By Tom walker (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I was rather dismayed by the content of some of the failed candidates’ utterances on the EU.
By User:Verdy p, User:-xfi-, User:Paddu, User:Nightstallion, User:Funakoshi, User:Jeltz, User:Dbenbenn, User:Zscout370 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Basically the same arguments apply to being in the EU as a fully paid up member as apply to Corby and east Northants being a fully paid up member of England or the UK. We are stronger working together than we are working on our own – that is the whole basis for human society.
I’m a dab-hand at writing (on a good day) but I can’t put a shelf up straight, nor to stay up, to save my life. I am, let’s face it, pretty useless at everything apart from thinking, writing, talking too much, understanding the natural environment and identifying birds. Thank heavens there are others in the world who will pay for a bit of thinking and writing and talking! And I redistribute my earnings to those who have more useful skills – the plumbers, farmers etc. And there are some things that need a really big group effort – like schooling, hospitals and armies where we tend to get together and fund them through governments, and therefore through our taxes, because that seems an efficient and fair way to go about things.
Corby and east Northants would struggle, wonderful though we are, to make our way in the world separate from the rest of the UK. We put up with the funny ways of the Yorkshire folk and West country men (that’s where I hail from), and even the Welsh (my mother is welsh) and the Scots, just because it seems a better gang than being in our own little crowd. So it is with Europe, for me.
with a growing China and India, and huge power blocks like the USA and Russia, and growing economies such as Brazil, do we want to be amking our own way in thw world without close friends? I don’t think so.
Added to which, despite the fact that they can be really very irritating some times, the Spanish, French, Germans, Italians etc are out friends. It’s very good of them to put up with us since we have won wars against them all – I’m glad that they don’t bear any grudge.
We share a European culture – the culture of Fernando Torres, Cervantes and Picasso, and the culture of Brigitte Bardot, Debussy and Coco Chanel, and the culture of Friedrich Engels, Albert Einstein and Erwin Rommel, and the culture of Giacomo Puccini, Christopher Columbus and Leonardo da Vinci. And they all share the culture of Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare and John Lennon.
We Brits don’t have to give up being British to be European too, any more than I have to give up being from Corby and east Northants to be Englsih (or British).
And so it usually comes down to money. We make a net contribution to the EU – because we are richer than most. That’s how any progressive form of taxation works – from each according to their means and to each according to their needs. Those principles don’t extinguish themselves when we cross La manche into the continent of Europe.
The EU is very irritating sometimes – it irritates the hell out of me at times. But then, so do the Scots sometimes but I love them really. Let’s be a part of Europe and play a full part, and pay our way and gain the benefits of being amongst friends, being safer, being more powerful in the world and being European.
I was very pleased to see Ed Miliband say yesterday: “For those of us, like me, who care passionately about our place within the European Union we cannot therefore remain silent. I will not let Britain sleepwalk towards exit from the European Union, because I think it will be bad for prosperity, it would hamper us in building the one nation economy I believe in … and above all it will be a betrayal of our national interest.”
Corby, Northants, England, UK, Europe – that’s our address.