In the 1640s this country was going through a civil war, Parliament v King Charles I. This caused caused great turmoil to the people. Eventually Cromwell and Parliament won and in 1649 King Charles was beheaded.

Now we have the members of Parliament at war with each over Brexit, causing turmoil to the people. I wonder if the Queen sometimes wishes she could be like the medieval and Tudor royals and say ‘off with their heads!’ There would be quite a few MPs walking around headless.

Maureen Robinson,

Broadway, York

Cummings is a Machiavelli for our times

In 1513 Niccolo Machiavelli wrote ‘The Prince’, a manual on how to gain power and keep it through political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik.

His advice to leaders includes how to take possession of popular prejudices and passions by introducing a confusion of principles which makes impossible all understanding; ‘it is safer to be feared than loved’; and ‘the end justifies the means’.

The present government adviser is Dominic Cummings, who was behind Vote Leave’s devastatingly effective £350m-a-week for the NHS claim displayed on the side of the campaign bus.

An example of Cummings’ slippery machinations could be observed recently when Boris Johnson announced that his hobby was making model buses. This seemingly innocuous line served to put search engine emphasis on Boris’ hobby bus several pages ahead of Boris’ NHS banner bus.

In fact, the Vote Leave campaign website with its wild promises is no more. As in Orwell’s 1984 - it didn’t happen, you imagined it.

Machiavelli’s less popular treatise - the Discourses on Livy - is often said to have paved the way for modern republicanism. Well Boris always said he wanted to be ‘world king’, whatever that is. Watch out there are snakes about.

Brian McCusker,

Hartoft Street, York

Place your vote here for Cummings, D

In an endeavour to reduce election costs to a minimum and give the electorate a clearer insight into who is actually running the country, might I suggest the next election’s ballot papers read (simply, succinctly and rather scarily): Cummings, D.

RD Bowen,

Farrar Street,York

We should have drained the EU swamp

When you are up to your armpits with alligators, it’s a bit difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.

Looking at the turmoil of Brexit, I feel very angry at the way our politicos have continually treated us, the general public, as idiots, by not giving us clarity of facts.

Sadly, perhaps they may be as blind as we have become.

In the dewy-eyed misty past, our Prime Minister was David Cameron. I felt for him as he was constantly being humiliated by the EU over his proposals for reform.

They did not listen to our concerns; they still have deaf ears. We would have been sucked into agreeing with a Federal Europe, and perhaps would this have meant the surrender of our Sterling into Euro currency? Greece is an example of when things can go badly wrong.

If only they had treated Britain with more respect and acted on our simple logical reforms, then they as well as Britain, would have enjoyed a more coherent European Union, which might have been a financial success in the future.

We would have drained the swamp!

Phil Shepherdson,

Chantry Close,


Reasoned debate? Just accept referendum result

What a joke it is to see Christian Vassie saying it is hard to have a reasoned debate about Brexit (Letters, September 3). He has done nothing for the last three years but moan about Brexit and never debated anything, just saying his version of what will happen is right.

He finds fault with people (as he has again ) who write about Brexit and can’t see their points of view. Nowhere ever does he look at having a reasoned debate about it.

As for Boris being elected without a democratic vote from the people, he seems to forget we had a democratic vote about leaving the EU and the result was to leave.

It is the Christian Vassies of this world that have caused all the trouble over Brexit by not accepting the result of the referendum.

Mel Burley,

Albion Avenue, York