My views on the EU

Here is part of my statement of belief in us coming out of Europe. It’s not jingoistic nor is it driving fear, but is based on a lifetime seeing what harm being IN has done to us as a nation. I suppose it is hard not to indulge in a bit of jingo-ism when faced with the half truths and misleading statements put out by many pro EU’er’s

There are many reasons why I think that leaving the EU is right for this country. In fact I have not heard a single overriding reason why we should stay in. The ‘remain’ campaign has majored on fear of the unknown. To anyone over the age of say 65 it is known.

My main reason is that we return to being a democracy. Anyone who was not an adult in the period 1970-75 when we were deceived into making a wrong choice probably cannot understand this. We had before us two options, not out or in but join with EFTA or EEC. It is interesting that the leaders of the two major political parties at that time both agreed on the EEC. We do know why.

Since 1975 year by year the freedoms of the British people have been salami sliced away. Year on year a bit more is taken, and if we are foolish enough to vote to remain in, a huge additional chunk of freedoms will disappear within the next five years. The EU acts in the same way as a dictatorship, personal and national freedoms are eroded and never is there any relief at all in this. We also see throughout Europe a return of both Facism and Communism. We see the EFTA country of Norway saying that it wants to close its border with EU Sweden. This has been fairly open for centuries with the exception of 1940-44. (If we had joined EFTA it would have been that much more powerful and greater than the (EEC) EU has become without the political implications.) If however we come out, it will cause a bit of pain, but not as much as some predict and within one year of the final leave we will be emerging as a free, powerful and successful nation. No short term cost is to great to pay for that.

So my overriding concern is democracy or freedom and this out shines all other reasons.

On other matters.

Borders. We are a small island with a greater population density than our major neighbours. We must, if we want to survive in our present form, have to have some kind of border control. We must be able to repatriate criminals and illegals, be they from Europe or the wider world. This does not mean that workers who can and will and do contribute to our communities could or should be barred. We have always imported workers from the wider world for certain occupations and will continue to do so. We will also seek and need a continued immigration system, but it should be geared to our peculiar circumstances within the continent which we will remain a part.

Our farmer’s have concerns because of the EU subsidies. They should also remember, they have to live with unreasonable restrictions and rules. I also suggest that when we are OUT measures will also be in place to ease the journey to a prosperous agricultural industry within the British economy. I was talking to a number of farmer’s recently, one who said to me “my heart and head say come out, but my wallet says stay in.” I asked where do you vote then, he said – out.

On the economy. The fear tactics of trade embargoes are just not credible. We have a trade deficit with the EU and in particular with countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain and so on. Trade embargoes against us could be reciprocated with the resultant charges used to protect our business. This will not happen, our neighbours are not fools. and never forget that we, each one, pay £1 per day NET for the privilege (if thats the word) for belonging. Thats £55 million plus each day. Paid it to an organisation which is so corrupt it has never been audited or produced accounts. Almost like FIFA? Also when out we will be able to negotiate our own deals with the wider world, as we did in the past, but not allowed now.

On trade and industry. There seems to be a fear that we will lose a number of major industries. This is I believe – bunkum. There will be additional freedom from red tape and pettifogging rules imposed by the EU. Like for example straight cucumbers and measuring system which is not the same as around the world. The English nation has always been the most entrepreneurial, inventive and industrial nation in history. Add to this our contribution to the arts and social contributions, we will never be overshadowed by our larger neighbour, which is in any event heading into meltdown. Compare us if you will to Japan or Canada. but we are better traders and more innovative than either of those

On Law. English Law is still be best in the world and is vastly different to that used on the continent. Here you are innocent until proven guilty, not in rest of EU. Yet we are moving ever closer to their way of doing things. Perceived conflicts in courts are because they are incompatible

On Justice. we are seen to have the most humane justice system in the world, vastly different from our European neighbours in every respect. This is being undermined by the European Courts (I know they are not all EU controlled)

On police. We used to have a police force, now we have a police service. We could return our force of law and order into one that is not a social service but into a protection for our people

On Politics. We still have elections with the appearance of democracy, but we lose out in the emasculation of our parliament. We should be helping others to a free society, and not moving ourselves into a restricted society. The Cameron negotiation will not help that at all.

