Why a hero of mine has got it so wrong on the EU

Dear Mike

 

I grew up listening to your anecdotes and songs as a youngster whose family on his father’s side were from the North West of England – I still have some of your vinyl here and ‘Comrade Olga’ continues to raise a smile!

You have my agreement in full on Theresa May’s ‘Brexit Deal’ – it is the worst of all worlds.

I heard your heartfelt plea on James O’Brien’s show on LBC and whilst I agree with the sentiment, I can’t agree with the content.

My mother’s side of the family have six generations in England after fleeing the Irish potato famine and my Grandmother on my father’s side was from Waterford – they didn’t need EU freedom of movement to come to England and contribute.

The Poles were a massive help to us in WW2, driven by the conquest of their country and their huge patriotism in trying to get it back – I have a friend who is a second generation Pole whose grandfather fought with 303 Squadron at RAF Northolt locally and then settled after the war and who fully supports Brexit. I have also met skilled Poles who came in the first wave of migration after the accession who have since seen their dreams of building a life here smashed as the big corporations have driven their wages down through competition pushed by uncontrolled migration and EU rules that have allowed less able people to challenge them for their jobs. I still vividly remember knocking on the door of one in Thurrock who had obtained a mortgage, settled with his wife and had a child who then saw his wages eroded to the extent that they had to take in a lodger to keep up the payments – a man who wanted to embrace our culture and community but saw his lifestyle destroyed by those who want to come here for a few years, earn money and then go back to their home countries without putting in to either ours or their own country’s economy to support their fellow citizens.

With regards to living, working and settling in mainland Europe this happened before the creation of the EU. I have British friends on the continent and European friends here whose residency predates 1973, including a particularly feisty French lady called Armelle who married a war hero (Who was half British/Half French but took UK citizenship to fight in the war) who is massively active on local issues and is an ardent Brexiteer.

The van going around telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home’ was, I agree, pathetic – if you are illegal, would you listen to it? What message did that also send out to those here legally who help to contribute to our society?

The treatment of the Windrush Generation was a national disgrace, but at least the Tories apologised for it – it was the previous Labour government who issued the instruction to destroy the documents that proved their right to be here and have since disgracefully used it to score political points rather than engaging in sorting out the mess they caused.

This must be sorted as a matter of priority.

 

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A challenge to James O’Brien

Hiding behind his fader and famous for talking over people he disagrees with and deflecting conversations, James O’Brien hosts his own show on LBC between 10am-1pm on weekdays.

But would O’Brien be as effective in a neutral environment with a public debate and chairman to officiate? My friend ,Gerald Gravett, has issued the following challenge –

 

To

Mr James O’Brien.

LBC Radio

 

Dear James,

 

I am a regular listener to your radio programme. I listen as I like to keep an open mind.

 

May I congratulate you on the preparation and construction of your arguments. You clearly select angles which brilliantly favour your stance. Your weakness seems to me to be that whether you are right or wrong, you alienate many people by verbally denigrating and abusing those who disagree with you. You surely need to rely on strong arguments supporting your contention – which you do really well – but do rather less shouting at opposing views. You have perfected the art of shouting in a quiet but condescending manner, one that appears specifically designed to aggravate and provoke anger in those who disagree with you. You do yourself no favours in this regard. Understand opposing views, address them directly and do not just rail against them.

 

You criticise observers and reporters by saying they are all talk and it is easy for them to talk as they are not in a position to make decisions. But these people are able to influence those who make decisions by leading and reflecting public opinion. You fall into this category, as do your colleagues on LBC such as Nigel Farage, Ian Dale etcetera.

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