GP > Robert SAUNDERS: 40 Years On: The 1975 Referendum Remembered.
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins – Greg_L-W.
here is a GP (Guest Post) which I found interesting and all too prescient when you read the penultimate paragraph which with a simple change of names shows just why the NO to remaining as a Vassal Region in the EU vote will lose this time just as it did in 1975!
Apart from constantly warning people I can think of absoluteley nothing more I can do to help Britain and the British peoples gain a NO Vote on the upcoming Referendum vote promised by the end of 2017.
IF you have any ideas I’d love to hear them as I can not think of a single reason of substance, not founded on lies and exageration, for staying in this idiotic and deeply dangerous social experiment but I can think of endless reasons for us to Leave_The_EU.
The YES vote is likely to be dishonestly funded from the public purse and Government is likely to abuse its position of trust as our servants using their time, their status and the Civil Service to gain a YES vote, the BBC will be used as a propaganda broadcaster for the YES campaign in flagrant disregard of their Royal Charter which demands political impartiality! and on past record we can be assured that the malign EU will pour huge resources and public money into gaining a YES vote as it is widely believed amongst the informed that should Britain Leave_The_EU it is likely that the entire EU project will start to come unravelled!
There will also be those who dishonestly betray these United Kingdoms by voting in the House of Lords, like Neil Kinnock, who draw EU salaries or pensions which bear with them an ubndertaking to uphold & promote the EU, yet they fail to have the integrity to prorogue themselves when it comes to debate & voting in Britain!
The entire system would seem to bear many resemblances to the management of FIFA under Sepp Blatter!
Sadly the Government and the EU can be expected to lie to gain their wishes over the democratic process and businessmen, mainly of the EU linked companies (PLCs) will be used to trump up fear amongst the electorate based on ptopaganda rather than facts.
This together with the egos of a number of self important inadequates, thinking of themselves rather than our country, our peoples and our future will see the NO campaign in endless squabbles, without coherent strategy, tactics or vision.
Rather than show leadership for the common good and for the future we will see people of no leadership merit jockeying for position and making claims for inclusivity being put before the common sense need for vision, a clear strategy and tactics with a clear, detailed plan as to how to withdraw from the EU ethically, responsibly and with a clear plan presenting a short and long term process to ensure the survival of Britain.
FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) will be the kin gpin of a misleading and dishonest YES campaign aiming to enforce our vassal status in the supra National Empirate of The EU – FUD led by the dinoaurs of politics from the last century like Michael Hesseltine, Ken Clarke and their puppet proteges!
A measure of the EU is the endless travel between the old Nation States as represented by the MEPs (sales reps) of the new vassal regions & the rubber stamping unit in Brussels with monthy relocation to Strasburgh – a system almost totally bereft of democracy managed and controlled by unelected bureaucrats with a meeting chamber designed for the sales staff to make video clips to promote the entire scam – a meeting chamber which fails to provide meaningful debate where block voting is the norm – who in the 21st. Century with fuel and travel costs and the increasing convenience of video conferencing would use the costly arcane practices of the EU!