On housing. If we had a controlled immigration system we would not have a housing shortage. Young families would be able to buy if they wanted or rent what they desire.

On benefits. We cannot continue to be the ‘health service’ of the world on demand, and neither can we continue to be the provider of all things to anyone who asks. It needs some regulation surely.

On Banking and financial services. There is a fear that we will lose out, but I believe that London, in an independent country, will be able to offer such freedoms that we will not lose much if any and will almost certainly gain trade. Under EU of course some years ago we had to cede much of this to Germany. I think some will come back.

On armed forces. Cut to the very bone, but still be ‘best army in the world’ again restricted by EU yet we do most of the international police keeping work for the other nations. Why? Also we have to consider the very real problem of a European army…!!!

On Human Rights. We have a hotch-potch of lawer invented pseudo laws designed to hinder real freedoms by hiding the rights of a majority under a cover of protecting minorities. The person who murders your child has more rights than your child had to live, is the way in works. Personally I felt more free, and I had more rights before such legislation came in

On International relations. The UK’s contacts and influence is greater than any other nation with the possible exceptions of USA, China and Russia in that order, but we hold an enormously greater respect that any of these and certainly more than our EU neighbours. Plus we have what is left of the empire and the commonwealth. The so called English Speaking Nations, even those that disagree with us on many things still have a heart-felt feeling towards us.

On historical, social, cultural and spiritual matters. For a single example, this country has always prospered under the Protestant Work Ethic and we have been at our greatest during the late 1400’s – 1500’s. During the 1700’s the early to mid 1800’s. During the first 5 decades of the 1900’s coinciding with protestant revivals and industrial advances linked with them. Most of Europe has grown in a different culture with quite different aims and ambitions. We will never really agree. Ecumenism has a lot to answer for.

On fishing. Its not just the quota system, why should a land locked nation have rights to fish off our shore when our fishermen are restricted. and why should caught fish have to be tipped over board dead? and why should you or I, if we chose to spend a day fishing of Southwold pier be fined £500 if we accidentally catch a sea bass and eat it? International laws always gave a nation total rights to a three mile limit, controversially extended to 12 mile in the 1960’s.

I could go on and on, but you get the point, and I can expand at length on most of the above. I do not by the way belong to any of the OUT organisations, perhaps I should. Our geography will remain the same, our neighbours will not all put up a wall either actual or in any other way, we will still be able to travel and drink Italian wines and fly through Amsterdam. We can also re-unite with the rest of the world as a major player.

I do, however, firmly believe that you are wrong if you believe that we should remain part of one of the most corrupt international organisations ever created.

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME

Its been a long time since I last posted, and I plead an extreme number of meetings, sometime several a day.

If there has been no blogs since you last visited then please try my Twitter or Face book pages as these are updated all the time and from my phone

see you soon

A DAY IN THE GARDEN

Up early as usual and spent a few hours on the net getting up to date and sending emails etc, also reading up for Mondays meeting at Breckland Planning plus the meeting on Billingford Lakes. Big day for many folks on both sides of the issue.

Quick trip into Derham then spent the day in the garden…..we have a big job in hand with clearing what had been the old nursery beds fifteen years ago. Trees in 8″ pots now 20ft tall and covered in woodbine and clematis plus the dreaded brambles…but just too hot so spent a lot of time in a chair with a book or cutting grass…sorted. This is also my last Saturday and Sunday with no formal appointments until end of September so a rest is called for.

