This is very much about the power of the pen and the duty of those who are observers of life to make commentary. I write to my local MP often and enclose the text of the latest email on the UK leaving the EU.
Paula Sherriff MP
My message to Paula Sherriff.
I believe that the Labour Party are losing touch with the grass roots supporters many of whom will have voted Mr Corbyn to the leadership of the party. I would just like to raise a few points that I believe indicate the falseness of supporting staying in the club.
Firstly, Keir Hardie established the Labour movement to protect workers rights so for the party to claim that we are in the EU partly to protect the rights of workers is an insult to his work and memory. Within the movement, pre- 1972, there have been many battles between government, business and workers which the party have fought to protect the lower paid. Since we were drawn into the EU, which by the way the French did not want, there have still been such battles but the party had its teeth pulled by Margaret Thatcher, and since have tried to align themselves with big business and the political classes in an effort to be re-elected. The Party has failed in this strategy. The people who want us to stay in the EU are the ones worried about their own personal fortunes and investments. The party should distance themselves from them. The failure of the EU to protect the lower paid I saw first hand in the 1990's. I was witness to a vigorous demonstration at a hotel in Kensington where human rights activists were demonstrating against the pay being received by foreign workers in the hotel. However, the problem goes deeper than that because those foreign workers were being employed at a rate below the National Minimum Wage by entrepreneurs that owned the hotel. This allowed the owners to make bigger profits. It also created the situation where British people of all races would not be employed because of NMW. This situation still pertains. Also there are claims that such benefits as maternity and paternity leave would be threatened but like many things they are only under threat if our own government remove them and that could happen in or out of the EU.
Secondly, there is much rubbish spouted about immigration, the NHS and security. In fact we have always invited immigrants to the country to fill gaps in the workforce. This went on throughout my early life before we entered the EU, so unlike the rubbish being spouted immigration will always be necessary but with control. In the EU there is no such control and they are about to introduce another four relatively poor economic countries into the club. If we remain I can see the EU breaking up anyway because of the need for bale outs and the continued failure of the Eurozone. We are currently exempt from such underpinning, so who will do that work? The only relatively well-off country left is Germany which is why they are trying to persuade us to remain. The NHS is under threat from this Tory government anyway and if the EU sign TTIP then we may as well wrap it up now. Barak Obama visited this country in April not to wish the Queen happy birthday as was reported, but to try and his weight to the Remain campaign because if we leave their precious TTIP agreement would become a non-starter. On security, ours, and the EU's strength actually comes from NATO not the EU so if we leave that won't change. As for sharing intelligence, that doesn't happen now as was demonstrated in the terror attacks in France by Belgian terrorists, where there was obviously a lack of sharing. Our intelligence links are with the USA and that won't change if we leave.
Finally, the economy. If we sell things into the EU that will not cease if we leave. It is a matter of supply and demand and the opposite is true. The details of how that will happen will need re-working but that could be to our benefit particularly if we are not tethered with ridiculous regulations such as the size of the motors in vacuum cleaners! I have no doubt that stock markets will dip, but as with the crash of 2008, and I'm sure it won't be nearly as bad, they will come back up. The attitude of some farmers I find quite amusing because I remember the furore over us entering the common market in 1972, particularly over the common agricultural policy which favoured the French farmers. I remember the butter mountains and the wine lakes! The bottom line is that they don't like change. I am confident that if we leave the EU there will be a period of a couple of years where there is uncertainty, but that will be temporary.
In fact Paula, the majority of ordinary people, many of whom are your voters, will not notice the difference. The scandal mongering about jobs is exactly that and the Labour Party needs to get behind the will of their voters.
There will be as many people taking the opposite view, but this is mine. It is also another opportunity to exercise the writing muscle which is always a worthwhile exercise.