Readers react to Cameron EU referendum call

The idea of a united Europe was a bad idea that has performed beneath expectations.

I would have been more blunt than Cameron.

It’s an unmitigated disaster, cut your losses and run.

The only people with decision making power are Merkel and some unelected bureaucrats and apart from the issue of replacing democracy in Europe with authoritarian government, none of the people running it have the competence to do so.

Media like to talk about populism either like it is a good thing or a bad thing.

In reality it’s mixed.

Sometimes politicians do things where a farmer with 9th grade education could clearly explain to you in 30 seconds why it doesn’t make any sense.

Populism is really about what is common sense for large numbers of the population. It can be an important check on power.

It is not however a substitute for careful analysis.

In the US there is now some populist support for restrictions on assault rifles and large magazines.

There is a superficial common sense to it. Intuitively you would expect that to make the nation safer.

And that’s fine.

But intuitions are the starting place, not the end of analysis.

When politicians know or ought to know that a position is wrong, and keep pandering because they figure something is too complicated for the proles to figure out and they can get an advantage, that is the bad kind of populism.

There is lots of right wing pandering of that sort, and some pandering by others.

I don’t see Cameron pandering here, not to the populists anyways. 

It is a necessary but not sufficient condition for Europe to be saved that Merkel be defeated, and nobody outside of Germany has any control over that, and the general view is she will be re-elected.

It’s time to move in an orderly fashion towards the lifeboats.


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