I’m 76 and had I been able to vote it would have been to remain in the
EU. This is not only because I’m British but living in Italy (although
I am thinking about returning to the UK in spite of the fact that my
son and his family are in Italy) but also because I think remaining in
Europe is much better for the UK than leaving it. I think that the
Referendum to leave has opened a Pandora’s box and the resulting
complications have only just started. I also think that the campaign
to leave was not an honest one re the NHS and immigrants and the
remainders were so confident about wining that they did not campaign
enough to point out the advantages. One important issue for me as an
older person that many of my peers seem to have overlooked is that a
united Europe has meant no wars between EU countries. We are
witnessing how wars destroy lives and the numbers of desperate
refugees forced to flee their homelands. The EU is young and reforms
are needed but reforms are always needed to make improvements. I do
think that the young have been let down by their elders, although
unintentionally, and that it is the young who will be left to deal
with a Brexit they did not want.
Thanks for this – a great article which we will share. Its good to see optimism, just need to see some changes in the opinion polls which still show Mayhem has lots of support.
Lib Dem meeting Nick Clegg – Brexit What Happens Next in Sheffield on February 23rd
Nick Clegg spoke for 15 minutes and then took questions
The main points he made
The world is dividing into the Open, Liberal, International v the nationalistic, closed, war mongering
Brexit puts us into the closed camp
Cult of the strong man links Trump, Putin
We can never go back to the halycon days pre June 2016
The French election in June is key. If Marine Le Pen gets in the EU will fail, if Macron gets in the EU will be reformed and consolidated as a block against Putin & Trump.
Finds the path Theresa May has chosen unbelievable because she could have gone for a soft option and negotaited – instead of digging in for a hard and disastrous Brexit.
There is no natural leader – those who are speaking out are yesterdays men – NC himself, Blair, Ken Clarke etc
Now the Tories and Brexiters are having a honeymoon period – the best thing to do is to get organised and wait for things to get wobbly in the Autumn. Then campaign about things which the person on the street can relate to – such as the NHS. Having stalls etc at the moment will not be effective but will need to get out there rather than just having a web presence.
WRITE TO PEERS (AND MPS), HELP STOP OR AMEND ARTICLE 50/EXIT BILL
The second reading and debate of the article 50 bill will take place in The House of Lords on Monday 20th and Tues 21st Feb but it will continue its course through the Lords into March, before being batted back to The Commons.
As discussed in our meetings, please write to peers and appeal to them to vote against article 50 and stop exit or at least give us a final vote on exit (including option to Remain) and protect the rights of non-UK, EU citizens.
- Letters are better then emails, but emails also count and due to timescales would be good to fire some emails off first
- Original and personal letters will have more impact, write from the heart, see links below for ideas of important issues/what to include
- Don’t be too long, pack in key points and keep it short and simple
Here’s a bundle of useful links.
- Timetable for the bill passing through the Lords in Feb-Mar and leading figures
- Contacts of members of the House of Lords
- How to lobby peers on the article 50 bill – including various other links
- Details on voting habits of peers that may help you choose who to target – though read the advisory note and you may want to compare with and write particularly to the list of 190 who’ll be present in debate, though there are further steps
- Blair’s speech on 17th Feb – clear, persuasive and packed with critical points, airs numerous key issues we believe
- An example of a good letter – this was received by and clearly impacted on Lord Strasburger who commented it was ‘typical of many messages I am receiving’
- Alasdair Campbell’s piece in ibtimes, 48 questions brextremists can’t or won’t answer – more useful tips and ideas
- AC Grayling’s latest piece in TNE, UK is being stolen: 4 reasons we’re still angry about brexit (or almost anything he’s written in TNE) – very wide-ranging, #fight
- Two sites logging the raft of media stories of consequences of exit: Brexit Record and Brexit Costs – They Just Keep Adding Up!
- EU IN BRUM Twitter and Facebook – constant sources of pertinent and cool information and links – scroll it and smile!
- Print your own postcards to send to peers, from Unite For Europe
- Readymade and very short and sweet email to send automatically to peers – in mode of ‘Say Neigh to May’ placard at our second rally!
