A selection of those letters which have been published in the media
Kent Messenger - 12th April 2018
Your correspondent John Cobbett lists a number of problems connected to Brexit that may, or may not, arise in the future and then declares that no one voted for these, which is self evident. However what he fails to mention is that, until June 2016, the electorate did not have the opportunity to vote for, inter alia, the destruction of the British fishing fleets by the Common Fisheries Policy, higher food prices, thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy, the replacement of British Common Law by the Napoleonic code of Corpus Juris, and the transfer of executive power from their elected representatives in Westminster to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
Once they did have the chance the British people voted against all the aforementioned, opting instead for the return of control of our country to our own parliament, and for Britain to turn back to being an independent, sovereign nation. Perhaps Mr Cobbett should ask the Greek people whether they ever voted to see their nation virtually destroyed by the idiocies of the EU's common currency.
Mr Cobbett arrogantly demands that the clearly expressed will of the people be ignored which, if granted, would abandon the great opportunities we have within our grasp, as a free nation once again, to rebuild our position as a global trading nation, and would reduce us to the status of a vassal province of a single European state. Has he never heard of accepting a democratic decision?
Kent and Sussex Courier - 30th March 2018
Remainers, such as Richard Underhill, are attempting to use the current crisis with Russia as part of their campaign to reverse Brexit, by equating the EU with NATO, when, in reality, they are two utterly different organisations. The latter is a military alliance of independent nations, acting in mutual defence, whereas the former is a political project, aiming at submerging its constituent states in one undemocratic entity. We should receive support from all the European nations concerning Russian aggression, as is in their interests, and has nothing to do with the EU.
Mr Underhill mentions Clement Attlee but he is obviously unaware that the latter, being a true patriot, would have condemned Russia, but also totally rejected any British involvement with the European project, which he regarded as inimical to democracy.
When Mr Underhill claims that Brexiteers are not the only patriots he might care to reflect that, for every past generation, anyone who actively wished to transfer the executive power from our elected representatives in London, to unelected bureaucrats in a foreign capital, would have been regarded as anything but patriotic.
Daily Express - 23rd March 2018
To award the production of the new British passports to a foreign firm may be a minor matter, except to those workers who may lose their jobs as a result, but as a symbolic gesture it is an insult to all those who voted for Brexit.
The fact that so many of the elite cannot see that there are more important matters than money is one of the reasons that their beloved EU was rejected by the electorate.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 9th March 2018
Supporters of the EU were out in such force in the latest edition of the Courier that it would be impossible to answer in detail, without writing an essay, so I will keep it simple.
The issue of UK involvement with the European project is not, and never has been, about money or trade. It concerns the preservation of the democracy we have spent centuries evolving in the face of an organisation that was designed to be, and is, undemocratic, giving power to unelected functionaries, appointed by unrepresentative elites. It would be as if we allowed the permanent secretaries of the Civil Service to run the country without any accountability to an elected body.
If the Remainers, lacking any belief in their country, and driven by their psychological need to be told what to do by a supranational entity, succeed in brushing aside the wishes of the British people, as expressed in the referendum, then democracy in this country is dead.
I do not say this because of any hope of personal advancement, or as a result of ignorance, but by virtue of over 40 years working in Whitehall, and seeing just how far the undermining of our democracy has gone since we joined the EU. I love my country and the democracy that we have built.
Kent Messenger - 3rd March 2018
Although it appears that we may have been lucky this time, and that the gas supplies have been sufficient to cater for the needs of the population during this short cold snap, we were warned that they might not. This is a direct result of the authorities choosing to appease the fanatical green lobby, whose unproven theories about anthropological climate change have resulted in our coal industry being in the process of closing down, and the benefits of fracking being ignored.
This policy is rendered even more insane, given that nations such as China are increasing the use of fossil fuels at an annual rate which exceeds the entire amount used by the UK. It is all very well in indulging the consciences of these zealots when it does not seem to inconvenience us, but how many people will be prepared to freeze during a really hard winter so that the former can pretend that they are morally superior to the common herd.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 23rd February 2018
There are fundamental flaws in the arguments put forward by John Champneys against Brexit. Firstly he claims that we can improve the EU from within, but this has been shown to be impossible, as every time we have proposed changes we have been voted down by the other members, while the efforts of David Cameron in attempting to renegotiate membership were totally failed. Secondly Parliament agreed that the result of the EU referendum would be implemented, so it was not merely advisory, as Mr Champneys claims, and lastly a representative form of government requires that the representatives are acting in the interests of their electorate not, as is obvious today, in their own selfish interests.
Allies of Mr Champneys are claiming that the European Arrest Warrant must be retained after Brexit, yet this iniquitous device has already been used to transfer innocent people from the UK to foreign jurisdictions, based on nothing more than unsubstantiated accusations approved by courts that lack the safeguards of those in Britain. Every Briton is vulnerable to extradition, without British judicial oversight, to nations where the lack of habeas corpus could see them languish in jail for an indefinite time, a clear breach of the rights we fought so long to establish.
Contrary to the claims of Mr Champney democracy demands that the result of the referendum be implemented at once, and in full.
