Monday, 27 June 2016

A letter to the Millenials who dislike BREXIT

Dear Millenial,

I was never prouder to be British than last Friday as the EU Referendum results were read out.

We the people had gone out in the pouring rain, voted our conscience and by a very small majority made the unprecedented decision to leave the EU.

As the former Director of the CBI, Lord Digby Jones said:

For once in my lifetime, we had a true democratic election.
Everyone could vote and every vote counted.

But the vitriol on those who chose to exit the Governing Body of the EU received over the weekend and today, have shamed me to my very core.  

Not least because nearly all of it, is spewing from those on the Left of politics. 

Odd that the people who would normally be pro-democracy, desperate to be seen as caring, reasoned and just, should be so anti the outcome of a democratic vote.

And that's the reason I'm writing to you as a 19 - 35 something's who are complaining about the LEAVE decision, because your generation has been cheated, not by this vote, but by an education that would have assisted you in understanding it.

The reason that many of my generation voted (I fall into the Category of Generation X by the way), isn't as you'd read in the papers or on Social Media because we are anti-europe, in fact far, far from it.

It's because we watched how an idea that we as the British Public had voted on, has slowly been eroded with no democratic involvement whatsoever into a corruption of something that we didn't ask for or desired.

Prior to the EEC/EU we were inter-railing across all of Europe with no visa issues at all (1972), the birth of the Ex-Pat had been comfortably established in Spain, Gibaltra & the South of France (since the 18th century) and that Dark Navy British Passport was literally an entry through any border control in the World.

The EEC was an idea to unite separate countries in Europe into a single block when it came to trade.  It was never about governance. And for Trade it made perfect sense.

You see we remember the Winter of Discontent in 1978/9, when Leicester Square was covered with 6 feet of rubbish, dead bodies lay decaying on the ground, the country only worked a 3 day week and was plunged into darkness with rolling electricity black outs.

It was the reason we'd voted in a referendum to stay in the EEC 4 years earlier in 1975, Britain was indeed the "Sick Man of Europe".

But as time passed we improved, but the EEC (Not the EU at this stage) brought with it many woes

We remember the waste of food the EEC Butter Mountains, Wine Lakes & Food Burns produced, so that other less inefficient European countries could seem more competitive in 1986 (which were repeated again under the EU in 2009).

We remember the EEC Fishing Quotas and the devastation that had on our Fishing Industry and the families who'd worked them for centuries (resulting in the Scottish Klondikers in 1994)

We remember Margaret Thatcher's attack on the EEC (December 1979) and her wins of the now oft talked about Rebates, powers and opt outs.

Boy, do we remember the terror of Black Wednesday and the loss of £3Bn tax-payers money not Trade like today (a cool £1bn being pocketed by George Sorros) in a single day in 1992 as Britain tried and failed to standardise under the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) to be allowed into the European Currency Unit (ECU precursor to the Euro).

And we remember the underhand way then Prime Minister, John Major, passed the Maastrich Treaty (This was the birth of the European Union ) against the wishes of many in parliament and who almost got away with excluding the Social Chapter for the entire UK (which the much lauded EU Workers rights is based on, if Major had got his way that wouldn't have applied to the UK anyway) and gave away many of the UK rights previously won - induing our right to have a Referendum on important EU changes.

The EU is not Europe, it is Europe's governing body.

And it was the Lisbon Treaty that was the last straw for most of the people I know who voted Brexit. This removed 40 of our 43 Vetoes.  We in the UK had no say in this whatsoever.  Ireland did it's best to block it, but having voted to reject, were asked to have another go 16 months later having got concessions for themselves, ironically, al around Soverignty (but not for the UK), it got passed.

This Treaty, is the one the majority of you, as Millenials, should remember.

And that is why, we, as educated Generation X's wanted our democracy back.  
Sure people in the UK would have obviously voted because they wanted immigration down or that imaginary £350m paid into the NHS but the majority of people I know, love Europe, we're Londoners, our entire existence is based on immigration, our city speaks over 250 different languages and has the most cultural diverse range of people of any city in the world (and don't forget whilst Remain won in London 40% of us that's 1.5 Million people here in London Voted to LEAVE).

There's a lot wrong with the UK democracy (I'm an advocate for Proportional Representation and way more so after this vote) as Churchill said:

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."

