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A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
Clinical, intellectual, cynical.
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.
Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!
At night, when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.
Songwriters: DAVIES, RICHARD / HODGSON, ROGER
The words above mean a great deal to me, they are an anthem of my youth. I was 21 in 1979 when the Logical song was released by Supertramp. Britain had been in Europe four years and I had been working in the local steel works for five years but something was wrong, I remember going into work on one particular night shift and before we were allowed to start work we were instructed to go over to the staff canteen to watch a video, the company was telling us that we were loosing money.
During the video presentation which was presented by Brian Redhead of the BBC, we were told that Britain had been selling scrap steel to Europe so that it was stockpiled & then we were having to buy it back at a higher price. That was not logical! We also gave away our technology in special steel making to the Germans. A year before I started at the steel works which was 1974 there had been around 2,500 employees and by the early eighties that had dropped to about 900 due to prices being forced down.
I feel bitterly about this mighty work force that had being depleted, good honest hard-working men & women who lost a way of life which in most cases had been handed down father to son. We had instilled in us a great work ethic.
The rot had started in Europe but we did not realise until it was too late, we did not have the communications we have today, the social media which would have forged communities together to fight for their cause. some years later we saw some of that spirit coming out with the miners strike.
The rot had run deep, we allowed some of our families to lose the work ethic during those dark days. People had lost the will to fight but did not know why, benefits had become a way of life for many. some generations have grown up where not a single member of their family had ever held down a job & that also includes my family.
The first half of the logical song resonated with my life until my mid to late forties, Logical, responsible, practical, I was mortgaged. Then on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 the world changed for me, my family and everyone else. Our world had closed up. Now move on to 2016 & the words of the song again “Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical, Liberal, fanatical, criminal” “Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!” Supertramps words are so very prophetic.
Europe are wanting to gag us from using free speech to voice our opinions on the ideologies of the migrants that are trying to invade our shores. I say we should stand up for ourselves not for Europe, we have stood up for Europe on a number of occasions and it has got us nothing in return.
We only have one choice really, Vote Leave on 23rd June it’s the only logical choice.
I work for a proud British family owned SME based in Cheshire and we have been looking at the whys and wherefores when considering what leaving the EU would mean for us.
Our company turnover was £12M for the last year and when we compare what we have purchased from the EU (£3.6M) compared to what the EU has purchased from our company in the same period (£600k) EU contribution to our turnover has been meagre to say the least.
The general public are being told that British companies are concerned about the economic climate because they are uncertain about the effects of Brexit on British business, at least that’s the way it is being portrayed in the media. This is not necessarily true, our company is currently in the middle of a multimillion pound investment programme to increase our capacity and product range, and a substantial amount of that investment will be spent with Italian & American engineering companies. Sadly, past experience has shown that we are unable to source high quality equipment from the UK.
The industry we work in is very heavily regulated by the EU, (we make life safety fire performance cables) and when we see competition from the Far East affecting our market, we feel very aggrieved because they are not similarly regulated and there is definitely an imbalance in support as we cannot rely on support from our own government or the EU.
15 years ago, we had thriving electronics assembly and plastic moulding divisions in our company but these have been decimated by competition from the Far East. This has resulted in job losses within the company as it was impossible to compete, even after investing in high tech automated production equipment. The EU tariffs imposed on our suppliers made it impossible to purchase electronic components at a competitive rate so the only way we could compete was to have products of our design manufactured in Hong Kong and shipped in to the UK as complete electronic assemblies. The EU did not help us feel stronger then in Europe, and it did not help keep jobs here in that instance as those areas of the business have now gone due to our inability to supply competitively.
We have also suffered at the hands of our own local government as our original business premises were blighted as part of a CPO process in our area. For years we were unable to expand and grow the business in other directions as we planned because we could not extend our buildings, and no one was going to buy our existing buildings which were under threat of a CPO. However, we have now completed a move to a new factory and picked up the pieces but it has been extremely hard work.