Catholic Times - 16th February 2018
Once again Christopher Graffius is viewing the European situation through rose tinted spectacles. No one, whether for or against Brexit, wants anything but friendship with our European neighbours, but this does not mean that we must take part in the building of a single Continental state, run by unelected bureaucrats, which is far more likely to result in conflict, ignoring as it does the legitimate concerns of the peoples involved that they retain democratic control of their future. Already the arrogant ambitions of the EU have generated conflict in the Balkans, and provoked Russia into taking action in the Ukraine.
Mr Graffius quotes a German as believing that, in time, their large immigrant communities will become fully integrated. However this ignores the reality that, while those from similar nations will do so, those with a very different cultural and religious background are likely to prove very resistant to being submerged within the host community.
I am afraid that there is far too much wishful thinking in the article by Mr Graffius and a considerable dearth of realism.
Times of Tunbridge Wells - 14th February 2018
The claim by Martin Brice that the EU is the richest free trade area in the world is factually incorrect, as it is in reality a customs union, not a free trade organisation. In the same way that Kent is in a customs union with, for instance, Somerset, but the county cannot conclude free trade agreements of its own with other countries, so the same applies to the UK while a member of the EU. As trade with the rest of the EU is set to fall precipitously over the next decades we shall be infinitely better off once we can make our own deals with the rest of the world.
Andrew Wilcox repeats the canard, often repeated by the members of the comfortable middle class, that EU migrants are more likely to work than the British population, ignoring the fact that too many greedy businesses merely wish to use these people to undercut the wages of indigenous workers, making it uneconomic for the latter to take these jobs, as they who need to live in a country with a higher cost of living than that of the countries from which the migrants are coming.
The ordinary workers of this country have been exploited by the love affair of the liberal elite with the EU, and Brexit will rebalance the economy in favour of the less well off.
Mature Times - 1st February 2018
In answer to your query as to on what one should spent the 39 billion pounds being offered by the government to the EU I would first say that no such offer should be made, as all the other major trading powers buy from and sell to the EU without the requirement to pay them for the privilege.
However, to address the specific question, I would spend half on improving the NHS, particularly aiming at reducing waiting times, and the rest on the armed forces as, no matter however successful one might be in providing decent social services, these would mean little if we were to fall victim to aggression in an increasingly dangerous world.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 9th February 2018
As usual John Champneys chooses to ignore democratic decisions when he dislikes them, and compounds this by talking his habitual nonsense about the realities involved. Does he think that the USA or China submits itself to the European Court in order to trade with the EU, while his dismissal of the growing economic power of the Commonwealth is ridiculous, given that we have strong historic links with these nations, not possessed by any other country. His reference to Nigel Farage rather assumes that all Brexiteers regard the latter as some sort of oracle when in fact, having worked alongside him in the early days of UKIP, I am aware that he has no more right to speak for us all than does any other individual.
Finally, to ignore the clearly expressed choice of the British people in a referendum, which the politicians agreed would be binding, would frankly seem to me to be a total betrayal of the democracy which we have spent centuries creating.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 26th January 2018
My wife and I recently saw the film Darkest Hour and I feel that it should be required viewing for the younger generation. It is well known that these days many people seek to reassess the reputation of Churchill in a negative manner, but no amount of revisionism can obscure the fact that, had Halifax rather than he, become PM in 1940, Britain would have concluded a shameful peace with Hitler, who would then have gone on, unhindered by British action, to conquer Russia and the Middle East. Armed with all the naval fleets and industrial might of Eurasia he would then have turned on the USA, and completed his conquest of the world.
There is no doubt that without the courageous sacrifice of the Russian people, and the might and power of the USA, we would not have been able to defeat the Nazis, but history should remember that, of the three nations, only Britain went to war in defence of others, rather than reacting to an attack upon ourselves, and that, like Horatius, had we not held the bridge at the critical time, all would have been lost.
In the current climate of political correctness it has become fashionable to decry so much of our past, but humanity owes Churchill, and indeed this country, an enormous debt, for otherwise whole races would have been exterminated and civilisation itself destroyed.
Catholic Times - 19th January 2018
Mr McKenna insults the President of the United States, ignoring the fact that have a friend in the White House, who expressly supports Britain, and who is doing no more than implementing the policies which resulted in his election, but these undemocratic forces refuse to accept democratic decisions. Those who claim to care for democracy should remember that President Trump did not come to power in a coup but as a result of the democratic choice of the American people. As a billionaire businessman President Trump may seem a strange champion for the ordinary people, but the utter selfishness of the liberal elite has proved their undoing, and we should join with him in a crusade to put the interests of the less fortunate within our societies first.
Many foolish people in this country seize every opportunity to denigrate Mr Trump and to criticise his policies, often by personal attacks on him, not their content. It is deplorable that now many are seeking to imply that there is a moral equivalence to the stances taken by President Trump and Kim Jong-un. The latter is the latest in a dynasty of dictators, who have held sway sway over an oppressed and brainwashed population, while the former is the freely elected leader of the greatest democracy in the world. Should this confrontation result in military conflict the fault will lie with North Korea, not the USA, and only those with an inbuilt prejudice against anything the latter stands for cannot understand that fact. The world owes much to the USA, which has so often defended freedom, and those who inveigh against her should consider that for many years she has been our greatest ally against those who wish to destroy us both.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 19th January 2018
Your correspondent Harry Elliott has misunderstood my letter suggesting a return to Imperial measurements, as I thought I made it clear that I was discussing weights and measures, not currency.
