The referendum debate
Dear Sir,
The EU referendum campaign is now over. It was a disgrace for parliament. MPs went into the plebiscite with a poor reputation and are now leaving with one considerably worse. In debates they have not answered questions and attempted to talk over opponents. Throughout, both sides have exaggerated to the point of lying including their leaders David Cameron (a prime minister) and Boris Johnson (a mayor of London). We should remember that "their leaders" will be "our leaders" for some years to come and there is little we can do about it. All MPs had been tainted with the same brush until the tragic murder of Jo Cox. She was an MP of integrity, self-sacrifice and great potential. She had only been in the Commons for the few months from May 2015. Could she have retained these qualities and climbed the political ladder? I doubt it. I have a theory that rising MPs are tested on their "loyalty" at a junior level. For example, their minister may be called away from Westminster at short notice and ask them to make a statement, unsubstantiated to them, to the house. Ok, but next time the test is heightened to make a statement with which they don’t agree. To conform is obligatory to continue up the parliamentary hierarchy with tougher trials to come. I know of only two post war leaders who retained their integrity but because of their special background by passed this vetting process. I am referring to Lord Hume and Michael Foot who only lasted months before being ejected. Recently Jeremy Corbyn appears to fall in the same category except the Labour Party’s vetting has moved from MPs control to a more democratic voting system including the party membership in general - something their MPs are regretting already.

The referendum has concentrated our scrutiny of how parliamentarians have handled exactly the same problem and over exactly the same short period. This has highlighted their deficiencies and dishonesty as never before. Most of the team on both sides showed they’d swear to mostly anything to progress their future in Westminster.

Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma

Puerto Pollensa promenade
Dear Sir,
Having seen the picture of the condition of a section of promenade in the MDB, it is obvious that expansion due to the heat from the sun is the cause. Constructors of walkways, in a lot of cases, don’t seem to understand that provision should be made for expansion and contraction to stop cracking, with suitable joints at intervals along the length of the walkway. Why not, when they live in an environment that is hot for much of the time?

David Lomas

A Majorcan airline
Dear Sir,
So the old chestnut of extra flights has raised its seasonal head once again (MDB, Saturday 18 June). It would seem that the various business associations in the Balearics might get together to fund a system which would provide adequate year-round flights between the Balearics and the UK and Ireland. With the demise in tourism over this past twelve months to destinations such as Tunisia, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, the Balearics has perhaps gained an undeserved boost.

Rather than plead with the UK and Irish established carriers to provide extra flights, perhaps the organisations, the ones which would benefit most from increased flights, might consider funding an independent Palma-based airline to provide the connections. A feasibility study was prepared some four years ago on the formation of such an airline and was completely updated in March of 2015 and passed to an agent of the Mes political party of which the leader, Biel Barceló, is now the minister of tourism. That was the last heard on the subject from this party.

The study suggested the formation of an airline operating two aircraft, offering up to 180 seats each, to 14 UK destinations plus Dublin in Ireland. The cost of starting up this airline is estimated to be in the region of 14 million euros: the figure includes initial losses as the airline builds up a customer base. After 18 months the airline should have recovered the initial 14 million euros and moved into profitability. The downsides of such a venture are twofold: first it would take between 12 and 18 months to get the airline up and running; second there is, as in any business venture, no guarantee that the airline would move into profit. However, the businesses most likely to benefit from these flights may feel that any losses which might occur can be recouped by the increased business generated.

Another possibility is for Air Europa, which has its headquarters here in Majorca, to expand its operations to include year-round flights to the UK and Ireland. Readers of the MDB may recall that over the past two or three years I have raised the question of extra flights many times. However I am reluctant to make financial or political comments on the finer points of such a venture as these subjects are outside of my main experience or knowledge, but I do have some experience in airline operations, including the setting up of new airlines, and this project seems to me to have much in its favour. Of course, where there’s no will there’s no way and perhaps the very big players in the tourist industry here find it more convenient to make hay in the six or seven months of the high season.

Best regards
Tom Leeming


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