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'The UK is divided and the worse for it': your best comments today

Pro-EU supporters
Pro-EU supporters gather on Whitehall to protest against Brexit. Photograph: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft

A piece on making a positive case for the UK to remain in the EU, Australia’s banning of over-the-counter codeine, and an analysis of Australia’s government-run endangered species projects have got you talking today.

To join in the conversation you can click on the links in the comments below to expand and add your thoughts. We’ll continue to highlight more comments worth reading as the day goes on.

Fear and abuse won’t change Brexit minds

If there is a strong and positive case to be made to those who voted against despair, surely it’s best made now, writes Hugh Muir.

‘The truth is this country is divided and it is the worse for it’

The whole point is the grievances that need addressing can not be tackled properly at all by leaving the EU, in actual fact they are made worse.

Worker’s rights, the economy, educational opportunities, a level playing field, individual rights and opportunities for the young are all ways of addressing social inequality and all were safeguarded by the EU, the network of rights and the collaboration of countries aiming for prosperity and peace.

The truth is this country is divided and it is the worse for it.

‘I don’t think anyone who voted Leave is under any illusion’

I reluctantly voted Leave. I haven’t changed my mind for one simple reason; it was a long-term decision and we haven’t even left yet.

It’s like investing; you take a long-term view with it. Short-term volatility is expected and it you ended up tracking the movements of the FTSE on a daily basis, like some people have been with Brexit, then you’d end up going out of your mind. I don’t think anyone who voted Leave is under any illusion about this.

‘A new referendum would be an outbreak of sanity’

I think you’ll find it’s the deceitful Brexit vote and subsequent delusional and anti-democratic behaviour of the UK government which has damaged the UK’s standing.

Reversing that via a new referendum based on what’s actually on offer instead of pie in the sky would be an outbreak of sanity which still wouldn’t heal that fully, but it would be a start.

Making codeine prescription-only was right. Where do we go from here?

tablets of codeine
Australia has followed 25 other countries in up-regulating codeine, and it’s likely that it will end up saving quite a few lives, says Meyerowitz-Katz. Photograph: Alamy

The restriction will save lives. But people need better support to move beyond codeine and take control of their pain, writes Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz.

‘Pain is not going to go away by taking away a drug that very effectively stops it’

Disastrously stupid decision. Pain is not going to go away by taking away a drug that very effectively stops it and regardless of what so called experts say, it does. It’s just going to clog up Bulk Billing surgeries with people on weekends.

‘If it was ineffective for treating that kind of pain, no one would use it’

I would agree that the evidence clearly shows low dose codeine is ineffective for chronic pain. But many users of this product are using it for acute pain, not chronic. A toothache, period pain, a sprained ankle. If it was ineffective for treating that kind of pain, no one would use it - at least not more than once. But it is effective. People need to be able to treat acute short term pain without having to run to the GP for a prescription.

‘Official management: been there, done that, useless’

There will always be someone like me chipping in with their personal pain story, in my case an ever-worsening spine from hell. I have several boxes of disprin/codeine bought over the counter in advance of all this. The point is that they will still be there after a year or more because I use them sensibly, mainly to get sleep, the best cure for pain.

As for official management: been there, done that, useless. That is where the frustration lies. At 75 I was managing very nicely thank you and have been for years. Now my discipline use counts for nought.

‘Absolute scandal’: how does restoring a ship help endangered species?

boats in the harbour
Polly Woodside is a Belfast-built, three-masted, iron-hulled barque, preserved in Melbourne, Victoria, and forming the central feature of the South Wharf precinct. Photograph: National Trust of Australia

The Australian government is providing $255m to projects it says will benefit threatened animals and plants – yet there is little chance the species actually occur at many of the sites.

‘There’s a resource starvation in the rest of the country’

This article regarding the spending of threatened species funding indicates bizarre choices of projects.

I support a thorough audit of the program.

Is funding being directed to projects, not based on outcome priorities, but on whether the local MP is LNP or the electorate is marginal? It is difficult to understand the logic of spending decisions, if this report is accurate.

I am not questioning the value of the works being undertaken but there is a suspicion they are being classed as threatened species projects when that is not the case and perhaps other more valuable projects are not being prioritised for funding.

‘It’s all about tax cuts to big business’

More evidence of this government’s lies and hypocrisy. They pay lip service to the welfare of our nation but their greedy small minded agenda is purely to look after the top end of town.

Our environment and quality of life means nothing to them, it’s all about tax cuts to big business.

Comments have been edited for length. This article will be updated throughout the day with some of the most interesting ways readers have been participating across the site.

This article titled "'The UK is divided and the worse for it': your best comments today" was written by Guardian readers, for on Wednesday 14 February 2018 10.41am


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