As far as the comments by Paul Rowlandson about change, and a second referendum, are concerned, the point is that nothing has so far altered, as we are still a member of the EU, and therefore the result of the 2016 vote has not yet been implemented. Any future referendum should only take place after we have been completely free for at least ten years, when the electorate could decide whether they wished the government of the time to apply to rejoin. I am absolutely confident that, by then, the benefits of the decision to leave would be so obvious that no such application would be approved by the voters.
The idea that that a second referendum should be held now, just because the Remainers are bad losers, is totally undemocratic, and is of course the means by which the Brussels bureaucrats have overridden the will of the people throughout Europe, demanding that voters think again if they fail to support the diktats of the EU establishment. The result in 2016 was clear and should be honoured without further delay.
Daily Mail - 17th January 2018
Those advocating a second EU referendum are deliberately ignoring the fact that nothing has so far altered, as we are still a member of the EU, and therefore the result of the 2016 vote has not yet been implemented. Any future referendum should only take place after we have been completely free for at least ten years, when the electorate could decide whether they wished the government of the time to apply to rejoin. I am absolutely confident that, by then, the benefits of the decision to leave would be so obvious that no such application would be approved by the voters.
The idea that that a second referendum should be held now, just because the Remainers are bad losers, is totally undemocratic, and is of course the means by which the Brussels bureaucrats have overridden the will of the people throughout Europe, demanding that voters think again if they fail to support the diktats of the EU establishment. The result in 2016 was clear and should be honoured without further delay.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 12th January 2018
Now that we have thankfully decided to leave the European Union it is time we turned our attention to making the most of our strengths, none more important than our relations with the Commonwealth. The latter is on track to become a truly major economic force in the next few decades, as, for example, India is expected to become the largest country by population by the middle of the century, and with the potential to rival China in the economic sphere. For historical reasons we have much more in common with the members of the Commonwealth than we ever did with the continental Europeans, and not only because some of the most important, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand share our language. They, and many others, also have legal systems derived from ours, and their outlook on a great number of issues is similar to that of the UK. We have large numbers of citizens who have made their home here from Commonwealth nations, and perhaps we might even soon have a Prime Minister from one of these minorities, such as Priti Patel, whose patriotism and belief in this country outshines that of many British politicians.
If we develop these growing markets, and also work closely with our cousins in the USA, the future can indeed be bright for us as a nation orientated globally, not confined to the shrinking economic bloc of the EU.
Kent Messenger - 11th January 2018
Your correspondent John Cobbett appears to criticise Brexit on the basis that blue passports appear to be the only popular victory so far. It is the latter qualifier that is important, as the true victories are yet to come, once the die hard Remainers have been defeated, and we have truly left the EU. Not only will, inter alia, the billions we pay in membership fees, and the costs involved in enforcing ridiculous regulations dreamed up by Brussels bureaucrats, be available to spend on the matters he mentions, such as the NHS, but we will also restore control of our country to our own elected representatives.
Removing the dead hand of the European Commission from our affairs will make any transitional difficulties seem very minor, as we shall benefit for ever from regaining our democracy and freedom.
The Tablet - 7th January 2018
In his recent article about the EU referendum Clifford Longley is mistaken on all counts.
Firstly I, and those who like me voted to leave the EU, were not motived by any animus against our fellow Europeans, nor were we influenced by any efforts the Russians may, or may not have made in relation to the vote. Those who wish to be part of the EU believe, mistakenly, that we benefit economically from doing so, while we are concerned about the less tangible but immensely more valuable matters of democracy and the right to govern ourselves. Physical nourishment is not sufficient for a healthy life, as man also has spiritual needs, and we also have the need for freedom and the right to follow our own destiny. Clearly those whose main priority is short term financial gain will never find common ground with those who value other qualities more highly. The irony in all of this is that the Remainers are wrong in thinking that we must sacrifice our economic prospects in order to leave the EU as, in reality, we shall become more prosperous once we are free to follow our own path. It is bad enough to throw away one's freedom for a perceived financial advantage but even worse if one's grounds for doing so are fallacious.
Mr Longley is also wrong about the issue of parliamentary sovereignty. The sad truth is that the professional politicians can no more be trusted to vote to implement Brexit than turkeys could be expected to vote for Christmas. If we free ourselves from the EU then they will no longer be able to look forward to the culmination of their careers being a very well paid sinecure in the European parliament, or its overweening bureaucracy, while, in their time as MPs, they would not be able to hide behind the excuse that they cannot do what their constituents wish, as the executive competence has passed to Brussels. As far as the Lords are concerned, despite the presence of some doughty fighters for British independence, such as Lord Stoddart of Swindon, too many are the relics of the era of Heath and Wilson, whose unwavering support for Brussels eclipses any consideration of the interests, or the wishes of the British people.
