• Reform is often a result of political peril
Michele Gelfand talks of the desire for strong rule by people who feel threatened (There’s a science behind Brexit and Trump, 21 September). However, national crisis is often the catalyst for radical reform. Roosevelt’s New Deal on the back of the Great Depression brought profound and beneficial changes to the United States. Postwar Germany and Japan became models of good government after the disasters of 1945.
With Brexit the UK will end up in the invidious position of a trading nation outside all of the world’s main trade blocs. Whether one regards this as a “challenge” or a “peril”, it is still a threat. Maybe the shock will shake the country to make changes that it needs like few other countries. This is the time for the UK to rid itself of the trappings of 18th-century imperialism. Robert Horn Victoria, British Columbia, Canada