The EU Ref Part 2 - Josie Wales - Jul 22, 2016. -1

The EU Ref Part 2 - Josie Wales image

EU Ref - Part 2

 

Back in 2014, ex Man Utd and England full back Gary Neville was asked on Sky Sports who he’d prefer to win the Premier league title between Liverpool and Man City, his fellow pundits fell about laughing when he replied that it was like being asked which of two guys he disliked would he prefer to run off with his wife.

 

All joking aside, this is akin to what many people must have been feeling prior to voting in the EU referendum. The whole charade had become an internal war in the Conservative party, or you could say a battle of the young Bullendon boys behaving like they are having a University debate rather than a debate which would impact on all the Citizens of this country. On the one side we had Cameron and his allies telling us the doom and gloom that will befall us if we leave and Johnson and his cohorts telling us the opposite and how it was all the fault of immigration.

 

Instead of all sections of our society being included and having a say, discussing the rights and wrongs of the EU and the impact to their livelihoods we had a media driven sideshow designed to push the agenda of predominantly right wing politicians or the slightly less right wing Government.

 

I was certainly in this category and often wondered where the centre and left wing politicians were and what were they promoting as an alternative to ‘The battle for the Conservative Party’?  In the run up to the Referendum I couldn’t stop asking myself, ‘Has politics become so middle of the road that no one can be bothered, is apathy the order of the day, are there no centre left agendas, are they so close to existing Government thinking that it's indistinguishable’?

 

The Libdems, for example came across as if they were still in the Coalition with Cameron and may as well of walked around with ‘Do what Dave says’ badges for all they offered to the debate. For Labour, Jeremy Corbyn ran a subdued campaign until quite late in the day, was he hoping that the Tories would inflict so much damage on themselves that Labour would ‘step over the wreckage and assume control’ in a post referendum backlash? Did his past misgivings about the EU lead him to follow the ‘Party Line’ without any real conviction or was it just the usual ‘bad press’ he undeservedly receives from the Main Stream Media?



All in all even as I approached the decision to place my X on the ballot paper, and I expect many, many people felt the same way, it was with a heavy heart and a reservation that whichever way I chose to vote, that I really wasn’t 100% convinced by remaining or leaving the EU.

 

Here are just some of the reasons that I struggled to support the ‘Remain’ camp:

 

a) The thought of supporting Cameron and Osborne after the way they have systematically undermined the working people of this Country, sold off virtually everything we owned, and inflicted unreasonable hardships on the most vulnerable people in this country would be a very bitter pill to swallow to someone who as never seen eye to eye with what they represent. Having said that, in his favour, it was on ‘Dodgy Dave’s watch’ that  the Hillsborough families were able to achieve some Justice which is more than can be said for Blair, Straw and others. But all in all, Cameron and his cohort and predecessors, including Major have been accusing the EU of being behind every failed policy, bad legislation and political failure ever since I can remember and to now start telling people the EU is the best way forward just tells me that him, his party and his government are nothing but political shysters and not to be trusted.



b) The lack of action taken against large Corporations including European ones who are legitimately avoiding paying Tax to the UK government. I am actually employed by one such business who without a doubt are an excellent company to work for but nevertheless they transfer by one means or another as much of the earnings as possible each year to reduce their profits and in so doing deprive the UK of much needed Tax revenue. In a time of severe austerity inflicted on the population of the UK, this is unforgivable and whilst I have heard murmurings from the EU about clamping down on this type of behaviour the cynic in me doesn’t see anything changing any time soon.

 

c) Cameron has been pushing his solution to the EU free movement of people issue by negotiating with the EU to ensure those who come to the UK to work will not be eligible for benefits until they’ve been here for a certain length of time and while this solution is designed to appeal to the xenophobic side of his supporters it doesn’t really, in my eyes, tackle the root cause of the issue which is the chronic lack of funding provided for the services most hit by the increasing  numbers of peoples coming into the UK.

If Cameron, Osborne or any of the other elitist Politicians had to rely on the NHS, or struggle for school places, or GP appointments or rely on welfare benefits to top up the meagre wages on offer as large swathes of the UK population have to they would see that just depriving these incoming Europeans of any additional help wouldn’t ease the burden of those services, in fact it would have quite the opposite effect.

You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that most of the influx come from the poorer countries whose populations are willing to work for below the minimum wage and to put up with poorer working conditions just to get by and therefore these are more likely to need additional support as they’d be unable to pay for any.

As someone who trod a similar path from Liverpool in the Eighties after Thatcher's decimation of the Northern manufacturing industries, I understand well what you will put up with to get by and feed your family so for me I do and always will support the free movement of people but it seems to me that the biggest beneficiaries of this ‘cheap labour pool’ get the best of both worlds. I’m talking about businesses in the UK, large, medium and small who enhance their profitability by employing these desperate people on low wages and then find ‘legal’ ways to avoid paying Taxes on their profits while many of their employee are forced to go cap in hand to the welfare system to help supplement their poor wages.

This is what really sucks the resources from the social system we provide and it appears to me that businesses should be levied to support this impact that the cheap labour force will have on the social system and until we do nothing it plays right into the hands of the racist right wing who like to blame immigrants and foreigners for all these problems.

 

d) I hear the argument that workers will have no rights at all if we 'leave' but the protection we have now doesn't seem to be enough to protect 'Tata Steel' workers for example (and other workers) who are threatened with losing their jobs if they don't give up their pensions and other rights, with the full backing of the UK government. This suggests to me that the EU only provides certain protection and doesn't provide the all encompassing protection that people believe.

There are Companies after Companies flouting the legislation for minimum wages (Mike Ashley??) and getting away with it for example so the argument that we will be defenceless by leaving is difficult to sometimes comprehend on a wider scale when there seems to be little or no protection now and feels like a similar argument to the rhetoric of both sides when they say 'Vote for us or you'll be worse off'

Next time, my thought process as I made my decision and how it felt...

 

 
 
 
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Category: General Stuff | Posted by: The BabelCopter

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