The attitude being taken by many parliamentarians must concern all who believe in democracy. Over recent decades we have seen the creation of what amounts to a modern version of the Roman Republic's cursus honorum, where members of the elite moved up the ladder of political power, from Quaestor to Consul, a system which endured until undermined by the machinations of Marius and Sulla, thus paving the way for the Caesars. Now we see a similar oligarchy in Westminster where so many in parliament move from student politics to become political assistants, then political advisors, before receiving their reward as MPs or MEPs, without ever working in the real world inhabited by those they claim to represent. In this they have much more in common with their fellow continental politicians than they do with the ordinary British voter.
In truth we face the uncomfortable fact that the clearly expressed desire of the people may yet be negated by the manoeuvrings of those supposedly representing them, but who will put their self interest first. This could lead to a constitutional crisis and it is clear that the battle is far from over. This fight is not about economics but relates to greater aspirations for freedom and democracy.
Kent Messenger - 5th January 2018
As your columnist Ed McConnell find Brexit so boring one can only assume that, had he been around in the 1930s, he would have found the debate on rearmament equally uninteresting, despite the fact that it concerned the survival of the country.
Can he not see that the whole future of the nation depends on the result of Brexit, as either we once more become an independent, self governing democracy, or we accept relegation to the level of a province in a German dominated single European state. There is nothing boring about such a choice.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 5th January 2018
John Hurst may hope that the UK will stay within a quasi single market and customs union, but of course that is not what the people voted for in the referendum. The reality is that we can trade with the EU on precisely the same terms as do the USA, Russia and China, while paying them nothing for the privilege. It is only the Remainers such as Mr Hurst who wish to pay them as much as a brass farthing.
As far as Richard Landholt's poll figures are concerned has he already forgotten that the pollsters were projecting a win for the Remain campaign right up until the real vote, when the people showed just what they thought of his beloved EU. It is past time that he, and those that think like him, accepted that they lost, and join the rest of us in making a success of our freedom from this protectionist and declining body.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 5th January 2018
While it is excellent news that, following Brexit, we are to receive back our blue UK passports, the effect is largely symbolic, and another change which would certainly be popular would be the restoration of Imperial measurements. It may be that scientists and engineers would need to continue with metric measurements, but there is absolutely no reason why the system should be used in day to day life. It is worth noting that our greatest ally, the USA, has not adopted metric measurements, and has no intention of doing so.
The metric system was originally enforced by Napoleon but it is reputed that he personally did not favour doing so, because he considered it largely disconnected from everyday experience. While we can easily relate measurements such as a foot or inch to the real world the metre, and its subdivisions, are soulless concepts.
Some complain that there would be problems, as youngsters have been brought up on the metric system, and would not understand the Imperial, but of course the same argument applied in reverse, when the UK government tried to abolish the latter. Contrary to the beliefs of so called progressives what can be changed can also be changed back.
While this will necessitate those arrogant public and private bodies, who decided to install illegal signs in metres and kilometres, to replace them, that is a small price to pay, and the overall change will be a fine memorial to those who fought for many years against local councils who prosecuted street traders for daring to offer the public what they wanted, not what the bureaucrats demanded.
Daily Telegraph - 1st January 2018
The arrogance of Lord Adonis is unbounded, referring to the democratic will of the British people as a spasm, while his ignorance is unlimited, failing to recognize that there are probably more on the left than the right of the political spectrum who loathe the EU, and whose support won the referendum for the Leave campaign. This conceited peer should be told, as Clement Attlee said to Harold Laski, a period of silence on your part would be welcome.
Kent Messenger - 28th December 2017
Readers should not allow the busy run-up to Christmas to distract them from the political maelstrom into which this country may plunge at any moment. The current situation in the Conservative party resembles that when Sir Robert Peel enacted the repeal of the Corn Laws, not because Mrs May is motivated by any great principle, as was Peel, but rather because her weak and appeasing stance will inevitably result in her own party being justifiably being eclipsed for many years, as the electorate will see that it lacks the will to even conserve our democracy by defying the EU.
Catholic Times - 15th December 2017
While I do not believe that religious leaders should divorce themselves from politics I feel that the remarks by Cardinal Canizares concerning Catalonian independence are ill judged.
When a majority of a people with an historically distinct identity express the democratic wish to become an independent state then they should be permitted to do so. While I doubt very much that the people of Scotland would benefit by becoming a separate nation I would never say that they should not be permitted to do so, and surely no one would claim that the people of Eire should have been prevented from becoming independent of the UK.
Great blame must attach to the government of Spain for using unnecessary force to stop the referendum in Catalonia, as, had they merely let it go ahead, then the chances are that the result would not have been a majority for independence, something which looks far more likely now.
It is not good enough to say that the national law prevent referenda, as not all laws are of themselves worthy of being observed, if they run counter to true democracy. After all the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany were the law of the land, but no decent person could be expected to obey them.
In his comments, and in particular those directed at the Bishop of Solsona, the Cardinal puts himself firmly on the side of those, such as the unelected bureaucratic rulers of the EU, who attach greater importance to maintaining the status quo, rather than recognizing the legitimate desire of peoples to take control of their own affairs.