But if our politicians are on our soil (and not Brusell's), we, like the SuffragettesJarrow and Poll Tax Marchers before us can make real change.

No more silenced by the arrogance of the like's of Tony Blair when the people marched against the Iraq War, because the British Voting Public have just shaken the core out of every establishment in the World that thought we were complacent, apathetic and fearful of change.

But I did begin by saying you've been cheated of an education and I should support that.

You see you should have been given a good schooling teaching you how to think - you weren't you were taught how to pass tests

You should have been given an excellent Higher Education teaching you how to challenge - you weren't you were sold University Degrees that were employment based and tied into a lifetime of debt.

You should have been given an internet that shared information between great thinkers - You weren't you were sold Selfies on Instagram & Katie Hopkins on Twitter.

And some of those issues must be laid at your door as well as your parents.
You see many of you were students

When Tony Blair introduced School League Tables  - You didn't take to the streets
When Tony Blair introduced Student Fees for Universities - You didn't refuse to go 
And When Tony Blair introduced the Digital Economy Bill - you didn't revolt from the Web. 

Your's was the first student generation in British History not to be tearing the walls down for Justice and I think that in part was due to Tony Blairs Iraq War march, where a Million people marched on Downing Street and were simply ignored.

Had you been given the education you so rightly deserved,

You would have been able to see through the propaganda and lies on both sides of the debate choosing instead the likes of

You would have known to ignore the media and the rhetoric about the EU and done the research for yourself (and not just from the internet).

You would have challenged the echo chamber of Social Media, that makes it so easy to assert opinion as fact with no or little evidence

You would have voted when you had the chance & campaigned accordingly beforehand (if you hadn't already done so).

And then you would have accepted the result as being democratic whether in your favour or not, as you'd have known by then, that is how democracy works.

But you're free thinking individuals now and so can search the facts for yourselves (check the links contained in this letter, ask your MEP's, go to your local Library and trawl Hansards).

I urge you to do so, I think in doing, you'll discover that leaving the EU in fact can create a stronger community in ALL of the European Countries on our continent, not just some.

And maybe, just maybe, you may realise, my generation were not voting for a forgotten past of Empire but the potential of the advent of an exciting, unified and prosperous future in Europe for all.

I do hope so, I certainly was.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

I'm no Little Englander (I come from Wales) - But I'm Voting Brexit....

With the EU referendum only days away, I thought now was the time to throw my hat into the ring.

But first I'd like to ask you 4 simple questions:

1.  Why was Northern Ireland allowed to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but GB was not?
2.  Why did Northern Ireland block the treaty?
3.  How was the treaty finally ratified?
4.  Name 3 of the 40 Vetoes the Lisbon Treaty removed from the UK?

If you can't answer one or more of these questions I urge you not to vote until you can.

This loss of power for the UK happened less than 8 years ago and lays out exactly which direction the EU has and continues to go. It is in essence the very reason most Brexiters I know want out of the EU (not by the way Europe we will still be a European country).

If you were able to answer all four questions, congratulations, you already know considerably more than most in London.

Sadly the truth of the matter is the debate on both sides has been totally abhorrent and lacking in substance.

I've actually had educated friends say they're not going to vote LEAVE because they dislike the personalities who support it (Donald Trump, Nigel Farrage, Boris Johnson etc.)

The most important vote in their lifetimes and they are basing their decisions purely on the right celebrity endorsement.

And these are the bright, Russell Group, degree educated friends, who know how to academically research, I pity the rest of the UK voting public, who've been asked to make such an important decision with so few facts.

I have been a BREXITER since 1993, having read the Maastricht treaty in its entirety the moment it was ratified (the first ever document I printed off the new fangled internet invention Wednesday 18th May 1993 - I was a geek, shoot me).  The EEC made sense, combining Countries into a Trading Block to compete with Russia and America.

But the EU, that was insanity. Countries with no shared language, culture, economies or work ethics all forced under a single banner to be run from two of the smallest countries in Europe, no way that was going to work (Humour reflecting reality BBC Yes Minister - The Devil You Know - first 6 minutes).

