EU response

Posted: June 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Forty-one years ago, as a fresh faced innocent, too young to have the vote but old enough to die for Queen and country, I stood guard at a Polling Station. The vote entitled residents of a German town duly came to cast their vote in the referendum. My first brush with politics.

I was of course aware of the furore of the times, who could not be. I remember the cries of those older citizens about the change in currency, (1972 I think) what will happen when we no longer have twelve pence to a shilling, twenty shillings to a pound. Race horses bought and sold in guineas, will they be devalued. Decimalisation, no more furlongs, the twenty five yard line gone, to be replaced by a twenty two. Bananas not straight enough, potatoes too knobbly, sausages with insufficient meat.

The winter of discontent, huddled freezing in a house with no heating, no light, no hot water.

The French, in the guise of the war ‘hero’ De Gaulle, the old enemy, blocking the path of Britain’s entry to the Common Market. A man at the end of his prowess still trying to make his outdated mark in a modernising world. Clinging to dreams of French Elan and Empire. In the opposing corner an organ playing sailor of equal vintage, a match made in heaven?
The 1975 vote was, I note (thank you Roughseas), a 2-1 victory for the ‘remain’ supporters. I assume that the working man had not suffered so much at the hands of the early days of this European venture to ensure a no vote. Much the same as now.
Sitting in my own little patch of this green and pleasant land I think of the changes that I hear people complain about. Top of the agenda is migration. My town is ‘awash’ with Jonny foreigner. There are lots of students on summer trips, should they be barred? There are a large number of people who, for ease of reference I will call East European, no slight intended. On the whole, I find these people pleasant, hard-working people. It is true that this particular porker is in a safe and secure job, but the East Europeans I see do not seem to be taking jobs from other people. They are setting up their own small businesses. Of course there are builders the traditional haven of the incomer. I have no personal knowledge of their wages or working conditions. I can only assume that as they are here as of right they are entitled to minimum wage or whatever it is called these days. They are as entitled to complain as any other person so artificially depressed wages?
I do have experience of men being brought to this country to work in car washes, low pay and exploitation follow. Are they depriving your average WASP male of employ? The flip side is that people are, in this sense, trafficked from the UK to other EU countries to work. They are kept in poor housing and the pay is less than it ought to be. Yes, this does really happen but without publicity.
Of course illegals should not be here but that is for the Border Agency, not Europe, to resolve.

People do think about their own pocket. If our once Great nation tries to go it alone there are issues. Our economy is based on the financial sector. Our politicians constantly tell us how great ‘The City’ is for the country. What they mean is they have made the financial sector appealing to foreign investment by favourable tax terms. If we do part ways from our European ‘friends’ we are highly likely to see a reduction in foreign interest in The City. Indeed the press (if we can believe what we read) already report specific companies who are looking to re locate in the event of Brexit. If our financial sector is reduced in profitability, what will take its place?

Britain, stronger in Europe. Except … without freedom of movement life was different. There were some Afro Carribean immigrants, ( I remember the late ‘60’s and 70’s skinhead ‘Paki Bashing’, ‘ go back where you came from’ xenophobia) Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants. Do these people count? They were entitled to British Passports. The ‘blame’ lay not in Europe and its ridiculous laws but to this small Island’s Empirical ambition. I do not have the figures but I strongly suspect that the vast majority of migrants in the UK are from countries that were former colonies. Our own bad behaviour is responsible, not European directives.
Another ‘Evil’ of Europe that I hear people complain of is the insidious Human Rights. Again, is the fault with Europe? I can only really comment from personal knowledge on limited aspects of this. I hear the complaint that we have gone soft on crime, offenders are treated with kid gloves. Well, not in France. They have the same base regulation as the UK. Our Parliament enacted the Human Rights Act. Were they over zealous? Is the way we interpret European directives different to the French interpretation? If either of these propositions are accepted then how is it Europe’s fault? In any event can any sane human decry the principle of fair treatment for all?
If this country has no manufacturing base, no heavy industry or natural resources, there will be no cash for the NHS, or anyone else. Perhaps all of the Doctors and Nurses that work in the NHS from ‘foreign’ backgrounds can be deported when we free ourselves from the slavery of Europe, Vets too as it happens. Who then will care for the sick and elderly? There aren’t enough WASP health professionals to fill the posts that would become vacant.
America, will do as it chooses. It always has, it has no need of little us except as an aircraft carrier and pet poodle.
Of course Europe will always trade with Britain, or anyone else prepared to pay the price which will inevitably rise for those outside ‘The Club’. Perhaps instead of German engineering we can buy Chinese, with all that entails. Support for their oppressive draconian regime, lack of quality control ….
Europe, as all things, evolve. I sometimes wonder how much man has evolved really, greed, anger, murder and mayhem. But Europe expands, it becomes different. If it is thought we pay more than our share then surely, once again, that is our fault for failing to negotiate, or renegotiate, a fair portion, both to and from the central coffers.
The reason that no-one is telling the masses what we get from the EU is because it probably has not been quantified or recorded. This would also be our fault. Farming and agriculture receive grants, I believe. There has been support for deprived areas (yes we have those although less than when we were going it alone). There are a multiplicity of grants for all sorts of things, fishing, preservation of tourist attractions. Holiday makers from the near continent appear to me to have increased over recent years judging by the amount of French, German and low country number plates.
Directives may be imposed from Europe but need to be enshrined in UK legislation. If our Mother of Democracy cannot create decently worded legislation protecting workers then there is no hope. It is not so much Europe to blame as the capitalist system in place. The Etonian club who keep their boot firmly on the neck of the working man.
Somewhere, buried in the dark recesses of what passes for a memory, there is a shadowy memory of a time when there were trade unions. They opposed an ‘economic’ decision by the then government. Well actually it wasn’t the government at all, it was a single woman with a dream of being the strongest man in Britain. Thatcher wielded her battle axe like some modern day Amazon smiting the evil Scargill, breaking the unions. They have never really had any power since. Was this driven by Europe? No it was one woman’s personal wet dream. Again not Europe rather our home grown authorities. Bailed Out Bankers, wasn’t that Dave and his mates, again home grown.

With all due respect to Roughseas,(in some ways my mentor) who I am sure is not as old as this porker, 55 million people procreating will increase the population. Working where I do, a place to remain nameless, it can be seen that ‘people’ can breed like rabbits starting as young as 12 and continuing into their 60’s with the aid of science.

Of course there is an effect from migration. I question whether it is disproportionate.


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