It IS quite terrifying that a professor of international politics can dismiss the UK Independence Party and presumably the rest of us who also oppose EU membership as “Eurosceptic” “clowns” (Perspective, 13 October).
John Paterson deploys the usual false arguments: the EU has saved the continent from future European wars which were never likely to occur, and the EU is our major trading market (to our considerable loss).
If there are indeed any “clowns” in the EU performance, they are surely those who failed to plan the single currency competently, leading inevitably to its present spectacular collapse in Spain and Greece, followed by the desperately determined bailouts to save the euro.
I wonder how many Eurocitizens and states would agree with John Paterson that the EU has made them “far richer than they would be without it”.
The EU is characterised by a top-heavy, overpaid and unproductive pseudo-government whose idea of democracy is to impose unelected prime ministers on its member states.
The last European war was started by German imperialism: they lost that one, but present EU developments suggest the ultimate victory was only delayed.
Tranent, East Lothian
If you are invite John Paterson to write for you to say that UKIP are “clowns”, may I suggest that common courtesy requires that you invite somebody from UKIP to say, at equal length, why we believe not being in the EU is an intelligent policy. I am sure UKIP could provide a number of people capable of doing so in an intelligent manner without descending to personal insults.
You report (15 October) that, with immaculate timing as ever Michael Gove – the UK Education Secretary and Mr Bumble of the Tory Party – has said the UK is “ready to quit” the European Union. He will know that the EU was formed to make any war between Germany and France impossible.
In that aim it has been spectacularly successful and gone on to build wealth and prosperity through trade to all the people of the EU. Not only that – it has been so successful spreading its peace-keeping influence it has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No, Mr Gove, this would not be a good time to “quit”.
David Martin MEP
You report that the Education Secretary in the government in London says the UK government is ready to quit the EU: “Give us back our sovereignty”.
Meanwhile, the government in Edinburgh says exactly the same and has secured the referendum on precisely its own terms.
Of course, as you point out, the status quo is not really on offer, as in 2015 the new terms of the Scotland Act come into effect, including the right to set 10 per cent of income tax.
Everyone in Scotland is Scottish as well as being British by virtue of living in the British Isles. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Scotland will remain the United Kingdom of 1603.
PETER MURRAY SPENCER
Scottish independence? What a joke. Whatever happens, Scotland will either live under the yoke of Westminster and the EU or else under the yoke of the EU – in other words Germany.
How can that be true independence?