Lessons from wartime of need for firm ties with Europe

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

There is an almost visceral dislike of any association with Europe, expressed time and time again by some of your correspondents.

To those like me who were around at the time, we can look back with profit to the European situation in the 1930s and since.

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In those days there was no question of any supranational body of formal relationship between the states, despite the constant warfare.

Unfortunately, Hitler was able to pick off smaller nations like the Netherlands and Belgium who thought the badge of neutrality would protect them.

The UK relied to a great extent on the French Army and the Channel to keep the barbarians at bay. Of course, once the Allies got down to business and working together, things changed, but the obvious moral was not picked up.

Thankfully, we have moved on since then and at least the powers on the mainland have seen the light, but I sense that several otherwise unbiased people here are not sold on the Union.

Nevertheless, it is good to see the now well-established co-operation across the borders. Inevitably the usual suspects have made political capital over the troubles of the euro, but their reactions have been predictable, negative and lead only up a blind alley. Fortunately the pressure of history will dictate closer and closer ties with our neighbours so we’ll just have to leave our small-minded critics in their tight little world listening to their Elgar CDs.

From: Paul Emsley, Hellifield, near Settle.

WHY is it Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso sounds like a meerkat trying to sell insurance when he is trying to sell the logic of the latest EU “economic package” to the taxpaying public of Europe?

The truth is that he, like all the other European Commissioners, is trying to qualify their existence and their enormous salaries and expenses by telling the people of Europe that they have been saved from a Greek tragedy.

In reality, the people of Greece should be allowed to make their own decisions. They should be allowed to leave the euro, reinstate the drachma and re-establish their own markets which the local economy can support and sustain.

The size of the so-called European Union is so large now that it can’t have one economic policy to fit all applications and the sooner the Commission realises that, then the sooner European nations will move towards more realistic, fiscal governance to suit their own economies.

We should not try to be a United States, China or India because this could lead to an economic “Cold War”. Europe’s fiscal needs are different. We are not a nation state; we are an European Union.

Perhaps we should return to the original name of “Common Market” because that was the environment in which European countries are more likely to prosper.

From: Dorothy Cope, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate.

I WAS reading David Cameron’s remarks when he guest edited a recent copy of the Big Issue. He mentioned his early travels took him to the Soviet Union and he could never forget the grey drabness and lack of choice and freedom inflicted on the people. It made him realise how important it is that the State should serve the people, not be their master.

How soon is it going to dawn on him that this is exactly what the treacherous inmates of Brussels are trying to achieve, Master of the United States of Europe!