London Evening Standard - 5th December 2017
While the people of Eire have a valid interest in the border with Northern Island it would not be democratic for the concerns of a foreign country with a population of less than five million to override the clearly expressed choice of the UK, a nation of over sixty million. Whatever solution is arrived at it must not include the latter remaining within the customs union or the single market.
Daily Telegraph - 21st November 2017
At a time when we need extra funding for such vital causes as the NHS, and a massive increase in house building, many of our politicians appears willing to pay the EU tens of billions of pounds, merely in order to obtain trading rights which nations such as the USA and China enjoy without charge.
The Telegraph has made clear the reasons for these extortionate demands, highlighting warnings that areas such as Andalucia in Spain, Sardinia in Italy and the Ardennes in Belgium will lose funding for projects once the British contributions cease. The question must be why on earth should our people ever have been obliged to suffer deficiencies in our hospitals etc. in order to finance such matters.
Our politicians must not be allowed to pay the bribes demanded by Brussels.
Catholic Times - 3rd November 2017
I always used to wonder why civil wars seemed to arose so much more passion than wars between states but after 16 months since the EU referendum I can now understand. You can only call decent, law abiding fellow citizens, who are concerned for the survival of their democracy, xenophobes, racists, morons or gullible fools so many times before provoking even the normally stoic British into feeling great resentment, or even intense dislike. If those who supported Remain should succeed in overturning the decision taken last year, do they really think that they can just expect the majority to tamely accede to their demands? The potential for a massive dislocation of our society grows every day as democracy itself is undermined by the selfish actions of those who refuse to accept the clear result of a democratic vote.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 27th October 2017
During the Second World War my parents suffered the destruction of their house in the Blitz, and lost members of their family on active duty, yet, along with the vast majority of the British people, they remained resolute and determined in the face of the German war machine, eventually seeing victory won. Now we are being treated to the nauseating spectacle of our political class begging unelected Brussels bureaucrats, operating as agents of Berlin, for crumbs from their table. In doing so they are treating with contempt the democratic will of seventeen million Britons, and exposing this country to a national humiliation, merely in order that they might protect their own self interest.
Watching this ongoing exhibition of pusillanimous selfishness I feel physically sick. If the British people are really so sunk in apathy that they will allow this betrayal by the politicians when, to quote George Orwell, they could shake them off like a horse shakes off flies, then the country into which I was born, and loved all my life, is truly dead. It begs the question as to why we went to war in 1914 to prevent German hegemony in Europe, if we are now prepared tamely to bow the knee to Berlin.
Kent on Sunday - 22nd October 2017
A recent letter from one of your correspondents concerning the EU is so full of factual errors that it is unworthy of a response, but he clearly possesses all the arrogance of those on the Remain side. For many years those who oppose EU membership have have been described as xenophobes and racists by the Europhiles, and now they have added morons, or gullible fools, to the list, while too many of us have treated Remainers as misguided, but nevertheless decent people basically concerned with the future of the country. From now on we must describe them, and treat them, as either fools or knaves. The former are idiots, who refuse to recognize the truth about the EU, and swallow whole the propaganda pumped out by the BBC, and much of the media. They include all those business people, who completely fail to understand that the issue is not one of their profits, but of the survival of our democracy. The knaves, who know what is involved, yet still support it, are far worse. Those who genuinely wish to hand control of this country to an alien bureaucracy based in Brussels, are nothing less than agents of a foreign power.
As far as the continentals are concerned, while we seek friendship with the peoples, those who control the EU, in particular the European Commission, are not what our politicians call them, friends or partners, but opponents and indeed adversaries. They have treated the people of the this county as fools, and seek to humble the nation to which most of them owe the freedom they have enjoyed since the defeat of the totalitarians. Our useless political class may desire to crawl to them but, by doing so, they bring shame on us all, and should be rejected as unworthy to represent the British people.
If Brexit is reversed then democracy in this country no longer has any meaning. We shall be trapped in the EU until its internal contradictions destroy it, but that could take years, and our people will suffer under a foul dictatorship until then. The message must be Go now! and the enemies of democracy, both in parliament and outside, must be rejected by all decent people.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 20th October 2017
No nation is perfect but I believe that Britain to be one of the finest, and it is a country to whom the peoples of Europe owe a great debt, for, if it were not for our steadfastness in the 1940s, they would have been left to the tender mercies of the Nazis for generations. As far as the continentals are concerned, while we seek friendship with the peoples, the politicians have treated the people of the this county as fools, and seek to humble our nation. Our political class may desire to crawl to them but, by doing so, they bring shame on us all, and should be rejected as unworthy to represent the British people
Clearly there is no point in continuing to try and reason with the supporters of the Remain side in the EU referendum, as there are none so blind as those who will not see. However there are options open to the seventeen million who voted to leave the EU, and who are now being ignored. They should boycott all those businesses and publications which are run by those who support the EU, and make known that they are taking such action. While it may not always be possible we should factor in the Brexit dimension so that, for instance, we favour products of companies whose owners have declared for Brexit, drink in a public house chain whose CEO is a convinced opponent of the EU, choose an airline, and broadband supplier, not owned by a declared supporter of Brussels, buy goods from outside the EU, rather than from within, and consider taking foreign holidays in Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, the USA, etc, in preference to, in particular, Germany. The economic impact would make the EU, and their allies in the UK, squeal, and be not so gung-ho for bowing the knee to Brussels.
