It’s time to speak out


I have not been very active in campaigning for the UK to remain a member of the EU. The truth is, I don’t think I thought I really needed to. I thought when the time came, the UK would not be swayed by the torrent of anti-immigrant hated put out by a side that advocated a return to the good old days when we maintained our trade levels through invasion and empire-building, rather than dialogue and open borders.

Having discussed it with other people, I think many feel the same way. We did not realise our voices had to be heard. We assumed that the progress we had achieved over the past 50 years was safe. But now, only weeks before the referendum, the pendulum is swinging. Several polls put Leave ahead. Even the bookies have started slashing the odds, which were not that high to begin with.

We must speak out. The voice is the silent majority, our voice, must be silent no more. The time for being British and avoiding the awkward conversation with out friends and family has passed.

When I talk to people about the referendum, I don’t tell them about the percentage of immigrants in the UK (it’s lower than they think), the percentage of laws that come from Brussels (it’s lower than they think), it the net contribution we make to the EU (it is, of course, lower than they think). I talk about my fears for my wife and my baby daughter. Immigration laws tear families apart.

I talk about my fears of providing for my family when trade with other European nations becomes more difficult. At Sky, we’re expanding into Germany and Italy. If that growth is slowed, I will be the first out of the door.

I talk about my friends, who work on minimum wage, who will have to face a stagnant economy in which their pay does not rise, but their price of does does. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage will still be millionaires whatever happens. It is the poorest communities, the communities of The North that will be hit the hardest.

I talk about my friends with disabilities and long term health conditions who face a bonfire of rights once there are no immigrants left to demonise.

And all of this for no clear benefit. There are no concrete benefits. We don’t know if leaving the EU will spare us some cash, or whether that will be lost in the economic shock. We don’t know if we will be able to gain any immigration controls while still maintaining business links with Europe. We do know that we almost certainly would have to contribute to the EU budget anyway, have no trade deals with other countries and make it more difficult to fight crime in a European level.

The only “gap” is our attitude

When the results of yesterday’s TNS UK poll were released, it put Leave 7 poins ahead. But listen to what their spokesperson, Luke Taylor, told The Guardian

It should be noted that among the entire general public the picture is more balanced with 33% supporting Remain, 35% supporting Leave and 32% undecided or planning not to vote.

Taking into account likelihood to vote and whether or not people are registered to vote, benefits ‘Leave’ over ‘Remain’. In particular, our turnout model penalises younger people and those that did not vote in the previous general election, as historically these groups are less likely to vote.

The Leave campaign does not represent the the majority view of British people. The reason they are ahead is because on Thursday 23 July, they are more likely to turn up and vote than everyone else. It is because of low turn out, especially among younger people, that the Leave campaign has the chance to drag us down down a road that the rest of the country does not want to go down.

Our voices must be heard, and our votes must be counted. It rests on all of our shoulders to make this happen.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 at 10:01 am and is filed under Religion & Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.