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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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Flak999

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Forum Editor

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.

Forgive me, but in one breath you say that it wasn't on the agenda, and in the next you say it was reported repeatedly in the media! If it wasn't on the agenda why was it widely reported as such?

You also say that nobody but a fool would have doubted that a trading alliance would become a political one! There must have been an awful lot of fools then! Because a lot of the older people that I speak to on this subject all think they were joining a trading bloc, nothing else!

I don't know how old you were at the time? I was sixteen, so could not vote. I think it is right and proper that there should be a referendum so that the current generation can pass judgement on what our parents have condemned us to.

You advocate continued membership in your usual acerbic style, perhaps then you could enlighten us all as to why continued membership of the union is so right for Britain?

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Woolwell

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FE - I am obviously a fool as I was unaware 37 years ago that we were being lead towards a political alliance. It didn't help that I was away from UK at the time but the majority of the media were in favour of Europe and put a positive slant on it. Some of the same media are now putting forward a negative slant. Are you implying that you cannot trade with a country without being tied politically?

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fourm member

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Flak999

The question, in 1975, should have said European Economic Community because that was the name of the body at that time.

Dropping 'Economic' from the question looks like an attempt to make people realise that this was more than a discount club for shoppers.

Far from suppressing the broader purposes it looks as though the government wanted to bring them to the fore.

'but who other than politicians read or understand the nuances contained in them?'

You have a very odd way of advancing your argument.

You know that the only way the UK would leave the EU is if a refendeum vote called for that but you acknowledge that the electorate doesn't pay enough attention to issues to be trusted.

As for advancing arguments for the EU. To what purpose? As I've said, any referendum will be determined by the undecideds who are receptive to discussion.

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spuds

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fourm member

I seem to recall at the time the Common Market was originally discussed and put to the public, most people were not interested in obtaining statements or had easy access to obtain what was the thinking of politicians and their followers. They (the public) were reliant on what was being told to them via television and possibly 'endorsed' media reports. People at that time were seeking a 'better' life from the heartaches of the past, and they were reliant on those elected to provide this.

I seem to recall actually seeing Edward Heath standing in front of a television camera holding a glass of wine or something, with a black 'nautical' blazer and captains/sailor hat, telling the public that this proposal was 'the best everything for everyone' (not the exact words but something very similar), and a chance never to be missed. At the time it gave the impression that the general public were a bunch of idiots if they did not accept Yes. I am not sure if I voted or not, but at the time I was very reliant on what information or whisper I was offered for a Yes or No box tick. A lot of that information was never understood or made easily available at the time. The general public were just given or allowed, what they were considered they deserved, as was most cases at the time.

Perhaps from those days to this, people have become more wiser, at least we now have the advantage of perhaps obtaining past documents or statements far quicker and easier with internet search engines, and power are perhaps more able to give quotes from selection. But going off subject, how many documents are now being released as past long term secret classified documents, that are now bringing shock and horror due to 'misleading', because honest information was not given or allowed to be given at the time. No doubt,there is some shock horror report on the Common Market that will be aired in years to come, possibly on the very same 'airing' or raised points we are giving here on the forum today?.

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Woolwell

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How many people vote in or are aware of European Elections. The first one in UK was in 1979 but before that the European Parliament was an unelected body with delegates.

The implications of the Treaty of Rome were never explained to the public.

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hssutton

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Well I guess along with many others at the time I was a FOOL. A small extract from the Referendum pamphlet issued in 1975

Remember: All the other countries in the Market today enjoy, like us, democratically elected Governments answerable to their own Parliaments and their own voters. They do not want to weaken their Parliaments any more than we would."

I'm with Quickbeam on this.

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fourm member

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Text of the pamphlet in full.

From which it is clear that political union was a central part of the debate.

Literally top of the list of 'The aims of the Common Market' is;

'To bring together the peoples of Europe.'

Much of what it says is still relevant today especially when it talks about the fiction that a UK outside the EU would have some amazing freedom of action uninfluenced by other world powers and the idea that we could disconnect from what happens in Europe.

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Flak999

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fourm member

As for advancing arguments for the EU. To what purpose? As I've said, any referendum will be determined by the undecideds who are receptive to discussion.

You also have a curious way of advancing your argument! I would have thought that as a staunch supporter of the union you would be able to list many benefits of our membership, and in doing so persuade all of the doubters as to the error of their thinking!

Are you saying that those of us with polarised opinions (you for, me against) cannot be persuaded by logical argument of the rightness of the others cause? As for the undecideds who are "receptive to discussion" how would you seek to persuade them?

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Flak999

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fourm member

'To bring together the peoples of Europe.'

As nebulous a phrase as it's possible to write. It could mean anything!

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fourm member

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Flak999

I think you'll find your 2:01 post answers your 1:58 post.

It is not for me to persuade people; others can do that much better. As I said, the 1975 pamphlet makes many of the relevant points.

It's a fiction to think we could exist in the modern world without alliances. It is a fiction to believe that we would not be affected by events inside the EU if we were out. The only difference would be that we could not have any input into the discussions.

It is, also, a fiction to believe that the UK parliament would enact a raft of xenophobic policies as soon as we left the EU.

On that last point, I'd love to see the Venn diagram showing people who think we should leave the EU so that the UK parliament makes all the decisions and people who think the UK parliament is made up of greedy, lazy, self-serving MPs who only have their own interests at heart.

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