The ongoing campaign by the political establishment to undermine the will of the people means that we have reached a crisis for our democracy, and those very people should now make clear that they will not stand for such a betrayal.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 13th October 2017
The debacle of the Conservative party conference shows yet again that their leaders intend, as they always have, to put the narrow interests of their party before those of the country. The same sort of people who cheered Neville Chamberlain and his piece of paper, and voted with Edward Heath to declare themselves the party of Europe, are determined to negate the result of the EU referendum, in order that their friends in big business and the banks continue to benefit at the expense of the rest of the British people.
Now that Jeremy Corbyn has turned his back on his lifelong opposition to EU membership, and yielded to the Blairites in his party, it is past time for the electorate to realise that they are being taken for fools, and treated with contempt, by the political establishment. Only by pressurising these self interested politicians can we hope to achieve the sort of free and prosperous future that beckons outside the EU. The country has a once in a lifetime opportunity to reassert its place as a leader among the nations, which will be lost forever if we allow ourselves, as is desired by the supporters of the Remain campaign, to once again tamely submit to the diktats of Brussels bureaucrats.
Times of Tunbridge Wells - 20th September 2017
I assume that if the favourite football team of Ray Parkes lost in the FA Cup final he would demand that it be replayed until a different result was achieved. The Remain campaign comprehensively lost the referendum but, rather than accepting the outcome, demands that it be rerun until their side wins. This is of course the way in which the EU operates, having forced even the French to vote again over the Maastricht treaty, ensuring that they complied with the wishes of the Brussels bureaucrats.
As far as his statement about MPs is concerned, the fact is that we are leaving the EU, in accordance with the wishes of the people, so it is up to all our legislators to work towards that end, not to try to place their personal views above those of the electorate.
Daily Express - 15th September 2017
The state of the union speech by Jean-Claude Juncker vindicates all the warnings given by opponents of the European project over the imperial ambitions of the latter to create a single European state.
At the time of the 1975 referendum Enoch Powell and Tony Benn were derided for pointing out the ultimate aim was a United States of Europe, but now this is clear to all.
The implementation of a full Brexit is the only way to prevent the UK becoming merely a province in an European empire.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 8th September 2017
The short letters from Richard Landolt and R J Chellel manages to brilliantly encapsulate all the arrogance, ignorance and lack of self awareness that one expects of those who refuse to accept democratic decisions. As far as the latter correspondent is concerned I can assure him that, although once a subscriber to Private Eye, I ceased to be one when it became clear that the arrogant adolescents who run that magazine, despite years of pointing out all the irredeemable faults of the EU, have done nothing but belittle supporters of Brexit since the referendum. In addition, with reference to his implication that I write as a kind of Sir Herbert Gusset, he clearly does not comprehend that the most consistent and principled opponents of EU membership have always been on the left, not the right.
Mr Landolt claims that I use bluster and assertion, rather than argument and fact, are so blatantly at odds with the reality that they are risible. I have pointed out time and again that the EU is corrupt, as evidenced by its failure to have its accounts certified by its own accountants year after year, that is undemocratic, not merely because its architects Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman explicitly stated that it must be so, to prevent popular opinion impeding its progress, but because its structure is designed in such as way that the unelected bureaucrats of the European Commission are its true rulers, the European Parliament being nothing more than a well paid talking shop, whose members may not introduce primary legislation, can only reject proposals from the Commission in their entirety, unable to amend them, and may only speak on any subject for ninety seconds from the floor. That it is dysfunctional can be seen from the realities of the migrant crisis, caused by its insane open borders policy, and by its despicable treatment of the Greek people, reduced to penury on the orders of Germany. Enough facts for you Mr Landolt?
My opponents seem to find my letters boring so I can only suggest that they do not read them, and continue to live in their own Panglossian little world, where all is for the best in this best of possible worlds, provided of course that the European Commission says it is.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 1st September 2017
John Smallcombe asks about the position of supporters of Brexit regarding job losses attributed to our victory in the referendum. As a worker and lifelong trade unionist I naturally sympathize with those who have lost their jobs at Southern Salads, but one should remember that, well before June 2016, most financial analysts were constantly pointing out that the pound was grossly overvalued, and many companies with significant exposure to the exchange rate were taking steps to mitigate the inevitable correction. Those that did not were therefore vulnerable, whatever the result of the referendum, and that they should then blame the outcome of their negligence on Brexit is unacceptable.
More strategically, any major change, such as leaving the EU after forty years, would be bound to have some negative effects but, as Churchill said, weighty matters must be judged as a whole, and already we can see that large parts of British manufacturing are benefiting from the weaker pound, as is our tourist industry. When one adds to that the potential for much larger economic gains as we turn back to a global trading role, plus the fact that we are regaining the right to control our own affairs, without interference from Brussels, one can see that overall the country will be much better off as a sovereign nation once again. Those who attempt to claim that supporting Remain would have protected jobs are being disingenuous, as large numbers of workers from EU countries clearly reduces employment opportunities for the British people, and only by leaving the organisation can we stop this happening.
