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EU In/Out? Is a referendum the best way?


spider9
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I'd always thought we were a Parliamentary Democracy, and, as such, we elect paid representatives to take difficult decisions on our behalf.

Membership of Europe is a difficult , complicated topic, and most people (including myself) would be hard pushed to appreciate all the pros and cons - so the populace will now be bombarded by media propaganda aimed at the lowest common denominator, I suspect.

Loads of 'crazy' EU stories will emerge and be fed to the Great British public, with 'good' EU stories being more difficult to show. Hence the media barons will, once again, get their way and politicians can then 'blame' us if it turns out bad.

Weak leadership I'm afraid.

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fourm member

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spider9

It's a bit of a hobbby (dead?)horse of mine. Even scientists cling to discredited results.

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spuds

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fourm member

"see spuds still claiming no-one mentioning a federal Europe when we joined a just one example"

It wasn't 'claiming' but a fact that the 'for' politicians at the time, and that included Ted Heath, the Common Market was going to be a simpler trading exercise between European or more so Continental countries, that were considered suitable to join by their contributions. There was no mention, or at least if there was, it was kept very quiet, that this would eventually lead to One State, One Nation or more probable one 'united' Federal State being governed by one.

Remember that it wasn't all that long that WW1 and WW2 had not long finished, and this was still very deep in the hearts and minds of those living in the UK or Great Britain. I am not sure about the other countries or peoples on the borders of Europe or further a field and what they were thinking or hoping. I do believe that some of the past eastern bloc or communist countries were not even considered, because at that time, they had very little to offer, and some still do not to this day. And on that basis alone, it was not imagined that 'we' as a UK nation was preparing to give the UK away, as the terms and conditions changed, and by those who were not elected by the mainstay of public to make those decisions on the public's behalf.

This thread is becoming rather 'political correct', because as already apparently being possibly stated or suggested by other members, 'its like not seeing the woods for the trees', and perhaps some people do not have memories that stretch far back to the original Common Market idea being proposed or considered?.

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Woolwell

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Part of the problem is that hardly anyone knows who their MEP is. The constituencies are large and cover areas that may not naturally relate to each other eg the South West stretches from the Cotswold's to the Isles of Scilly and includes Gibraltar. A proportional system is also used. It is difficult to work out what the MEP's achieve apart from costing money.

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Woolwell

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spuds - We were misled by the media as much as the politicians in the early 1970's. With hindsight it is obvious that those in power knew that we were entering more than a Common Market (even the referendum included the words Common Market). The rest is history.

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spuds

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Woolwell

I don't think it was the media that was totally to blame, because they were only being primed by the politicians of the day, that wanted this to go ahead.

Whatever the case, it was the public that was being misled, by thinking that perhaps ditching some of our previous long term and reliable world-wide trading partners for a nearer home 'Cooperative' was going to provide cheaper and far better products on demand. As you rightly say- The rest is history.

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fourm member

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spuds

The point I made to Quickbeam was that people will ignore what is plainly in front of them if it disagrees with their view.

Unfortunately, the link I posted before to Heath's speech in October 1971 was a casualty of the glitch at the weekend.

Here it is again (from a different source) During his speech, Heath said;

As a member of the Community, Britain would have a strong voice in deciding the nature and the timing of political unity.

And;

*'Tonight, the world is similarly watching Westminster, waiting to see whether we are going to decide that Western Europe should now move along the path to real unity – or whether the British Parliament, now given the choice, not for the first time but probably for the last time for many years to come, will reject the chance of creating a united Europe.'*

Actually, finding this new source is interesting because it also has the text of a pamphlet written by Macmillan in 1962 that includes;

'It is true, of course, that political unity is the central aim of these European countries and we would naturally accept that ultimate goal.'

Go back all the way to the formation of the EEC with six members and you'll find that, at the time, the nine countries that formed EFTA were concerned about the aim of political union espoused by the six who formed the EEC.

It is simply untrue to suggest that no-one knew about political union in 1975. Some people try and find explanations for others not sharing their views. On the EU, this centres on suggesting that the majority, that voted to stay in when the 1975 referendum was held, didn't know what they doing.

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Flak999

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I have yet to see any reasoned argument as to why EU membership is good for the UK. In 2011 Britain's net contribution to the EU budget was £7.3 billion (this takes account of the rebate)this level is set to increase.

What do we get for this, are we receiving value for money?

Come on all you pro EU commentators, make the case. Why is our membership a good thing?

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Flak999

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fourm member

I think the politicians lied to the electorate, or were at least economic with the truth. The text of the referendum question in 1975 was this:

"Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?"

Where in that question does it talk of political union? Of a federated European superstate led by Germany? You can quote Heaths speeches to Parliament all you like, but who other than politicians read or understand the nuances contained in them?

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Forum Editor

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"On the EU, this centres on suggesting that the majority, that voted to stay in when the 1975 referendum was held, didn't know what they doing."

Any more than many of them will know what they're doing, should there be a referendum in the future.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"Where in that question does it talk of political union? Of a federated European superstate led by Germany?"

Nowhere, because 37 years ago that was not the agenda. Nobody but a fool would have doubted then that the ultimate progression would be from a trading alliance to a political one - it was inevitable, and was mentioned repeatedly in the media at the time, as well as in parliament.

All this talk of a superstate led by Germany is paranoia incarnate, and typifies the backward-looking stance you, and others like you adopt. Your attitude seems to be 'once an enemy, always an enemy'. The world moves on, whether you like it or not, and constantly referring to what went on in the past gets you nowhere. Germany has become Europe's biggest economy - that's a fact, and we have to live with it. We can either stick our heads in the sand, like you, or we can look the world in the face and deal with it as it is.

I advocate doing the latter - we can work our way back to prosperity that way. The other way lies incessant droning on about what a glorious nation we were, back in the day, and now everyone is out to get us, boo hoo!

We had a past, and we can have a future, it's up to us. A withdrawal from the European Union would be a grave mistake, and we would regret it bitterly later on, when it would be too late.

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