- Inspiration to write furiously and links to sample letters!
Thanks, see you all soon.
A visitor to the site has written:
What an excellent site! I have shared around to interested friends.
This, from Rudyard Kipling’s Epitaphs of War, would seem appropriate:
I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?
Listen to our supporter:
Also, listen to the 5th Episode of Sixteen Million Rising, aired on 1st Feb 2017. Our supporter comes on after about 1 hour 13 minutes!
Sixteen Million Rising, Episode 5, “Back To The 80’s! (Pt. 1)” is now available to listen to on Mixcloud and on our website.
As well as all the usual stuff, you find over 3 hours of cracking music from the ‘Greatest Decade Ever!’ – including several live band recordings from prominent festivals and a couple of tracks as you’ve never heard them before!
We also have contributions from Marie on a superb event this month at Reading Uni featuring among others, Mike Galsworthy from Scientist for EU; Peter on the “Unite for Europe” 25th MarchDemonstration in London and Carlos on two exciting events coming up in Newcastle, including a Live Music night featuring a host of eclectic bands and artists!
We also have a new friend and partner in “The Future of Our Children” and yet another terrific original performance poem from our resident artist and creative powerhouse, Graham Paul Kendrick!
You’ll find the show here on Mixcloud:
And here on our Website where you’ll also find all you need to know about how to contribute to the next one:
Please share with friends and colleagues – help us to keep pushing back at claims that Brexit is a “done deal” – which is utter nonsense of course – and join us on Facebook and Twitter. You know where to look!
Best Wishes and thank you for all you’re doing large or small. The marathon has officially begun!
Ben Chambers – Director/Producer
Sixteen Million Rising (SMR Communications)
SMR – “You pick the songs! You make the news!
And we will be with EU, whatever…!”
Here is a little piece – of unknown provenance – to make you laugh about a “no-laughing matter”. We have been led up a dead-end garden path by a small bunch of people who couldn’t care less about the future of Britain but are driven solely by their ambition to be – or stay on as – Prime Minister.
They claim that they are champions of sovereignty and democracy but twice they have gone to the courts to challenge Britain’s sovereign institution that resides in the palace of Westminster, not in 10 Downing Street.
In seeking to invoke Article 50, they are selling off the future of the young people of Britain, for their own aggrandisement.
If you like it – as we do – please share it with your friends. Don’t sit on the wall!
Here is the article. We have verified all the quotations and they are all TRUE!
Irreverent Brexit Fantasies
We learnt a couple of days ago that Boris Johnson is an advocate of “online disinhibition”, and uses this as an excuse for making remarks that cause offence to others, including French President Hollande. We feel that his excuse, reinforced by Michael Gove’s claim that “People “offended” by the Foreign Secretary’s comments today are humourless”, entitles us to fantasise a little bit about the Brexit process, hopefully without upsetting anyone.
Let us introduce you to a few fictional boys and girls. When speeches or writings are quoted in their name, however, these are things that have actually been said or written by someone whom you may think bears some resemblance to them.
When you read further, you will get to know Danny Macaroon who enjoyed living with his family and a cat in 10 Upping Street. His house-keeper was a certain Mrs Junehem who was occasionally at odds with her boss for not keeping the doors shut to outsiders when they wanted to come and stay. When we first meet an old school-friend of Macaroon, generally known as Borage, he is riding a bicycle with great bravado around his city – with little respect for the Highway Code -singing patriotic songs at the top of his voice. Other people will appear from time to time as the story unfolds, but their role is essentially peripheral, at least at first sight.
This will be a story of imaginary people who you might feel seem to be driven more by personal ambition and opportunism than by principles (if they have any) – people who are seemingly quite happy to brazenly contradict themselves every year or two or to stab each other in the back when they see that this could lead to their own aggrandisement. They are experts in claiming to be acting democratically in the interests of the British people. They like to think that they have a right to shape Britain’s future because a massive 37% of voters in an advisory poll said that they would like to turn their backs on their neighbours. They talk of regaining sovereignty but challenge the highest judges in the land – and beyond – and do everything they can to stop the guardians of British democracy – the members of parliament – from seeing their plans, let alone questioning them or suggesting betters ways of doing things.