I have no doubt that in ten years time people will wonder why we ever hesitated in breaking free of the corrupt, dysfunctional and undemocratic European Union.
As far as the accusation that I am a far right supporter made by N Howe is concerned this is completely at odds with the facts. I was chairman of my union branch for twenty years, supported the Labour party until it was captured by those such as Blair, and share my anti EU position with true democratic socialists such as Labour representatives Kate Hoey MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP and Gisela Stuart (for twenty years Labour MP in Birmingham).
Daily Telegraph - 1st September 2017
Supporters of the Remain campaign who claim that leaving the EU is too difficult, or even impossible, are talking nonsense. Our involvement in the European project was an aberration, running counter to hundreds of years of British history, and it was inevitable that we would eventually recognize that fact and leave. For the sake of everyone the sooner the better.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 25th August 2017
In his criticism of me Geoff Marshall resorts to that most traditional form, play the man and not the ball, or, as a man of his obvious erudition would probably prefer to label it, an ad hominem attack.
I left my grammar school at the age of sixteen in order to join the work force so my letters may not meet the high standards expected by Mr Marshall, but I suspect that this would be of little concern to him, were he to agree with the sentiments expressed therein. He carefully avoids the issues about which I write, preferring to make, in his sarcastic, condescending and pompous way, assertions about the style in which I address them.
As the matter upon which I write most often is the need to break free of the EU I have no doubt that Mr Marshall is a supporter of the Remain side, yet he has the arrogance to accuse me of being a reactionary. In reality those of his persuasion have dominated the political life of this country for decades, and they are now reeling from finding that they have failed to convince the British people of the correctness of their position. In June 2016, in one of the greatest test of democratic opinion ever attempted in the UK, those supporting leaving the EU won a convincing victory but the reactionaries of the other side refuse to recognize this fact. It is radicals such as myself who have always refused to be complacent in the face of the encroaching bureaucratic dictatorship of Brussels, and it is no surprise that we find it necessary to repeat our arguments ad nauseam, for to do otherwise would leave the field open for those who prefer to make constant unsubstantiated and negative assertions about Brexit, usually, as with Mr Marshall, couched in an uncompromising and nasty manner.
Until the Thought Police silence us those who disagree with the boringly repetitive Remainers will continue to respond to their distortions of the truth. That, Mr Marshall, is how a democracy should work.
Catholic Times - 18th August 2017
Christopher Graffius and Father Marsden both seek to continue the discredited Project Fear, which so spectacularly failed at the time of the EU referendum. It is far more likely that the UK, and all of the British people, will actually benefit once we are free of the dead hand of the corrupt and incompetent Brussels bureaucracy, who have only this week been exposed as being as expert at greedily exploiting their expenses, as were so many of our own MPs a few years ago. Even were there to be a period of slower growth while the economy adapted to the new situation this would undoubtedly be worthwhile. In fact, to regain control over our own affairs, to save our democracy from bureaucratic dictatorship, to put an end to interference by foreign judges, and to have the freedom to trade globally would make any temporary monetary cost a bargain.
At least Mr Graffius has the honesty to admit that the decision to leave was not primarily motivated by economic reasons, but Father Marsden, in his comment about right wing delusions, shows that he completely fails to comprehend that opposition to membership of the EU has always been strongest on the left of the political spectrum, as is evidenced by the oft stated opinions of, among others, giants such as Attlee, Gaitskill, Tony Benn and Michael Foot and, more recently, Labour MPs such as Kate Hoey, Gisela Stuart and Kelvin Hopkins.
It is time that those who lost the referendum stopped opposing the will of the people and joined the national effort to make Brexit a resounding success.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 4th August 2017
As the date for our departure from the EU draws ever nearer the Remainers are becoming more and more hysterical in their efforts to convince us that we should reverse the decision taken at the referendum. Having comprehensively failed to make our flesh creep, like the fat boy in Pickwick Papers, with Project Fear they seem to have at least learned the lesson that the British people are concerned about matters other than the purely financial, so the warnings now emanating from the pro EU camp are taking a different tack. First they tell us that cancer patients will suffer because of our withdrawal from Euratom, despite it being pointed out that leaving the EU will not affect this one whit, as Switzerland is an associated member, without being a member of the EU. Now we have a scare story about chlorinated chicken, trumpeted by those such as the BBC, which seeks to derail a major post Brexit trade treaty between the two most important English speaking democracies, although American consumers have not suffered because of the practice, and it is merely an insignificant detail in a much greater discussion.