And if ever evidence was needed less than a year earlier having been forced into the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism for the single currency then the ECU) we watched Britain almost fall into oblivion with interest rates running at 12% raising to 17% in a single day and George Sorros taking a cool £1 Billion profit from Sterling (for the Millenials who have lived their entire adult life under an almost 0% interest economy this would be an inconceivable situation, the equivalent of trying to comprehend Quantum Physics for a layman - Investopedia - How did George Soros "break the Bank of England"?).

And that is why on Thursday, I'm voting Brexit.

Not because I'm anti-immigration (nobody who lives in Central London is, if you wanted that kind of immigrant free world you'd move to Surrey or Kent - The Independent 2013 - White Britons 'in retreat' from racially mixed areas, reveals study by think tank Demos).

Not because I'm a little Englander (I was born in Wales and the EU doesn't even know where that is - BBC News 2004 - Eurocrats Leave Wales off Map & The Telegraph 2004 - Wales is wiped off the map by the EU)

Not because I want a return to Empire (It's corporations, not countries who rule the world in the 21st Century anyway The Guardian 2014 - Who's in Control Nation States or Global Corporations?).

But because I don't want my laws made by companies, am keen to re-establish politics to the hands of the people and want a country that works for the benefits of the populace and not for a Bureaucracy which exists for it's own sake.

You see:

Immigration is essential for both culture and economic growth but the UK being in the EU has meant it has undermined workers rights and wages by allowing unfettered and unchecked immigration from the EU but not being so gracious to those further afield to counter act it (The Guardian 2016 The Non-Eu Workers who'll be deported for earning less than £35,000)

SME's in the UK are the largest employers (Not the Multi-Nationals who are all obviously keen for the UK to remain) yet many complain of over zealous regulation in Europe and impacts of EU decisions on trade. (Daily Telegraph 2016 Eu Referendum 200 small firm bosses and entrepreneurs tell Britons to vote for Brexit & FT 2005 UK Dismay as Greeks win Feta cheese rights after EU decision)


TTIP would essentially allow us to be run by Monsanto, McDonalds & Marlborough (The Guardian 2016 - What is TTIP and why should we be angry about it?)

Why else do you think the likes of Barrack Obama are so keen for us to stay in?

And finally, and most importantly,

There's not been a single piece of evidence that supports that our entrance in the EU has been beneficial (in any true measurable terms - it's all guessed at) - NOT ONE! ( EU Facts behind the claims: economic costs and benefits)

Everyone said we'd be sideline when Cameron Vetoed the Franco/German Eurozone - We weren't (The Guardian 2011 David Cameron Blocks EU Treaty with Veto)

Everyone of the so called experts (OECD, IMF, LSE) said there would be economic failure if we didn't enter the Euro - there wasn't (The Guardian 2000 Britain Told: Economy is Ripe for Euro by OECD, in fact it was the exact opposite - BBC News 2015 Greek Debt Crisis Where do other Eurozone countries stand?)

Everyone of the so called experts are also claiming they can predict the future of the markets, if you haven't learnt the stupidity of that foresight after the Bank Bail-outs... well?

So ignore the speculation, the sooth sayers, the self-interested organisation (always ask how much EU funding a body saying they want to stay in the EU gets) and focus instead on those great JFK lines,

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"

If you vote BREXIT though, remember it's a start, not an end.  If we vote to leave we will have greater responsibilities to bring our governments to account, educate our young with knowledge not work skills and dispel the myths of economy. 

(If you vote remain of course you won't have to worry about such things as they won't be in your authority - I can never see a Jarrow or Poll Tax March on the halls of Brussels, can you?)

Whilst not being a Colonialist I did love the passion of Queen Victoria to bring education to the masses here in London, The Great Exhibition was a showcase of why immigration was so important to Britain (now on display at the V&A). The Science Museum & Natural History Museum gave access to generations to the wonders of the Natural & Modern world and still remain free today. And one of the world's most famous auditorium's The Royal Albert Hall is still filled by the greatest creators of music the world has ever produced and all for as little as £6 can still be seen there.

So our history makes us and continues to have influence on how we behave today.

Britain is great and if the EU Referendum has taught us anything, it is, that when every vote counts, everyone of us takes an interest.

Now think if that were true for British politics too.

Isn't that worth voting LEAVE for?

Answers to Lisbon Treaty Questions