The following article was published in the South Wales Argus this week.
Fed up with the endless referendum babble? … Yes? Me too. Don't believe a word anyone says? … No? Neither do I.
The row between Top Tories is demented. Does anyone swallow the line that NHS privatizer Michael Gove is suddenly devoted to spending on Steel jobs and the NHS? Is David Cameron sensible in forecasting a third world war? Is the EU to blame for all the problems UK politicians have created? It's all self-serving hard-core nonsense. But the choice is a serious one.
NEWPORT: Newport has a 200 year proud history of hospitality and compassion to newcomers. It's not racist to say we have taken more than our fair share of asylum seekers recently. Last year Newport 500: areas represented by PM, Chancellor & Home Secretary None! The problem is the way migrants are distributed in the UK. If Top Tories took their share, the strains on schools & the NHS would ease. Sending criminal migrants back would also help. Blaming the EU is a cop-out for failing Government policies. We can do better for hard-working migrants and for Gwent.
WALES: Wales benefits hugely from the EU. 35 out of the 40 Welsh MPs are voting REMAIN -including most Tories and all Labour MPs. We get far more money back than we put in. Our economy is recovering but could suffer a heart attack if we pull out. No cash bonanza here post-Brexit. Wales already has it. We could lose it.
JOBS: The miracle renaissance of Gwent’s manufacturing jobs could be strangled by losing direct access to the EU market. Half of Welsh steel is exported to the EU. Other local industries benefit hugely. Without violent change, the future looks bright.
ENVIRONMENT: The habitat of our grandchildren is in deadly peril. Global problems cannot be solved by single nations. Shared reforms by continents and the world are the only solutions. Cutting off our input as leading reformers could hamper change and poison the only planet we have.
PEACE: The world is dominated by international power blocks. The terrifying threats to world peace can be tackled only by groups of nations working together. Our influence would be diminished if we withdraw from the benign EU peace-creating block. Isolation will enfeeble our influence.
RIGHTS: Most of the reforms we enjoy in working, women’s and human rights are EU inspired. The prospect of future Governments led by Boris and Trump is alarming. Solidarity with moderate EU nations can shield us from the worst excesses of dogmatists.
HARMONY: As a child of the war, whose father’s life was ruined by WW1, I recall the hatred between the nations of those bad years. It’s gone. We now live, work and holiday harmoniously with fellow Europeans. That’s real progress to be built on. Our young people have most to lose by dis-harmony.
Don’t be turned off. Your vote is crucial, especially for the causes that benefit all of us who live here in Gwent. The EU often infuriates but on balance there is only one choice -REMAIN.