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From: Billy Walton, Dairy Lane, Darley, Harrogate.

AT school, I was told that I lived in a democracy, which was defined as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” and was taught that this end was achieved by the people electing representatives to ensure that their will was carried out.

Somehow this has now disappeared and we have ended up with a new definition of “government of the people, by the politicians, for the politicians and their parties”.

A glaring example of this is that it is the will of the people to be given a referendum about our continuing membership of the European Union, but our politicians are denying us our right. I think that this is because they know that they will not get the answer they want and so are not willing to take the risk. They are imposing their will against the wishes of the people.

On May 5, the machinery has been set up to carry out local elections and a referendum on AV.

It would be sensible to add another question to the referendum – that is: “Do you wish the United Kingdom to remain in the EU – Yes or No?” and provide two simple tick-boxes. How difficult is that?

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

MR Bateman’s letter (Yorkshire Post, April 16) advocating a vote on getting out of the EU is similar to several others, full of assertions and suspect figures. He quotes a figure of £130bn saving courtesy of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

It is anybody’s guess how this extraordinary estimate is calculated, but as the Alliance is well known to be a Right-wing outfit, there is a large question mark over the sources.

There are a number of pertinent questions which I would like to ask. When William Hague was Tory leader, one of his flagship policies was leaving the EU.

Yet he made no impression at all at the polls in 2001. Is the europhobes’ policy of cut and run therefore as popular as they think it is? Certainly they have never looked like winning a seat at Westminster.

As ever, the Tory party contains a large number of antis yet the leadership now refuses to support withdrawal. If the process of getting out would be as easy and popular as we are told it would be, you wonder why Mr Cameron wouldn’t support it.

The reason is not fear of the Lib Dems but because he knows how foolish and ill-advised such a move would be.

In my opinion, if we ever do get a referendum, the vote would be in favour of continued membership.

From: Raymond W Geldard, Skipton Road, Steeton, Keighley.

The amount of interest among the public at large regarding the forthcoming referendum will soon be revealed.

The only referendum the taxpayers of this country really need, or want, is the one we cannot have, ie regarding our continuing allegiance to the European Union and its acolyte, the unelected European Court of Human Rights.

In the prevailing climate of obedience in all things to Brussels and the ECHR, the result of this referendum will be a total irrelevance.

From: Jack Kinsman, Stainton Drive, Grimsby.

COULD one of your readers please help me to understand the Government’s thinking when it closes swimming baths for pensioners, closes complete libraries, shuts down old folks home, shuts day-care centres, closes mentally ill people’s meeting places, and a million other cuts that effect all the British people just so that we can give £500bn to the EU?