 

FRIDAY 21ST

Been a busy week doing not too much but taking all my time if you know what I mean

TUESDAY was the press ride for the Round Britain Cycle race which is coming to the district on Sept 12th.  A hardy bunch of press councillors and public supported by professional cyclists and police out-riders set off from East Haring on the 15 mile ride to Elvedon Courtyard. Sorry I was not able to join the ride, but I did get to the close to welcome them in after about an hour. Well done, all finished. The actual ride will travel through FIVE of the villages in my Ward Guist, Twyford, Bintree, Foxley and Bawdeswell where it leaves Breckland for Broadland district. I had expected to attend in one of them but have been asked to represent Breckland at the start, and the speed they achieve will be unable to beat them to the ward. There are very few WORLD CLASS sporting events which are entirely free to view, and this is one of them. they expect well over 100,000 folks to turn out along the route – I hope that you will be one of them. I turned out in 2012, and whilst the experience is very short it is amazingly exhilarating to see 100 or so top athletes followed by the stragglers and support vehicles and police etc. It will then enter the district again at Attleborough and proceed to the Suffolk border to continue the penultimate day of the race. Breckland is happy to support this event which brings many advantages to the district and it’s businesses.

THURSDAY attended the Preview day for THETFORD’S Great Festival. Interesting evening where I met several of the participants of the festival and a load of Thetford characters including the larger than life Town Crier, the Mad Monk, some distinctly dangerous looking Knights in Armour, Catherine of Aragon, Captain Mainwaring and Pt Pike, a lot of over-made up and distinctly suspect ‘ladies’, and a herd of colourful cows…..! sorry if I missed anyone there was so much happening  If you can get to Thetford any day up to and including the 6th September there is something going on. I will be there on 25th all day and possibly parts of other days as well. Many events are entirely free.

FRIDAY attended a meeting regarding proposed changes in how we do licensing at Breckland. This follows some complaints by objectors at a recent hearing. our proposals will (hopefully) be ratified at the September meeting.

MONDAY 17TH AUGUST

The Breckland chain was returned to manufacturer today for refurbishment etc. Its now well over 40 years old and can do with a clean and a small repair and this is the time when I have least appointments. I will have two tomorrow and will do them chain-less.That is the press event in East Harling for the Tour of Britain Media Ride and then on to Elveden to see them home. I am sorry to not be riding with them but an old injury means I could not manage 15 miles in 45-60 minutes.

Start is at George and Dragon in East Harling, maybe see you there? Finish is Eleveden courtyard. I expect to be there to see and encourage them home. Probably take the opportunity to buy a few of the excellent Elveden sausages whilst I am there. Met Lord Inveigh in the shop last year and he persuaded me to try some, and enjoyed them whenever passing ever since.  One thing I share with Thetford Stalwart Councillor and former mayor Terry Lamb is a love of a good ENGLISH sausage.

As I am in area will call in to Thetford also, and will be back there on Thursday for the Great Festival Preview evening.

 

SUNDAY 16TH AUGUST

Attended Cllr Shirley Weymouth’s civic service in Gt Yarmouth on Sunday. The service took place in Gt Yarmouth Minster church which is the largest parish church in England and it also celebrated the ending of the second world war which was commemorated yesterday as VJ Day.

Both Shirley and the attending councillors and congregation made the usual commitments for the coming year and we sang some rousing hymns and finished with the National Anthem followed by tea and biscuits in the church.

As well as networking with Broadland, North Norfolk, Waveney and Gt Yarmouth councils I was able meet several more veterans of WWII including one lady who had served as a WAAF from 1941 to 1946 and she reminisced about VE day in Trafalgar Square as well as her time of service. Also met the son of one of the Gt Yarmouth drifter skippers who was drafted into mine clearance work and boom management in the North Sea in this area. Whilst we respect remember and honour those who serve our nation in the armed forces today, we should not forget just how involved the whole country was in the time of war in Europe. Every man woman and child was totally involved

SATURDAY 15TH AUGUST

I attended two VJ Day events yesterday representing Breckland and met a few ‘old soldiers’ some in their 90’s who had served in WWII and others who had served in Korea, Iraq, Falklands and so on. All had comrades who had died that we might live in freedom. At the address at one of these events the minister said that in only one year of the 70 since VJ Day had no British serviceman/woman been lost in combat somewhere in the world. Sharing with Ken Leggett, Chairman of Broadland Council afterwards we both agreed that we must never forget. I do believe that a younger generation is now more aware that a few years ago. The centenary of WWI has ensured this awareness, long may it continue.

