Letters to the editor for 15 May 2013

Europe debate

[Re: Cameron’s last ditch gamble to buy some time on Europe, yesterday]

David Cameron is pursuing the only practical policy available to him. He cannot deliver a referendum in this Parliament, because he won’t get the votes from Labour and Lib Dem MPs. Failing to pass a bill for a referendum, however, will be portrayed as a massive failure by Labour, the Lib Dems, and Ukip. So publishing a draft bill is his only option. In my view, the vast majority of Conservative members agree with his approach. While we might like a vote now, it simply isn’t going to happen. Quite why so many Conservative MPs don’t see the logic behind Cameron’s position, however, is beyond me.

John Moss


Welfare state

[Re: Our welfare state is unsustainable – huge changes are surely inevitable, yesterday]

I don’t understand why Ryan Bourne’s persuasive position didn’t win over Cambridge’s students. As he says, on current trends, those same students will likely end up paying for both their parents’ pay-as-you-go pensions and their own self-funded retirements. Perhaps Bourne lost because hard thinking about what the state can achieve – rather than what we might like it to achieve – has disappeared from public discourse. Even now, when we’re meant to be cutting spending dramatically, the government is extending the state’s reach into elderly care.

Richard O’Connor



Some claim EU is a second order issue. What bigger question could there be than “who governs Britain”?

Deadly serious about getting the UK out the EU? Almost one in five are undecided. We need two years to prepare the ground.

ICM polling gives Nigel Farage the highest positive personal rating of any party leader. Public values authenticity above all else.

Is it just me, or has this EU referendum bill debate descended into a conversation between 150 people in Westminster?