Surrey in Europe

Newsletter of the Surrey branch of the European Movement - May 2014


Contents

The European elections                   - this page, below


Branch AGM, talk by Nick HopkinsonAGM                and discussion on future

Hustings at Sussex University

David Woodhead’s letter to Telegraph

Ian Deloford’s idea for a leaflet

David Weaver’s idea for a leaflet

Miscellany

              The euro is safe

              Strong leadership in Eurozone

              UK Plc for Sale

              City set for decline outside Eurozone

              Anti-EU vote is split

              Will William Hague climb down?

              We must be bolder in our advocacy

              IN or OUT - a new book

“The world is too much with us,” wrote Wordsworth, “we are out of tune”.  And that was well before anyone had had to come to terms with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Google+!  The world has moved on and, dammit, we must try to catch up - that is, if we want to communicate with the “young”.  And communicate with the young we must.  Conventional wisdom suggests they take “Europe” so much for granted that they are unlikely to vote in a referendum or a European election, but we need them not only to vote but to campaign.  So we must learn about Facebook and the rest.  In the next Newsletter we aim to make a start, and I tell you that so that I am more or less committed and it is that much more likely to happen.

Comments and contributions please to keith.tunstall99@gmail.com

Iansleaflet Davidweaver #wmh2

EU Elections - 2014


At first glance, we supporters of the EU will be dismayed by the results, but look more closely and there are good reasons to look on the bright side.  


First of all, UKIP did well but they did not get a majority of the votes.  Parties where at least the leadership is in favour of our staying in the EU got 72% of the vote.  Even more important, only 36% of the electorate voted, so only 10% of the electorate actually voted for UKIP.  Of course that is irrelevant at the moment - UKIP have got their 25 MEPs for the next five years - but, as far as the coming referendum is concerned, there is plenty of fallow ground to be tilled.  There is no time to lose in getting our act together, but if we are aiming at 2017, there is time to turn the tables on UKIP and win.


We are up against atavistic human tendencies to look for scapegoats in times of uncertainty and we are up against a profound ignorance of history which has shown us time and again over the centuries that such human reactions lead to intolerance, unreason - and, all too often, violence and war.  We are seeing signs of that same nationalism which resulted from economic problems after the First World War and we must resist its pernicious influence if we are to avoid the same outcome.  It is as serious as that. We must renew our resolve to combat the myths and misrepresentations which go to build up fear of the outside world and  the blindness of petty nationalism.


Migration has apparently been a major issue in the election.  Mainstream politicians have avoided the issue for too long.  Unless explained and catered for, migration can of course lead to problems.  That aspect has been ignored.  The positive side has also been ignored.  The UK Health Service would collapse were it not for the 30% of doctors who have come from abroad.  The Universities would be the poorer without foreign students and academic staff.  And if you want a clinching argument - the football Premier League would merit Division Two status without foreign players and managers.


The popular cry is that foreigners abuse our benefits system.  The government can find no significant evidence of this and should somehow be forced to admit it loudly and clearly.


The success of UKIP must be a wake-up call. The truth must be told.  The European Union has been a huge success in bringing peace to a continent wracked by war for two thousand years.  28 countries with boundaries hacked around for centuries now rest in democratic peace, where those arbitrary boundaries are there largely for administrative convenience.  Dictatorships have gone.  One party rule has gone.  Military coups have gone.  Basic human rights have been anchored in law for 500 million people across the continent.  The European Union is a beacon of hope for humanity.  It has shown that people can work together on a grand scale to tackle the problems and opportunities of a fast changing world.  It deserves a robust and resolute defence.


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