At Breckland Council offices in Dereham on 3rd September at 9.45am we will be raising the Red Ensign in remembrance of the work done by the Merchant Navy. All who wish to may gather in the car park by the flag staffs at that time

14TH AUGUST

Mixed day yesterday, spent lots of time on the telephone and emailing but Grandson  was over for the day.Took him to tennis coaching at Easton and grabbed a take-away for lunch (gives us the excuse) We stayed to watch and he really is getting quite good.

Late afternoon attended Billingford Lakes where a planning matter is to be decided on 24th. This is part of the new area of my Ward and has been rumbling on for several years so rely on Bill for taking any lead role, but I am getti g lots of emails and telephone calls about it. Could not stay long as had a couple of appointments in evening, but managed to speak with residents from Billingford, Worthing, Dereham etc.

Today will be attending VJ day remembrances in morning at Thetford and evening in Norwich. 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender following the dropping of two atomic bombs. The first and only times these weapons have been used. I was alive at the time but have no memory but it was an event which overshadowed the 1950’s when I was growing up during the cold war period. Actually I met the pilot of the chase/reserve plane over Hiroshima (the one that recorded the event) as he was based in Norfolk in the 50’s and my father did some business with him. After rationing it was good to attend a real American BBQ at his home and for the first time Tuna Steaks. Rationing had finished but we were still living on pretty basic foods in rural England – what we could grow. 60 years on and I can remember that….

 

JUST A CATCH-UP since 14th JUNE

Hi All,

Its almost two months since I last put up a blog post. Cannot really say why, it’s just that I have been so busy, and although I have kept twittering and face-booking I have missed doing this as it takes just a bit more time and effort. Here today I will give a brief catch-up on what a Council Chairman has been up to since 14th June

During June/July and early August I had a series of meetings including attending:-

Dereham Windmill opening

Flying the Flag for Armed Forces Day

Looking round the re-cycling centre

Visit to RAF Marham with two fly past’s Spitfire and Tornado

Prize Day at Wymondham College

Re-dedication of Hockering Church

Norfolk Show including Young Farmers strawberry and Pimms tea

Wisbech Rose Fair

Reception at Bodney Camp with Guards

Norwich Lord Mayors Procession

Sports Day at Fred Nicholson School

Visit to Lakenheath with a fly past and the bird scaring hawks

Opened Brisley new playground

Three centre visit for the Duleep Singh Memorial

Presenting prises for the posters for re-cycling

St Edmundsbury Cathedral for the Mayor of Bury St Edmunds

Norfolk CC Summer Reception

Open and start a Vintage Car Rally

Bawdeswell New Village Hall open weekend

Any Questions for Radio 4 at Attleborough

RAF Mildenhall Bar-B-Que

Norwich in Bloom – I am a judge and this was the prize giving – Not a Breckland event, but I do get to network with other councillors from Norwich

Dereham Business Forum

North Tuddenham Fete

Watton Mayors Civic Service

All of these representing the people of Breckland.

In addition to all of these some 35 Breckland or Parish meetings. Two of the events were two day and one of the meetings lasted all day, so I have been pretty busy as you can see.

Today I will be at a Battle of Britain remembrance  at Norwich Castle this evening and will be at a meeting in the ward this afternoon and over the weekend will be attending two VJ day remembrance services, one in Breckland and one in Norwich for the County, plus a Civic Service in Gt Yarmouth and I will be reporting on these

 

 

 

YET MORE HISTORY

This time Kings Lynn. Colin Manning was led into the Minster by King Johns Sword and a whole parcel of civic officials for a full swearing in service attended my many of the great and the good from the area. The sermon dealt at length with the towns history and Colin has a strong tradition to follow in his new role as Mayor for the Borough of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. Brecklands history of course goes back about 40 years, but our towns and villages each have a relevant history of their own as I will no doubt establish as my year progresses.

The service was followed by a short reception in the Historic Town hall on the Saturday Market Place. Some of my misspent youth was conducted in Kings Lynn. I remember of course the MART being the first fair of the year in February and some very cold nights they were too, on the Tuesday Market Place. The old Pilot cinema was a favourite as it showed films not always seen in the Majestic and others in town.

Todays event was very much quieter but just as enjoyable as those of 50 years ago….thank you Colin.