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EU Referendum

So, on Wednesday our glorious leader, Theresa ‘Will of the People’ May is going to trigger Article 50 and begin the process of ripping us, kicking and screaming, from the relative sanctuary and sanity of the EU. This is not something I voted for and is not what I wanted but it’s happening and there’s not a lot I can do now to change it. I’ve voted, I’ve blogged, I’ve protested, I’ve voiced my opinion, I’ve given countless explanations and justifications for what I believe but to no avail. It’s happening and, protest as I might, I don’t think anything can now stop it. All I can do is hope that when things go wrong, as I expect them to do, we will be allowed, by the other EU members, to rejoin.

But that’s a hope for the future. There are other more pressing, more immediate things which need to be challenged now before it’s too late. I have seen yet another news report about what Mrs M is proposing which, if it’s possible, scares me even more than leaving the EU. It scares the living daylights out of me. According to what I have just read, after triggering Article 50 on Wednesday, the government will then publish its Great Repeal Bill on Thursday.

The Great Repeal Bill? What’s that. We’ve all heard of it but how many of us know what it really means.

Well, according to everything I’ve found out so far and according to the original report I read, apart from anything else, this Bill will propose giving Government Ministers the power to change some aspects of European laws, when they have been incorporated into UK legislation, without needing the approval of Parliament.

Excuse me?

Can we just look at that again.

What is actually being proposed here?

This is a Bill which will give Tory Ministers the power to change our domestic laws without needing the approval of Parliament. This is a Bill which would give the Tories free rein to make whatever changes they want to our laws without any checks and balances. Without any way of stopping them, without any of us, or our elected representatives from other parties, having a say. I know one of the things the Brexit camp was advocating during the Referendum process was that by leaving the EU we could ‘take back control’ but was this really what the people who voted to leave the EU last June wanted? A Tory Government which can make up it’s own rules, unhindered, unopposed and unchallenged?

I don’t think so.

I really hope not at any rate.

In my opinion, as an idea, allowing a Government to do it’s own thing in this way is just so wrong, so frightening, so dangerous. I mean, as an idea it’s been tried before and it didn’t go too well then, so why we should, as a country, try it again defeats me. What is there about the idea which makes us think it could work this time when it went so terribly wrong last time. Nothing. Nothing good can possibly come from it. Have people really missed something we all supposedly learnt in our history lessons at school, or at least, did they not take sufficient notice of the lessons of the not so distant past not to say no, not again? Well, maybe we should take the time to look in our libraries and online for the information we all, so badly, seem to need. I know I only got a grade C at ‘O’ Level in the subject but, if I remember what I was taught correctly a certain Herr Hitler tried this trick too. In 1933, in Germany, the Enabling Act gave the German Cabinet, in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, the power to enact laws without the involvement of the German Government, the Reichstag. Now, to me that sounds frighteningly familiar. To me, that sounds to be almost exactly the same thing that Mrs May is proposing for our country now. And I believe it is a step too far. Politicians from the ruling party getting rid of the laws they don’t like and imposing their own rules on the people without anyone being able to stop them from doing it. Just no. That is, in my opinion, a step too far down a path we should not travel. I am happy to admit that some of the laws that the EU makes may not the best and I’m happy to admit that some of these laws are not ideal for our country and may need tweaking but not without proper scrutiny and someone saying ‘No’ if necessary. When we elect our politicians we expect them to do this and keep us safe from legislation which could hurt us in the long term. And, the idea that our current Government, meaning the Tories, should be allowed to change things alone and at will is just terrifying and cannot be allowed.

We all need to write to our MPs, to our Party Leaders, to the Press, to everyone we can think of that may have any influence whatsoever begging them to try and stop this madness. We need to stop this country from becoming a dictatorship. Mrs May is proposing on taking a step too far down a destructive path which we should not travel and, somehow, she needs to be stopped before it’s too late.

Reusing a catchphrase from my childhood, we all need to ‘Just Say No’.

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Following the vote in the House of Commons yesterday, 8th February 2017, giving the Prime Minister, Mrs May, a mandate to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU with the ‘European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17, I am writing to you to beg you to oppose this Bill when it makes it’s transition to the Upper House.

We are being told by the Prime Minister that Brexit is ‘the will of the people’ but this is not true. 72.2 per cent of registered voters cast a vote in the EU Referendum. This equates to 33.6 million voters. Of those 33.6 million people, only 52% voted for leave whilst 48% voted remain. 52% of 33.6 million voters equates to only around 15 million people who voted to leave the EU, not the fanciful 65 million people Mrs May is relying on.

