Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Voting Remain - a personal story

We don't normally put personal viewpoints on here, but this article explains why our editor is voting REMAIN.

The Brexit campaigners want to return to a Britain that never existed for most of our people. As a child I played on the bomb sites. Bath time was in a tin bath in the living room. The toilet was outside and round the side of the house, though we were luckier than our neighbours, who had to cross our front to get to their loo.

I played with ration coupons - food rationing had only just finished, nine years after the war ended. We knew that if the siren sounded for real we had only four minutes before the nuclear missiles struck. We had pea soup smogs. TB and polio were still not unknown.

Later, currency devaluation followed devaluation. If you went abroad there was a limit on the cash you could take out of the country - the amount of money was recorded in your passport. If you went to a friendly European country to work, you had to report to the police and register as an alien.

The UK economy continued to decline. The miners' strike precipitated power cuts and the three day week. Speeding coal convoys under police escort were very aggressive and virtually barged ordinary drivers off the motorways.

Yes, there were the positives too, notably the National Health Service. I was one of the early NHS babies, and I've been grateful for it throughout my life. But many of the Brexiteers want to abolish the NHS.

Another positive was the almost universal loathing of fascism, but fascism is now creeping back into our society. Hatred of immigrants, using language that sees refugees (often from wars we have helped to create) as numbers, not people. Authoritarianism in many forms, from private security substituting for properly trained prison staff, through to projects being imposed by the diktat of government or inspectors regardless of the will of local people.

So where is this golden age they want to take us back to? Can't we go forward, not back, into a more humane society?

I'm voting Remain because the EU has been a force for good, a force for peace, a source of strength in numbers. I don't want to be part of a Little Britain that will fall apart. If we leave the EU Scotland will probably leave us, and maybe take northern England with it. Wales will be next in the queue, and a neutered England will be left to deal with a resurrected Northern Ireland problem.

Vote Remain, if you want to avoid economic decline, if you want a decent pension.

Vote Remain, if you want a decent life for your children and grandchildren.

Vote Remain, if you want to live in a society that values people.

Vote Remain.

Paul Hulbert

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