old dear, I am clueless about the implications. If I just shut my eyes and vote which of course, being elderly is what I am sure to do. You can hardly expect someone of my age to be capable of weighing up the pros and cons. And which of my 12 grandchildren do I listen to? I very much doubt that they will all agree.

Gillian Cook
Market Harborough

Controversial view on Armenian history

Robert Fisk’s article on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is controversial, to say the least. Accusing Yerevan of “taking it back” (Nagorno-Karabakh) because it contained oldest churches does not stand any serious scrutiny. The war against Nagorno-Karabakh was unleashed by the authorities in Baku to suppress the legitimate right of its people to self-determination.

At the early stage of the conflict Armenians from around the world volunteered to render their support to the struggling people of Nagorno-Karabakh, who were protecting their families and homes against joint Soviet-Azerbaijani aggression. Three decades on they still suffer from Azeri military attacks. President Aliev uses billions of pounds from oil revenues to continue buying arms and ammunition to fight Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. This indicates that the nature of Azerbaijani dictatorial regime and policy has not undergone any change.

If Mr Fisk believes that by defending their human and political rights, and protecting their families in Karabakh, Armenians were avenging for the Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, he could similarly arrive at a conclusion that attacking Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh today, with the full support of Turkey’s leadership, is a continuation of the Armenian Genocide. Drawing a false connection between these two tragic episodes of the history would undermine different political causes of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Armenian Genocide.

It is surprising that an author with solid historical background in the region would come up with such distorted factual material to support superficial judgements and conclusions. We would be happy to provide Mr Fisk, who was apparently misled on this issue, with a large body of evidence on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Hayarpi Drmeyan
Embassy of Armenia
London

Listen to the data on Muslim communities

I find it hard to believe that some of your learned writers are saying that the findings of the ICM survey which Trevor Philips uses to come to his conclusions are untrue. Well, they are what the survey conducted says. Many like me have for decades observed the lack of integration of the Muslims into mainstream Britain. The evidence is everywhere on our streets and we must be blind to think otherwise.

Dr Raghbir Dhillon
London

Charity begin at home

I disagreed with David Cameron when he pledged to take in 20, 000 Syrian refugees. The announcement by minister Richard Harrington that the resettlement scheme would cost at least £589 million up to 2021 confirms my fear. Britain’s foreign aid budget for 2015 was £12. 2bn, the second highest out of 28 countries. In Scotland children with a devastating muscle-wasting condition have been refused drugs which could help them because they are too expensive. The SNP-dominated Scottish Government can, however, find £37m to give to Malawi.

Much of the foreign aid budget ends up in the hands of corrupt politicians with some projects beset by theft, corruption and flawed accounting. In 2015 the Malawi president proposed buying a private jet with our foreign aid. Charity should begin at home.

Clark Cross
Linlithgow

Journalists reticent to share their own tax affairs

Last Monday, David Cameron said the tax returns of journalists, and presumably media barons, might have to be made public. By Wednesday the Panama Papers were no longer on the front pages. A totally coincidence I'm sure.

Mick Hall
Grays

The publishing of personal tax returns in the interest of transparency is all very well, but I assume that the last place we will find any undeclared income is on a tax return.

John Coppendale
Cambridge

State of affairs

Much attention has been paid to the relationship between UK Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, and a sex worker. However, this is a story with more serious overtones, and one wonders if the sex worker is receiving support and counselling after finding out that she was having a relationship with an MP.

Alex Orr
Edinburgh

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