Please do not vote against the real ‘will of the people’ and drag us out of the EU and into a very uncertain and xenophobic future. If our collective aim is to ‘make Britain great again’, leaving the EU is not the way to do it. Please let us have a future to be proud of and to keep us all safe, for ourselves, our children and for future generations. Please vote against the Brexit Bill and send it back to the Commons defeated.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Poppy Hasted

Yesterday, I read a letter in the London Evening Standard, written by a friend of mine, concerning the on-going Brexit Saga. In this letter she refered to Brexiteers as ‘Brexit Bullies’ and how Brexit as being cited as the alleged ‘will of the British people’.

According to our Prime Minister, Theresa May, 65 million members of the British public support it. 

Well, as far as I am conerned this is not true.

This is very obviously untrue.

It is another Brexiteer fabrication

Brexit is not the ‘will of the people’. Simple maths shows how, yet again, we are being lied to.

Just looking at the published referendum voting figures, 72.2 per cent of registered voters cast a vote in the EU Referendum. This equates to 33.6 million voters. Of those 33.6 million people, only 52% voted for leave whilst 48% voted remain. 52% of 33.6 million voters equates to only around 15 million people who voted to leave the EU, not the fanciful 65 million people Mrs May is relying on.

So exactly where do her missing 50 million members of the British Public come from? Could she be trying to include the people who will  be the most affected by this decision, namely our children and young people, who never had a vote at all? If you listen to these very astute youngsters, they are largely in favour of remaining within the EU rather than leaving. As far as I am concerned, this is just another instance of adults saying ‘Don’t worry, we know best. We’ll decide for you’ without actually listening to what these people actually want.  

I am fed up with the people that my friend refered to as the ‘Brexit Bullies’ and the bully in chief, Theresa May, feeding us misinformation and lies to further their own cause. When will the Brexiteers finally admit that they are, yet again, bending the truth to suit their own agenda and, ultimately, do what they usually do and line their own pockets.  

When will ‘Remain’ politicians start to challenge the inaccurate figures that are being cited? When will people wake up and start fighting? When will the British Public shout out, ‘But this is not what we voted for’? These are our children’s and grandchildren’s futures they are playing with and we cannot allow it to continue. Britain is just a very little island in a very large world, not the leader of the massive Victorian trading empire we once were. We no longer have the influence we used to have and we are unlikely to ever have it again no matter how much some people want and believe it to be so. People are looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses and are seeing things that are no longer the case. We need to stop listening to the lies of the Brexit Bullies and letting them ruin our futures. If you think things are bad now, just wait and see how fast things will deteriorate if we allow Brexit to go ahead.

For the sake of our children and their children and their children and all of the generations to come, we must end this madness now, before it is too late.

Brexit Bullies begone and stop making things up to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

You have lied to us time and time again and we have had enough.

Just stop, it’s not too late if you act now and say ‘No more’. Listen to what we’re saying and end all the fanciful fabrication now, we are, at last, begining to see through all the lies to the disaster that is to come if you don’t pull back, now.

What has happened to this country? What is going on? We really do seem to be becoming a nation full of some very nasty people and I don’t like it. All I am seeing at the moment is story after story, report after report, news item after news item, on social and in mainstream media, of racist and xenophobic attacks and mind-boggling hatred towards our fellow man and woman. It’s horrible. Even though it’s now been a week since the Referendum, since we voted to leave the European Union, it’s going on and on and on. The hatred and racism is not abating in any way that I can see, if anything, it’s getting worse. According to newspapers and the news bulletins I’ve seen, read and heard just today, racist hate-crime has increased fivefold in the last week. A truly terrifying statistic and not a Britain I want any part of. People are being abused just because of where they were born, because of the colour of their skin and it has to stop.

What is going on?

People are being abused, insulted and attacked for no other reason than the fact they were not born in this country. Got a ‘funny’ name? Go somewhere else. Got an accent? Get out. Born somewhere else? The exit’s that way. Got a different skin colour? No room, we’re full.

Why?

Anyone with any knowledge or understanding of our country’s history knows that Britain is, and always has been, a medley of people and traditions from other countries, other nations, other cultures. A wonderful, amazing, fascinating meld of people from all over the world. People from many races living and working together, over the years, to make our country what it is. People absorbing other cultures and traditions, whilst adding a ‘British’ spin to everything. People teaching each other about life elsewhere and learning from one another for centuries. That’s what has made us the people and the country we are today.