The Remainers in the Conservative party think they are winning, thanks to those such as Philip Hammond trying to undermine Brexit, but they should beware. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the long held Euroscepticism of Jeremy Corbyn is coming to the fore and, if he can neutralise the Blairites, and return Labour to the position which the party took towards the European project under great leaders such as Attlee and Gaitskill, who rejected British involvement entirely, he will benefit hugely. The Conservatives will find that attracting the votes of overpaid CEOs of multinational companies and of the denizens of the liberal enclaves of north London, will be insignificant compared to the votes going to those who promise to honour the will of the people expressed in the referendum.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 28th July 2017
The suggestion by Paul Rowlandson that the electorate might change their mind about Brexit is clearly totally impracticable, as we cannot keep leaving and rejoining the EU, even if the other members were willing to let us. The truth is that the political class of the 1970s, particularly Heath and Wilson, deliberately misled the people as to the ultimate aim of the European project to create a single state, pretending that it was just a trading arrangement, and on that basis membership was accepted by the average person. Since then we have had over forty years experience of the organisation, during which time we have seen it establish its own flag, anthem and parliament, while making it clear that the legal system and the defence forces will also be federalised. The decision last year was not taken on a whim, but because the scales have fallen from the eyes of the British people and they do not want to be part of such a federal state. That we have also been used as a milch cow by Brussels, billions of pounds of our taxes going towards supporting most of the rest of Europe, is yet another reason we have had enough.
Now that the ambitions of the Eurocrats are clear to all but the most blinkered, the choice of leaving is one which will not be reversed to satisfy the liberal elite, unless democracy no longer has meaning in this country.
Catholic Times - 28th July 2017
In common with other supporters of EU membership Christopher Graffius makes much of the legislative problems associated with Brexit. Although what he details is indeed complex there are two obvious points to be made.
Firstly those of us who have opposed the EU for decades always made clear that, in the event we were in a position to do so, we would leave immediately, allowing any negotiations to take place later, between an independent and sovereign UK and the EU, not, as is the case at the moment, between the EU and a subservient province. The blame for the latter situation rests with our political class, who do not want to leave, and are deliberately obstructing the process. Article 50 was always intended as a blocking mechanism to prevent states leaving, not as an aid to doing so.
Secondly, and more importantly, the issue is essentially not one for lawyers or accountants but concerns democracy. The truth is that the political class of the 1970s, particularly Heath and Wilson, deliberately misled the people as to the ultimate aim of the European project to create a single state, pretending that it was just a trading arrangement, and on that basis membership was accepted by the average person. Since then we have had over forty years experience of the organisation, during which time we have seen it establish its own flag, anthem and parliament, while making it clear that the legal system and the defence forces will also be federalised. The decision last year was not taken on a whim, but because the scales have fallen from the eyes of the British people and they do not want to be part of such a federal state. That we have also been used as a milch cow by Brussels, billions of pounds of our taxes going towards supporting most of the rest of Europe, is yet another reason we have had enough.
Now that the ambitions of the Eurocrats are clear to all but the most blinkered, the choice of leaving is one which will not be reversed because it may be a little difficult in the short term, unless democracy no longer has meaning in this country.
Kent on Sunday - 23rd July 2017
In his recent letter Ray Duff shows once again how ignorant he is of the realities of the world. To begin with the Trident submarines are not rendered redundant by drone technology and, if we were to abjure nuclear weapons, Mr Duff would find out what it means to live in a dangerous world where rogue states could blackmail us with their own H bombs, as we would have nothing to deter them. Perhaps Mr Duff would then rely on the goodwill of Donald Trump, whom he so denigrates, to come to our aid.
As far as Brexit is concerned it becomes more obvious by the day that this is very much a class issue. Those of us from the working class, particularly lifelong trade unionists such as myself, know how employers have used the EU freedom of movement to undercut the wages of our own people, while the complacent, smug middle class only care about retaining their cheap nannies and plumbers, being unconcerned about the effects of their selfishness on their less well off compatriots.
It is a disgrace that so many Labour MPs are also prepared to support the EU, as the effect of its policies on the labour market is that employees being forced to work zero hours contacts, youngsters to accept unpaid internships, if they wish to gain a foothold in the labour market, and the virtual extirpation of decent career structures, where loyalty and experience are valued and rewarded.
No one who claims to represent the needs of workers should be found on the side of the Remainers, but of course many such as Mr Duff have no understanding of what is really involved.
Kent and Sussex Courier - 21st July 2017
As the Conservative party represents the interests of big business it is not surprising that a group of their MPs are conspiring to frustrate the will of the people concerning leaving the EU, due to the iniquitous provision for freedom of movement meaning that employers can use cheaper foreign labour from countries with a much lower standard of living, thus undercutting the wages of ordinary British people. What is truly regrettable is that so many Labour MPs are also prepared to support their actions, as the policy leads to employees being forced to work zero hours contacts, youngsters to accept unpaid internships, if they wish to gain a foothold in the labour market, and the virtual extirpation of decent career structures, where loyalty and experience are valued and rewarded.
No one who claims to represent the needs of workers should be found on the side of the Remainers, as the latter only care about retaining their cheap nannies and plumbers, being unconcerned about the effects of their selfishness on their less well off compatriots.
Daily Telegraph - 18th July 2017
If this country is still a democracy then the clearly expressed wishes of over seventeen million voters should take precedence over the personal prejudices of one man, even if he is the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Go to Head of Page