The story is not yet complete but it seems bound to end in tears – at least for the British people that our friends say they legitimately represent but amongst whom there are now many who see that they have been conned into signing up to a high-risk venture into the unknown that seems likely to make them worse off, more unfriendly to each other and less influential in the world. They just need to count the maltesers in the packet to see that they are losing buying power.
The views of young people, who said that they like to live in peace with their neighbours but are also those that will have to make things work, have been totally disregarded. And our friends are equally dismissive of Scots, Ulstermen and women and Londoners.
Let’s begin with Danny. His wish is to prolong his stay in Upping Street but he knows that he can only do this if he has the support of all his friends. Some of them have been rather difficult recently because they don’t like his idea of remaining on good terms with his 27 near neighbours and may run away to join the Smiling Kipper. Danny decides to bring them into line by putting the question of how to connect with the neighbours to everyone he can possibly ask, confident that they will decide to let him stay on in Upping Street.
He is encouraged by Mrs Junehem’s supportive stance when in April 2016 she said “We export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India and nearly three times as much as we do to Brazil. It is not realistic to think that we could just replace European trade with these new markets.”
“In a stand-off between Britain and the European Union, 44 per cent of our exports is more important to us that eight per cent of the EU’s exports is to them.”
“Remaining in the European Union does make us more secure; it does make us more prosperous, and it does make us more influential beyond our shores.”
“I believe that it is clearly in our national interests to remain a member of the European Union”.
About the same time she made her position on the folly of leaving the single market very clear “So, if we do vote to leave the European Union, we risk bringing the development of the single market to a halt, we risk a loss of investors and businesses to remaining EU member states driven by discriminatory EU policies, and we risk going backwards when it comes to international trade.
“But the big question is whether, in the event of Brexit, we would be able to negotiate a new free trade agreement with the EU and on what terms.”
Danny also knows that Borage really likes and respects the neighbours. He recalls that in 2013, when asked whether he would vote to leave or remain in the European Union in the event of a referendum, he had told Sky News that “I’d vote to stay in the single market. I’m in favour of the single market. I want us to trade freely with our European friends and partners.”
If Danny had any doubts about Borage’s commitment to the European Union, these were removed when he read what Borage had written in 2014 about a previous occupant of the Upping Street house that they both admired. “When Churchill looked at what was unfolding in Europe in the 1950s, he didn’t have any particular feeling of rancour, or regret, or exclusion. On the contrary, he looked at the developing plans for a common market with a paternal pride. It was his idea to bring these countries together, to bind them so indissolubly that they would never go to war again—and who can deny, today, that this idea has been a spectacular success?”
So it must have been a hell of a shock to Danny to have a call from Borage – at the very last minute – to say that he had changed his mind about the neighbours and wanted to leave them to stew in their own juice. Could this volte face perhaps have been based on the thought that it might offer a chance of throwing Danny out of the Upping Street house and taking up residence there? He’d be able to park his bike in the garden shed and travel round London in a chauffeur-driven limousine.
Borage was a great orator and, with the help of his friend Mickey the Guv and the Smiling Kipper, he persuaded lots of people that all the problems that they faced were caused by their neighbours rather than by themselves and their own masters. He explained to them that Danny had tried to reason with the neighbours but had come back home empty-handed. And instead of hurtling through the streets of London on his bike, he made a point of speaking beside a large red bus which told his TV audiences that “We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead”. Having waited till the vote was over, his good friend, Smithy (who, to be fair, had always been anti-EU) who also liked being photographed beside the red bus, claimed “I never said that during the election (sic)” and described the figure as an “extrapolation”. Perhaps it was a case of “bus-line disinhibition”.
Danny, aided by his figure-happy accountant, had also cooked up some fearsome figures to show how much it would cost each of us if we parted company from our neighbours.
Most people were totally confused by claims and counter-claims being made by the old school friends, and many, quite sensibly, opted out from expressing an opinion one way or the other.