But things are changing and, in my opinion, they are not changing for the better. As a nation we are becoming more and more insular and intolerant of others and it has to stop. All this bitterness and hatred is wrong and cannot go on. Not without harming the health of our country it can’t, anyway. Disrespecting, attacking and abusing others has to end before it’s too late. I  believe that my parents got it right and I believe that we should all try to think the same way. It makes sense to me anyway. They were both children in during the Second World War and the things they saw and heard then taught them something invaluable. Thinking first and then treating other people the way we would like to be treated ourselves needs to become our watchword, the way we all live our lives. Continuing to hate is wrong and can’t go on.

When I was a child, back in the 1960s and 70s, my wonderful parents brought me up with one main tenet for my life which they encouraged me to follow. It’s a maxim that has served me well for more than half a century now and it’s something I have tried to instill into my own children’s upbringing. It’s something, I believe, we would all do well to remember and try to adhere to, especially now. If I have learnt nothing else, if there’s nothing else I could teach my grandchildren, when I am blessed with some, if I take nothing else forward into the rest of my life, from the many things my parents taught me, practically from the day I was born then it’s this,

treat other people they way you would like to be treated yourself.

If you don’t believe you would like it done to you, by someone else, then don’t do it to other people.

Stop, think, reconsider then walk away. That is what we need to remember every day in everything we do and that is what we seem to have forgotten at the moment.

I can’t believe it’s nearly over.

After weeks and weeks of bitching and backstabbing and argument and counterargument, the Referendum Hokey,Cokey is nearly over.

And I can’t wait.

I know which way I will be voting and I have known this for weeks but does it actually matter?

What many people have not really understood is the fact that, whatever way we all vote tomorrow, the result is not actually legally binding. Tomorrow’s vote is, in reality, no more than a glorified nationwide opinion poll. Whatever way we all vote the Government doesn’t actually have to do anything at all. There are far more important, far more worrying things happening all over the world that we really ought to be worrying about and we are being distracted by something which doesn’t really matter and will change nothing. It’s a smokescreen.

And, people are being mislead about the timescales involved with the In/Out issue as well. I am currently watching a TV programme where Alan Johnson MP has just been asked ‘What will you do if you wake up on Friday and we are no longer part of Europe.’ What a stupid question! Nothing is going to change suddenly at the stroke of midnight like a Cinderella type fairy-story, it can’t

Firstly, there is the pure geography of the thing. We will always be part of Europe, it’s the continent our country is part of. Unless we manage to separate ourselves from the seabed and float off towards sunnier climes, we will not be leaving Europe. It’s not going to happen. Secondly, whatever the vote is, we will still be part of the EU on Friday and will still be part of it for another ten years or so at least, even if we vote to leave, because that is how long it would take to do so, even if that is what the Government decides it wants to do. The TV news is trying to make it sound as if what we all vote is actually going to make a difference but it won’t. A Referendum is not the same as a By-election or General Election, it doesn’t actually change anything. It’s a gauge of public feeling and that’s all it is. It’s not going to mean there will be a change at the top or at Number Ten or in the House of Commons. If the Government doesn’t like it, it can ignore the result and absolutely nothing will happen. There will be no Monty Pythonesque foot stomping in David Cameron and George Osborne. There will be no big broom sweeping Boris and Nigel out into the political wilderness no matter how much we all want either of those scenarios to take place. Granted, this is the cynic in me talking, and I know that we all like to feel that our politicians listen to us but, in reality, unless they are actually going to be kicked out of office, they don’t have to do anything at all. They can just go on doing whatever it is they are doing and we just get to sit back and watch. As far as I am concerned, the only elections that really matter are the ones where the vote can change things. Where we get to say which political party will lead our country for the next few years. This is a Referendum and it doesn’t have to change anything at all if our current set of noble leaders don’t want it to. They can look at the result, nod and say “That’s nice dear” and then go on doing what they want, even if we have shown by our vote that we don’t want them to.

What I am trying to say is, the Referendum Hokey Cokey may be nearly over but it doesn’t actually matter and nothing has to change at all because of it. The world as it is on Thursday will very much be the same as the world as it will be on Friday. Sure, we will all have put our ‘X’ on a bit of paper, indicating our opinion, but that is all it is – an opinion. All the politicians are trying to say that what we think really matters but it doesn’t. In my opinion, this Referendum isn’t as important as everyone wants us to think it is. Go and exercise your democratic right, I certainly will be doing so, but don’t expect anything to change because it might not. Nothing needs to happen at all. Don’t believe it can actually change anything because it doesn’t have to. It binds noone into doing anything at all. The Government can go on doing whatever it likes and, until the next General Election, we can do little more than jump up and down and scream about the unfairness of it all. We really are just giving our opinion in a very expensive nationwide Opinion Poll and that is all.