40 Years On: The 1975 Referendum Remembered by Robert Saunders
on June 05, 2015 By Robert Saunders
Forty years ago today, voters went to the polls in Britain’s first ever national referendum. Their votes would determine the most important political question of the time: whether Britain should remain a member of the European Community. For the first time in British history, a major political question would be settled directly by the people, and their decision would transform British politics for a generation. Britain had joined the European Community just two years earlier, under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. For all his grim exterior, Heath was a man of radical political ambitions. He had come to power in 1970 promising to ‘change the course of history in this country’; and joining the European Community was central to that aspiration. Yet his achievement was always precarious. In a rare moment of rhetorical excess, Heath had promised that Britain would only enter the Community with the ‘full-hearted consent of Parliament and People’. Parliament had voted narrowly in favour, but the people were not directly consulted. Europe had not been an issue at the general election, and the Conservative manifesto had promised simply ‘to negotiate – no more, no less’. When a Labour government was elected in 1974, it was itself desperately divided on Europe. The new Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, promised to renegotiate the terms of membership and put them to the public in a referendum – exactly the offer that David Cameron would repeat in 2015. The decision to hold a referendum was highly controversial. Margaret Thatcher, newly elected as leader of the Conservative Party, called it ‘a device of dictators and demagogues’. The Sun thought it a ‘constitutional monstrosity’: a ‘rotten’, ‘silly’, ‘alien’ and ‘unconstitutional’ device. For Tony Benn, by contrast, the referendum offered a new vision of popular democracy. In the modern world, he argued, ‘the five-yearly cross on the ballot paper is not enough’. Regular plebiscites would make government truly accountable to the electors, enlarging both ‘the responsibility and understanding of ordinary people’. Over the six months of the campaign, the referendum took what had been a fairly closed debate, centring on Whitehall, Westminster and the Foreign Office, and threw it open to the country. The debate that followed took root in the most unlikely places. Businesses campaigned openly for British membership, producing letters and magazines advising their workers how to vote. Bishops preached sermons on European integration, and a quarter of churches held services or days of prayer. In Northern Ireland, experiencing one of the bloodiest years of the Troubles, paramilitary newspapers carried earnest editorials on the economics of European integration. The Women’s Institutes, the Townswomen’s Guilds and the Rotary Club all hosted meetings and discussion groups, while campaign literature was translated into Welsh, Arabic and many other languages. The BBC screened a live debate from the Oxford Union, lasting two and a half hours on a Saturday night. 9 million people tuned in to watch. Then as now, the European question fired a missile through the established party system. For the ‘Yes’ campaign – fighting to keep Britain in Europe – Harold Wilson lined up alongside Margaret Thatcher, Ted Heath, Roy Jenkins and Jeremy Thorpe. The ‘No’ campaign saw Tony Benn fighting alongside Enoch Powell, backed by the unlikely alliance of Ian Paisley, the National Front and the Communist Party of Great Britain. In the constituencies, party activists worked alongside lifelong political enemies, in a festive atmosphere that was widely likened to the Christmas Truce. This disorganisation of party opened the way for a much wider range of political actors. Local campaign groups mushroomed, with names like ‘Orpington in Europe’ or ‘The West Country Anti-Common Market League’. Voluntary organisations, local businesses and the churches all played a leading role, while the faces that looked down from campaign posters were not those of politicians but of actors, sports stars and celebrities. Henry Cooper, Colin Cowdrey, Don Revie and Jock Stein all backed the ‘Yes’ campaign. The star recruit for the ‘Antis’ was George Best, memorably described as ‘the Enoch Powell of the football field’. The result was a landslide for the pro-Europeans. On a 65% turnout, more than two-thirds of voters backed British membership. Every part of the UK voted to stay in, except for the Shetlands and the Western Isles. It was the most full-throated endorsement of the European project the British have ever given. A jubilant editorial in the Daily Express proclaimed that Britain was now ‘decisively’ and ‘irrevocably’ European. ‘The most doubting and hesitant member of the Common Market’ had finally ‘shown that it means business’. By any measure, the Eurosceptic campaign had been horrifically outgunned. The pro-Europeans could call on all three main party leaders, almost all the most prominent politicians of the day, and all the great organs of civil society – the churches, the CBI, the National Farmers Union and the leading women’s organisations. The pro-European umbrella group, ‘Britain in Europe’, raised £2 million in donations – roughly the entire spend of the previous general election. The ‘No’ campaign raised just £8,000. All the major newspapers backed a Yes vote, including The Sun, The Express and The Daily Mail. The only journals that consistently backed withdrawal were The Spectator and the Communist Morning Star. To make matters worse, the No campaign was hopelessly divided. Tony Benn refused to appear with Enoch Powell. The leader of the Get Britain Out organisation, Christopher Frere-Smith, was at daggers drawn with the chairman of the national umbrella group, Neil Marten. In a campaign where moderate opinion would be decisive, it was not especially helpful that the National Front, Sinn Fein, the Reverend Ian Paisley and the Kremlin were all urging a No vote – and determined to extract as much publicity from the campaign as possible. Much has changed since the votes were announced. In 1975, it was the Conservative Party that was most enthusiastically pro-European. Ted Heath stumped the country, displaying a passion and charisma that had been entirely lacking during his premiership. Margaret Thatcher campaigned vigorously for the European cause, resplendent in a woolly jumper knitted from the flags of the European member states. Labour was predominantly Eurosceptic, while the trade union movement provided the backbone of the campaign to get Britain out.
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