Much to their surprise, Danny and Borage woke up one morning to find that Danny’s friends had let him down. Danny quickly phoned the movers, while Borage wondered what on earth he should do. He had never expected people to take him seriously and it was only now that he realised that he hadn’t a clue as to how to turn his promises into actions. He could not, of course, admit either that he had led them up the garden path or that 63% of voters had not said that they wanted to turn their back on the neighbours.
Borage also carefully avoided publicly thanking the Smiling Kipper for his help in stirring up bad feelings against the neighbours, especially those who had come to help us pick vegetable or drive taxis. Many of them, sadly, now live in fear.
Within three days of the Referendum verdict, while he was hoping to be given the keys to the Upping Street house, Borage wrote reassuringly in a newspaper that: “British people will still be able to live; to go and work in the EU; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down. As the German equivalent of the CBI – the BDI – has very sensibly reminded us, there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market. Britain is and always will be a great European power, offering top-table opinions and giving leadership on everything from foreign policy to defence to counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing – all the things we need to do together to make our world safer.
The only change – and it will not come in any great rush – is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation:the vast and growing corpus of law enacted by a European Court of Justice from which there can be no appeal”.
When everything seemed more or less sewn up, his good friend and companion-in-arms, Mickey the Guv, suddenly announced to the general public that his wife had told him that she wanted the family to take up residence in the Upping Street house, and so he must go for it. Lots of people said that Mickey had stabbed Borage in the back, probably with pre-meditation…..
The outcome was that Mrs Junehem moved into the empty house. As soon as she arrived there, she began chanting “Brexit means Brexit” which kept most people happy because, until then, no one else had managed to tell them the real meaning of Brexit. When they eventually realised that they were still none the wiser, this gave way to speculation about what the Brexit animal really looked like: was it hard, soft and cuddly, clean or dirty? Eventually Mrs Junehem told people not to use adjectives like these because they were divisive and Brexit was a “bespoke” animal.
Mrs Junehem knew how much Borage liked to travel and so she promised him, as a consolation prize, an upgrade from his bicycle and the red bus. She gave him an unlimited supply of round-the-world first class air tickets on condition that he sold the idea of “Global Britain” to all and sundry and told the people back home that he had found lots of good customers. He, in turn, promised her not to tell British farmers that a free trade agreement with New Zealand would sink local milk producers. It might also have occurred to her that, as long as he was suffering from constant jet-lag, perhaps he wouldn’t be able to do a Mickey on her. And if Borage spoke his mind about anything, the squad in Upping Street was told to say that he was being his usual self and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Eventually Mrs Junehem suffered from a convenient fit of amnesia and announced that, contrary what she had said 9 months earlier and to Borage’s disinhibitions about champagne and prosecco, Brexit meant moving out of the EU single market. It had eventually dawned on her that the only way in which she could stop the bee in her bonnet about the European Court of Justice from continuing to buzz was to quietly forget her declared belief in the single market.
Lots of people who have been making things to sell to their neighbours, across the Channel find it very difficult to understand how Borage and Mrs Junehem proclaim themselves as champions of free trade and then decide to stop free trading with their next-door neighbours. They can’t see that there are any big advantages in tearing up the present free trade deal and then spending years trying to negotiate an essentially similar free trade deal which is not likely to be such a good one. It’s a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater and then immediately trying to resuscitate it, knowing that it won’t be able to return to its former beauty. Put like this, it looks like a crazy plan, but perhaps we have the wrong end of the stick.
Hopefully, the fact that lots of people are beginning feel that she has overstepped her mark will awaken the bunch of people who inhabit the Palace of Eastminster from their long snooze. It is high time that they stop playing party games and stand up for true justice and democracy. After all, most of them are on the Palace because people believed them whenthey said that they wanted to stay on good terms with their 27 neighbours. They should also recognise that, in the referendum, 63% of eligible voters signalled that they had no disagreement with the neighbours.
The logical conclusion to be drawn from Mrs Junehem’s recent observation that “No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain” is that it would be folly to invoke Article 50 which allows no turning back. If MPs were to give her permission to do so, they would be giving her a license for more reckless driving down an unknown road.
