Readers' letters - April 19

Are Westminster and Brussels laws equally unaccountable?
Are Westminster and Brussels laws equally unaccountable?

Myth that Brexit restores a golden era of democracy

I was born in the 1960s. My earliest political memories are of strife between intransigent trades union bosses and
incompetent governments in the 1970s.
In the 1980s, I was able to vote, but during the 18 years of Conservative government
opposed to my values, that vote did nothing to determine
national policy.
In the following 13 years of New Labour, which often lacked compassion toward the many while toadying up to the wealthy few, I was never represented by a government that I had voted for.
From 2010, I saw a coalition pursuing even more extreme versions of the hateful Tory policies of the 1980s. These continue to this day, public services strangled by ideology and what spending there is biased towards South East England.
UK parliamentary democracy has served me and my town poorly, delivering government opposed to our interests for nearly half a century.
It was only by the EU, under the Social Chapter and measures such as the Working Time Directive, that I saw my views represented.
We only vote for one candidate in one constituency, who may neither be elected MP nor serve in government.
Legislation is drafted by dedicated, professional but
unelected bureaucrats, whichever parliament passes it.
Acts of the UK Parliament frequently leave the details to be decided later at the whims of
individual ministers.
So despite what other writers may believe, it is a myth and a distortion that leaving the EU somehow restores a golden era of representative democracy.
Laws made in Westminster or Brussels are equally alien and unaccountable, but more often the latter seem to have a familiar British ring.
J Robin Hughes
Address supplied

Helping people with lymphoma

For more than 30 years, the Lymphoma Association has been supporting people affected by lymphatic cancer (lymphoma).
Our Wigan support group meets regularly in your area for individuals who are, or have been, affected by lymphoma in some way, including patients, family members, partners, friends and carers.
We are incredibly excited to announce that, as of yesterday, April 18, we are changing our name to Lymphoma Action and unveiling a new logo and website.
As the UK’s only charity dedicated to lymphoma, the UK’s fifth most common cancer, our mission – to give anyone affected by lymphoma the specialist and dedicated information and support they need – will stay exactly the same.
Our refreshed brand reflects the progress we’ve made and our new website, which includes refreshed content, will make it easier for people affected by lymphoma to get the help they need.
Anyone in Wigan who is affected by lymphoma can visit or call 0808 808 5555 and continue to access our information and support services including a freephone helpline, support group network, buddy service, medical information and patient conferences.
For health professionals in Wigan, who work in the field of lymphoma, we continue to offer education and training of the highest quality.
This is an incredibly important step in ensuring that we remain a charity solely dedicated to people affected by lymphoma, so that no one is left to face their lymphoma alone.
Please help us in ensuring that anyone affected by lymphoma in Wigan knows we exist to inform and connect them to the information and wide-ranging support they may need.
Simon Hills
Interim chief
Lymphoma Action

Receive a handy symptoms guide

I am supporting Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer’s campaign to raise awareness of key symptoms, following my own diagnosis of the disease, for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.
In April alone, nearly 3,500 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer and over 1,300 people will die of the disease.
However, that shouldn’t be the case.
It’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.
Being aware of the key symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis.
That’s why the charity is giving away free copies of their handy symptoms guide for you to share with your family and friends.
Join me in supporting this campaign.
Sign up now to receive your free guide here:
Kevin Sheedy
Former Everton
football player