Listen and learn from the people over Brexit – Yorkshire Post letters

Should there be a second referendum on Brexit?
Should there be a second referendum on Brexit?
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From: Ian Smith, Colston Close, Bradford.

YOU listed 25 Yorkshire MPs – 24 Labour and one Independent, previously Labour – who seek a second referendum on Brexit (The Yorkshire Post, March 30).

So, because they can’t contribute to managing the Brexit that the majority of their voters sought, they’ve decided to put it back to them, as if that would make it easier for MPs to manage.

Neil McNicholas: Why are we still waiting for our MPs to deliver Brexit?

And there’s always the slim chance that their desire to Remain would be achieved.

They also, of course, want a change of government – now there might be some merit in that, but the means to get there should never be by denying democracy and Brexit. Anyway, would a majority of Yorkshire folk actually vote for a Corbyn government?

MPs talk of Parliamentary democracy, on the basis that the electorate have delegated them the power to do what’s right. Then, when they can’t democratically do what’s right, they turn to us again, and still claim ownership of democracy. Politicians, please listen and digest – we own democracy, then we ask you to implement it (Neil McNicholas, The Yorkshire Post, April 2).

Isn’t it naive also to think that another vote would conclusively sort out the problem, whatever the outcome might be?

It is more likely to have the opposite effect.

Is it not hypocritical to seek another democratic vote, while denying the outcome of this democratic one? Do they actually think that, after the current debacle, we’d trust them to honour another vote? Their arrogance is apparently unbounded.

Politicians have their surgeries, they also visit places in an attempt to inform themselves, and they canvass their causes, so those are their links to our world. Then, they go home and back to their bubble, their political parties and their comfort zones.

They may be honest people who are there because they want to do good. But to do good, they have to listen to us, not just hear us. And if not us, then they should try listening to other respected and prominent people. FD Roosevelt once said: “The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

AS a retired teacher of European languages, a Christian and a convinced British European, I find it difficult to understand why some consider it undemocratic three years later to retake the pulse of the British people with respect to Brexit.

It is, I think, accepted that the assumptions underlying the original plebiscite were, for a multiplicity of reasons, ill-founded, and that we are now better informed in this regard not only of the benefits of membership, but of the noble ideals underlying the European project to which we have contributed significantly.

What could be more democratic than to seek confirmation or rejection of a decision some at least of us made blindly? As Cardinal Newman remarked in a different context: “Here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

Our leaders therefore cannot continue to rely on the mantra which proclaims they are “respecting the will of the people”.

As quoted in The Tablet last week, Edmund Burke underlined the primacy of MPs’ consciences when he remarked to his electorate: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

Nor can the Government argue that with Brexit being a manifesto pledge, it cannot be re-thought. Suffice it to say that one need not look far to find other election promises politicians have chosen to disregard.

These arguments are, I suggest, mere sophistry, and none of them address the point: the purposes of Europe.

One of these must be to contribute more effectively towards solving the problems which beset humanity and our planet. Think again: it’s not too late.

Drowned out by chatter

From: Christine McDade, Morton on Swale, North Yorkshire.

HOW I agree with Peter Hyde (The Yorkshire Post, April 1) and his comments that presenters spent too much time talking on the Blue Planet Live series.

During the final programme on Sunday, Chris Packham continued and continued to ask the audience to listen to the wonderful songs of the humpback whales, while continuing to talk over the whales and spoiling that wonderful behaviour.

I, for one, was very frustrated at that stage.

I noticed that he was holding and referring to a record made of the whales singing.

Am I being cynical or was it was a deliberate ploy to sell the record? Whatever it was, it spoilt a wonderful natural history programme.

Life and death in the Dales

From: Jack Metcalfe, Reigate, Surrey.

TREVOR Brockway’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, March 30) demands a response, both for its ignorance and to perhaps shed some light on the apparent death of rabbits, which Mr Brockway attributes to raptor-killing gamekeepers.

Though now a ‘southerner’, I, too, often walk in my native Yorkshire Dales.

Contrary to what Mr Brockway says, I see plenty of raptors, of all shapes and sizes, together with all of the other birds, such as lapwing, curlew and black grouse that I sadly now don’t seem to 
see anywhere else.

I’d suggest that the dead rabbits Mr Brockway mentions have died of rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), and are not some ludicrous idea of the gamekeepers to lure in raptors for shooting.

Just finally, your correspondent should know that grouse are not reared – they’re wild, and thank God for them.