Ian Lavery correctly observes how public trust in politics has been eroded by “a political class that has too often taken them for granted, and an economic system that works against them” (A second referendum could destroy public trust in politics, theguardian.com, 25 January). He counsels against “asking voters to vote again on an issue to which they have already given an answer, until they come up with the right answer”. The problem is that Brexit is the wrong answer to the wrong question.
What is urgently needed is an honest discussion about the genuine causes of rising poverty and inequality, and how leaving the EU would actually worsen matters. Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are in favour of Brexit, for their own reasons – May’s dictated by her party and Corbyn’s personal. Sadly for the country, the honesty required is therefore unlikely to emerge from the prime minister or the leader of the opposition.
As Martin Kettle notes, “there is almost no consensus among voters about what should happen now” (A Brexit compromise may be coming, but a bad one, 24 January). This demonstrates a lamentable lack of political leadership. If Brexit really is such a good thing, surely the argument should be easy for May and Corbyn to make and most people would happily accept it and get on with their lives.
It is the absence of honest debate that has brought us to our current sad state. Unless that changes, Mr Lavery is right to fear that a second referendum would be “likely to deliver the same result again”.
Dr Dominic Horne
• May I refer Ian Lavery to what my first-aid teacher told our class, regarding CPR. A patient whose heart has stopped is already dead. You cannot make him more dead. Therefore you should do everything you can to revive the patient, without concern for breaking ribs or damaging the spine. It is biologically impossible to make the situation any worse than it already is. I trust that the analogy here is clear.
Dr Richard Milne
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