For the first time in over forty years we are able to re-shape our future so should we or shouldn’t we? Here are my thoughts….
We were taken in to the then “Common Market” in 1973 by then Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath. We didn’t actually have an “in/out vote until after Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson came to power with a minority government in 1974 and held our first ever referendum on June 5th 1975.
Back then, as now, we were bombarded with information from both sides. The “stay in” camp sales call, as now was “If we don’t stay in then it will be to the deterement of the U.K.” Of course we were presented with all manner of arguments through our mainly black and white T.V.s, newspapers and radios. So we read and watched and listened to all these pro common market facts.
The “lets get the hell out of here” camp, of course, had a different view and probably an in retrospect, a more prophetic view but it was sold to us voters by politicians who had spent a fair amount of time 20 or so years previously fighting the Germans and Italians. One such politician grabbed my attention his name was Enoch Powell.
Brigadier Enoch Powell MBE served as an intelligence officer in the army from 1940-1945 so he had a pretty good idea of how the mind of your average European politician worked wether French, Italian, German or Spanish. Mr Powell had made a speech in 1968 about immigration and how it could affect the security of our nation. It wasn’t received well by parliament and became known as “The Rivers of Blood Speech” deemed racist by many. I was only 12 when he made that speech but I formed an opinion so when seven years later he was campaigning against the common market, I listened.
The general concencus of the older generation and Mr Powell in 1975 was the French and Germans couldn’t beat us and get their hands on our wealth or destroy our sovereignty through war (don’t forget the last time we were conquered was in 1066), then they’d get it by “diplomacy”.
You see, Europe really was Europe back then. Russia was the Soviet Union and most of the poorer Eastern European countries had been annexed by the Soviets, in fact part of Germany had been taken as part of the treaty signed at the end of Second World War when the “spoils” were divided up.
In 1975, we had our own problems in this country, we were in the middle of our own (self inflicted) war on terrorism with Northern Ireland, our economy and industry was being destroyed steadily by the iron grip of the trades unions, so I guess the pro-marketeers had a point too but joining the common market didn’t solve these problems.
In the case of Ireland, even though the politicians will take the credit, the peace process was galvanised when the women turned on their men because they’d had enough of seeing their young men killed fighting each other and the English. Not a result of European legislation.
Again, it hasn’t been European legislation that has re-built our economy but the sheer hard work, sensibility and determination of the inhabitants of our island nation, arguably mainly conservative grit when taking a stand against unions in the past but not European legislation!
Was Enoch Powell right when he gave his “rivers of blood speech”? Warning all of the dangers of open borders and mass immigration? I cite Paris and Brussels as the most recent examples.
So, I listened and voted no in 1975, I’ve been listening to all the arguments pro and cons in 2016 but this time I’ve an added weapon, hindsight! Yes hindsight! With this valuable information and for the good of my children and grandchildren and for the good of your children and grandchildren I shall be voting to leave the corrupt organisation of Europe which calls itself a “union” and I urge all of you to do the same!
Remember change isn’t always bad, sometimes if you change your life it gets better, believe in yourselves?
Thanks for reading?