Some of you have been aware that I had an accident and was therefore off work, i.e. off line. I’m slowly getting back, but during my absence, the ‘Letters’ got somewhat short shrift. I apologies for that, and I apologise for the long delay in publishing your letters. Here, for the weekend, are two letters which, due to their length, were not published earlier. The first comes from our contributor Ceri Jayes:
Since the democratic vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016 those wishing to remain have worked tirelessly to undermine the majority decision.
To recap, the Government’s pamphlet posted to every UK household clearly stated that voting to leave meant leaving the single market and the Customs Union. It also stated that this was a once in a generation vote and that the Government would implement the vote of the people. Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords voted for holding a referendum and both voted for the text on the Referendum ballot. They knew and we knew what the vote implied.
The Remainers plans are disguised by economic arguments. This includes our Remain voting Totnes constituency MP, Sarah Wollaston, who wants to stay in the Customs Union and tweeted that she … ’does not want to vote to make my constituents poorer and to prevent businesses being able to trade as quickly and smoothly with their biggest market’.
Well that doesn’t stack up. She voted in 2011 to make 4,640 women and 2,400 men in her constituency some £150 per week poorer when she voted to raise the state pension age from 65 to 66, and the sugar tax she introduced last month has made most families poorer.
What of her other concerns? Mexico has a free trade agreement with the EU without having to be in the Single Market and Customs Union and without agreeing to free movement of people. The Isle of Man, which is not a member of the EU, trades tariff free and has a work permit system. Our colonies managed very well when given their independence. Of course no one would expect the transition to be totally smooth after membership of the EU for over 40 years but the regaining of our independence and our ability to strike our own trade deals throughout the world would more than compensate for that. There would be a period of transition with some not benefitting initially but this is a decision for the long term and ultimately would be of benefit to all.
Perhaps Dr Wollaston’s timidity is explained by Milton Friedman’s statement in ‘Capitalism and Freedom’, that underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. That must be why Dr Wollaston wants the UK to be shackled to the corpse of the EU even though it is a diminishing export market in percentage terms for our country having dropped 14% in 14 years. On a global scale the EU’s share of the world’s GDP has dropped from 31.6% in 1980 to 22% in 2016. Many of those of us who voted for independence see the EU as a failing project – a 1970’s solution to 1950’s problems.
Totnes constituency has very few businesses that export or deal with the EU market however all must obey the EU rules. The most beneficial impact that an MP could make for this constituency is to ensure prosperity in the rest of the country which would lead to more money being spent in the South West by holiday makers for example, and of course supporting the fishing industry and the coastal communities by pushing for our country to be out of the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy on 29 March 2019.
Sarah, where do your loyalties lie – to your Totnes constituents or to Brussels?
Respectfully, Ceri Jayes, Chairman, Totnes Branch UKIP
The second letter comes from our reader Jim Hammond. Disregard the dates – Jim’s arguments are as valid today as they were ten days ago:
Many will have seen Gerard on the Robert Peston show on ITV and The Daily Politics show on BBC and also his email today (2 May 2018). Gerard’s performance was superb in both the TV interviews, he did not shy away from directly answering any questions put to him and answered them very well, although as he pointed out, he wished to talk about UKIP,the elections and Brexit.
Debbie Le May in her News Review in UKIP Daily 2 May 2018 published the following from the Guardian:
Ukip’s new leader, Gerard Batten, has reiterated his intention to move the party towards the hard right by urging people to read the Qur’an so they can “educate” themselves about the threat posed by Islam. Batten, who took over in February after the removal of Henry Bolton, repeated his belief that Islam is inherently antisemitic and the Labour party is deliberately tolerant of the prejudice in order to attract Muslim votes. “I draw attention to the problems that the Islamic ideology brings to our country, and I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do,” he told BBC Two’s Daily Politics. Batten has long held such views personally, describing Islam as a “death cult”. However, his espousal of such views as Ukip leader marks a significant change for a party that has traditionally made a point of opposing far-right infiltration.”
This article deserves some analysis in order to show the lack of reasoning and logic behind it.
Of course at no time did Gerard say that it was his intention to to move the party in any direction whatsoever, never mind to the hard right. This is a fabrication by the Guardian and shows that it is more a propaganda rag than a serious newspaper, and merely shows their bias. But these words deserve further examination by asking the question. What part of what is said above leads to the hard right – “urging people to read the Koran”, “education” or “the threat posed by Islam”?
If reading the Koran (and presumably understanding it) leads to the hard right, that means that all Ayatollahs, Sheiks, Imams, and Islamic Jurists and Scholars etc are hard right and the Guardian should be agreeing with Gerard about the dangers posed. Further, as we are continually told that Islam is one of the Abrahamic religions, then by analogy, reading the Bible and the Torah also leads to the hard right, so Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and a host of others are heading up hard right organisations.
Maybe it’s “education” that leads down this path. If so our nurseries, primary and secondary schools are hotbeds of hard right radicalisation and should be shut down, and reading bedtime stories should be outlawed. There is some truth in this as it applies to our Universities although no doubt they would argue that it is not hard right, but to many of us, that is exactly what it is.
Maybe it’s “the threat posed by Islam”, and here many of us would agree in that Islam is and has been much more fascist and destructive than any other ideology in history, be it hard right or hard left, although these terms mean little nowadays. In which case we should thank the Guardian for bringing it to our attention, we already knew, but it’s good to know that you are on our side, and will help us to “oppose far-right infiltration”.
Of course there is another option- really poor journalism.
Take your pick.
Respectfully, Jim Hammond