Now she’s rushing off to Washington to get some wall-building lessons from the new boss who was presumably persuaded to talk to her, not by her Foreign Secretary but by the Smiling Kipper or Mickey the Guv. She says that she is going to tell him (presumably with great conviction, given her experience in trying to do just the opposite) “not to undermine European unity”! He will tell her that he loves the idea of having a special relationship with her.
If Borage picks up any vibes on his rare stop-overs in Britain, he will see that Mrs Junehem is making a fool of herself and endangering the prosperity and happiness of her people. It would not be surprising if sometime soon he was to promise them a better future within the Single Market and ask her to hand over the Upping Street keys. After all, his mentor, Winston Churchill, often changed sides and benefitted from doing so.
The Smiling Kipper will have the last laugh. They all owe him a favour.
Immigration is lowest concern on young voters’ Brexit list
Poll finds 18-34s put the issue at bottom of list of 22 priorities
Young voters aged 18 to 34 believe that reducing immigration is the least important issue Theresa May should focus on as she prepares to take the UK out of the EU, a new poll has found.
The survey by Opinium found that people in this age group put reducing numbers coming into the UK last out of 22 priorities, with the availability of jobs, protection of human rights and well-funded public services their main concerns.
The poll commissioned by Brexit Watch, run by thinktank Common Vision, highlights a sharp generational divide in views on the direction in which the UK is heading. It found that 57% of young people are not confident Brexit is being negotiated to suit their interests, against 28% who are confident.
Brexit strategy – that concern about immigration is so great that it should drive government policy. In her Brexit speech last week May made clear that public concern over immigration had left the government with no option but to leave the EU single market, because retaining membership would mean that the UK had to continue to accept EU free movement.
When asked to rate Brexit priorities on a scale of 0 to 10, reducing immigration from the EU scored just 5.85 among 18 to 34-year-olds, below the need to share arts and culture between EU countries (6.34, in 21st place) and reducing poverty (6.21, 19th place.)
Ensuring jobs are available scored highest among young voters (8.02) with protection of human rights second (7.95). Reducing immigration scored far higher among the over-55 age group (7.63) though even among these voters it was still not seen as so important as 12 other issues. Among over-55s, public services and free trade with non-EU countries were judged as most important.
Overall, 57% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they were not confident that Brexit was being negotiated in a way that suits their interests against just 28% who said they were confident. By contrast, those aged over 55 were fairly evenly split, with 41% saying they were confident and 43% saying they were not.
Common Vision aims to promote the interests of young people and ensure they are reflected in Brexit negotiations.
Caroline Macfarland, director of Common Vision, said: “While the prime minister’s speech appealed to some of the interests of younger people, such as workers’ rights and parliamentary democracy, the emphasis on national sovereignty and immigration – key interests for older but not younger voters – risks repeating the failure of the referendum debate to engage with the next generation.
“Young people are far more concerned about freedom of movement than reducing immigration, which our poll today found to be the least important issue for 18-34-year-olds from a list of 22 issues.
“In this context, it’s not surprising that 57% of 18-34-year-olds don’t have confidence that Brexit will be negotiated in a way that best suits their interests. Theresa May needs to make an explicit commitment to sourcing, reviewing and accounting for the views of young people in the Brexit process otherwise the implications on trust and political engagement will be dire, and waste the profound opportunity we have to use Brexit to design a new political and economic settlement which recapitalises young people.”
Around 70% of young people aged 18 to 24 who voted in the June 23 referendum supported remaining in the EU. Turnout among this age group was lower than among older voters but still high at over 60% and higher than expected by pollsters before polling day.
Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, now the Lib Dems’ Europe spokesman, is not impressed by Mrs. May’s 17th January speech.
He says Theresa May has “turned her back on Margaret Thatcher’s greatest economic achievement, the world’s largest borderless single market”, adding: “It’s an astonishing mutation from Conservative into UKIP-light.”
The prime minister has pledged to act in the interests of the young and future generations. Yet she has now set herself on a course which emphatically rejects what the overwhelming majority of young voters said they wanted in the Brexit referendum. Claiming to represent the interests of the young whilst pursuing a hard Brexit which will damage their interests will only deepen the generational divide highlighted by the Brexit referendum. This speech is a kick in the teeth for the youth of Britain.”