Mike Harding was an ever present voice on the TV and radio when I grew up and resonated with my sense of humour and working class values. But he has it so wrong on the EU that I had to respond to his statement that was gleefully reported by remoaner James O’Brien on LBC today (Link at the bottom of the article)
I grew up listening to your anecdotes and songs as a youngster whose family on his father’s side were from the North West of England – I still have some of your vinyl here and ‘Comrade Olga’ continues to raise a smile!
You have my agreement in full on Theresa May’s ‘Brexit Deal’ – it is the worst of all worlds.
I heard your heartfelt plea on James O’Brien’s show on LBC and whilst I agree with the sentiment, I can’t agree with the content.
My mother’s side of the family have six generations in England after fleeing the Irish potato famine and my Grandmother on my father’s side was from Waterford – they didn’t need EU freedom of movement to come to England and contribute.
The Poles were a massive help to us in WW2, driven by the conquest of their country and their huge patriotism in trying to get it back – I have a friend who is a second generation Pole whose grandfather fought with 303 Squadron at RAF Northolt locally and then settled after the war and who fully supports Brexit. I have also met skilled Poles who came in the first wave of migration after the accession who have since seen their dreams of building a life here smashed as the big corporations have driven their wages down through competition pushed by uncontrolled migration and EU rules that have allowed less able people to challenge them for their jobs. I still vividly remember knocking on the door of one in Thurrock who had obtained a mortgage, settled with his wife and had a child who then saw his wages eroded to the extent that they had to take in a lodger to keep up the payments – a man who wanted to embrace our culture and community but saw his lifestyle damaged by those who want to come here for a few years, earn money and then go back to their home countries without putting in to either ours or their own country’s economy to support their fellow citizens.
With regards to living, working and settling in mainland Europe this happened before the creation of the EU. I have British friends on the continent and European friends here whose residency predates 1973, including a particularly feisty French lady called Armelle who married a war hero (Who was half British/Half French but took UK citizenship to fight in the war) who is massively active on local issues and is an ardent Brexiteer.
The van going around telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home’ was, I agree, pathetic – if you are illegal, would you listen to it? What message did that also send out to those here legally who help to contribute to our society?
The treatment of the Windrush Generation was a national disgrace, but at least the Tories apologised for it – it was the previous Labour government who issued the instruction to destroy the documents that proved their right to be here and have since disgracefully used it to score political points rather than engaging in sorting out the mess they caused.
This must be sorted as a matter of priority.
You mention the sell off of our utilities – but are you aware that some of that was down to EU legislation? The railways were split under the EU Trans European Network Directive TEN-T (Which is also behind HS2), the Royal Mail had to be privatised because of directives that opened up the profitable routes to EU competition whilst lumbering the company with the loss making ones under Royal Decree. The EU were quite happy to open up the NHS to privatisation under their TTIP legislation, something that was only stopped due to other vested interests although Labour under Blair started it and lumbered the service with massive debt through PFI agreements that have to be serviced to the detriment of patients.
Labour also outsourced their ‘work capability assessments’ to the French private company, ATOS, which have impoverished many and driven some to their deaths – the Tories have continued this but at least binned off ATOS although their US replacement (Maximus) is no better.
Did the EU regulations stop this? No, because as somebody who has worked for an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) I have seen that lobbyists and vested interests have sway in Brussels, not the wishes of the citizens – at least we can vote out our MP’s, we can’t vote out the EU Commission.
May is indeed a Remainer, which is why she is now sabotaging our country in line with her own beliefs and those who promoted her in to the position that she is in – the vested interests who run the Conservative Party would never allow a real Brexiteer who could do a proper deal in to a position of power. I was never a fan of Thatcher but could you imagine her being dictated to by Barnier and Juncker? As soon as she showed resistance to the EU project, she was gotten rid of by the Europhiles in her party.
The WTO have already stated that an open NI border is not against their rules, this is just a ruse by Brussels to get what they want. As for Gibraltar, what about the African enclaves of Cueta and Mellila that are a part of Spain? The EU are pretty silent about those, aren’t they?
You state that Germany managed to keep their industries going – so why could they do it and not us? Firstly, look at the currency. The Euro is set up to benefit German industry – the Euro means that German exports are 30% cheaper than they would be under the Deutschmark so they have a massive subsidy there whilst the rest of Europe suffers. I suggest you look up Target 2 (The internal exchange mechanism within the currency) that shows why this is unsustainable.
There is also the matter of EU subsidy. Like myself, you will well remember the miners strike under Thatcher. My cousin was on the picket lines as a Police Officer, seeing communities pitted against each other as the NUM split apart in the Midlands.
One thing Scargill did get right though – if the UK miners had the same subsidies as the German and Swedish miners, they could have mined it, refined it, bagged it, delivered it to every pensioner in Britain and given them a £5 note with each bag and still made a profit.
The mines were destroyed by a political fight but the EEC (As it was at the time) subsidy triggered part of the problem – our farming industry has similarly been crippled by the CAP and our fishing industry by the CFP.
If you look at recent budgets, there has indeed been an extra £350mn for the NHS even though we haven’t left the EU. This is not enough but that is in part due to the inefficiency of the service which was started by Labour ‘reforms’ and also the huge increase in population driven by EU freedom of movement (A city the size of Hull every year)
The NHS was never set up to deal with the size of population we have now but it can cope if our own government, unencumbered of the EU and answerable to the people, is forced in to action by a sovereign vote at the ballot box. It may interest you to know that when the EU was looking to open up the NHS to US privatisation via TTIP, the only MEP’s standing up to it were UKIP and Greens from the UK.
As for the economy tanking, if you look at the official figures then UK growth from 1948 to 1972 was 118%, whereas growth from completion of the Single Market between 1993 and 2017 was just 69% in comparison.
We traded in profit with the rest of the world last year but in deficit with the EU to the tune of £90bn – the EU accounts for 9% of our total trade (70% is domestic) yet our businesses are tied 100% by EU rules. The EU do trade deals for us but they are skewed towards German manufacturing and French subsidised agriculture, not our strengths of services and high tech – what could we do with one on one trade deals based on our own specialities?
Indeed, with the EU Common Tariff Area removed, we can import essentials from outside the EU far more cheaply (Food, clothing, footwear), benefiting our own poor whilst boosting trade with the poorest nations on the planet and raising their living standards too.
We can also implement a fair, ethical migration system that treats everyone as an individual rather than discriminating towards predominantly Caucasian EU nationals in an open door manner that boosts numbers to a level that our infrastructure can’t cope with – helping those rough sleepers you talk of getting in to sustainable housing.
Our future is as a globally trading, outward looking and independent nation – not as a council chamber within an introverted, undemocratic EU superstate.
It is time to re-engage with the wider world, including our Commonwealth cousins – May’s deal doesn’t do that but if we all work together as a united community irrespective of background, ethnicity, gender or religious belief then our future outside the EU, even with a WTO Brexit, is bright and we can again be a force for good and a leading voice in the 21st Century global community
Original Source that I replied to –
Once more in the last week we have seen the spectre of anti Semitism raise it’s ugly head …