IslingtonTribune

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The calibre of MPs was different in 1975

30 August, 2019

• I WOULD seek humbly to correct an error in JE Kirby’s letter (Should we pander to those who just don’t like a poll result? August 16) upon which Stephen Horne relies, (Some will reject the majority view, August 23).

In 2018 there were eight candidates competing for the position of president of Russia; for the post of president of the European Commission there was one. A stark contrast indeed.

In using the European Parliament’s English website Mr Horne succeeds in demonstrating how opaque the EU’s notion of democracy is.

The EU feels the need to attempt a technical description of its own byzantine procedures. An objective analysis would have been more enlightening.

It is incorrect to claim that leavers did not accept the result of the 1975 referendum. They did but had the right to continue to press the argument for the UK to leave in future.

In the same manner the people who wish the UK to remain in the EU can campaign for the UK to apply for membership after October 31. No democrat would argue with that.

Nigel Farage actually said: “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way”: acceptance to the result but a promise to campaign.

MP Jo Swinson, currently fortifying her party with parliament’s jetsam, has made it clear that she would not accept the result of a second referendum if she didn’t like the result, a devastating destruction of any rationale for a “people’s vote”.

While Nigel Farage would seek to continue the campaign to leave, having accepted a result to remain, Jo Swinson would use parliament to try to prevent leaving even if that were confirmed by a second referendum.

In 1975 there were MPs of a calibre we can only imagine today who accepted losing the referendum. MPs including Tony Benn, Enoch Powell, Peter Shore, Michael Foot, Barbara Castle. Some way removed from today’s ditherers.

STEPHEN SOUTHAM
Mildmay Grove North

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