Turning to current challenges, it is the EU that causes greatest concern. Most of our business is conducted either in the UK or the Middle East with very little in exports to the EU. We have purchased American and Italian equipment for our manufacturing processes, and we understand that Italian manufacturers are heavily subsidised by their government, which of course is attractive to purchasers. American companies, being outside the EU, usually give better support then European companies.
We also find that we are restricted by EU employment legislation and rules. Employment laws are very binding for employers, and whilst we agree that employees and employers need a level of protection, this needs to be evenly applied and red tape reduced. British companies are quite rightly expected to maintain a high level of compliance to Health and Safety executive regulations, yet our competition outside of Europe can carry on regardless, paying little notice to the safety of their employees and in doing so cutting even more costs.
It is a great deal to expect of an SME when we get bombarded with requests from multiple companies up & down the supply chain to complete the ever expanding REACH questionnaires and requests for “Conflict Minerals” information etc. It is difficult to afford to allocate time to deal with these requests and maintain profitability.
In our small company we have a dedicated team who all perform many varied hands on roles, but as the EU applies more and more legislation in the form of Regulations, Directives and other acts, we find that to truly understand and comply with this legislation, we would need to employ someone full time to deal with it. In fact, in most cases it’s difficult to decide whether we need an in house lawyer or chemist to decode the document contents. It is not practical for an SME when trying to remain competitive, to do that. Evidently in attending to these questionnaires, regulations, etc. the EU is effectively taking vital resources away from us being able to run our business. Then there are the ever changing employment regulations.
The famous English Conservative industrialist Lord Hanson is often quoted as saying over thirty years ago, “There are 56 words in the Lord’s Prayer, 297 in the Ten Commandments and 1,300 words in the American Declaration of Independence but from Brussels, there are 27,000 words in a directive on duck eggs.”
Today’s version of that directive (COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2009/158/EC) is a forty page document on eggs, This puts into perspective the amount of paperwork businesses have to contend with when dealing with the EU, Lord Hanson’s words are as relevant today as they were thirty years ago, probably more so.
We cannot identify what benefit the EU is to our company. Our small workforce works extremely hard to make a quality product and currently we are doing well to compete with cheap & counterfeit imports but worry how long that will last? Our accreditation bodies in the UK are quite happy to serve the Far Eastern companies which enable them to compete in Europe against us. We cannot be sure how effectively these Far Eastern companies are regulated and monitored by the accreditation bodies, but in comparison to the frequency we are monitored in the UK, we suspect there is a disparity which favours the Far Eastern companies.
Moving on to the question of freedom of movement across Europe, our deliveries of key raw materials, most of which come from Europe and have to be transported across Europe, often suffer delivery delays. Goods Vehicles travelling across France cannot do so during weekends. Most heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes are banned from the French road and motorway network every weekend between the hours of 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday.
Additionally the weekend truck ban is longer from early July to mid-August, when HGVs are banned from Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and then from Saturday 10 p.m. to Sunday 10 p.m. In other words, during these July and August weekends, there is a 3 hour window of opportunity on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for HGVs to reach their destination or get out of France to a country without weekend HGV bans. Also to compound the problem, recently deliveries have been adversely affected by the migrant crisis with delays incurred periodically and haulage contractors even refusing to travel at weekends for safety and insurance reasons. It almost makes a mockery of the Eurotunnel doesn’t it?
In an environment where we are expected to manufacture using just in time supply methods due to the high value of our main product (copper), it is difficult to see how the EU is helping facilitate this by allowing France to close its roads. Almost every month we lose valuable manufacturing time because of this type of delayed delivery.
These are just small examples of the impact of Britain being a member of the EU. We could go on with further examples but I am sure you will have been hearing this from other concerned companies. The problem as we see it is that some of the high profile media and press are being swayed by the Pro-EU campaign which is heavily influenced by Brussels. We feel that we cannot get our concerns brought to the attention of people who need to understand how the EU affects British SME’s, it would be good if our opinion was publicised to let people know just how difficult it is to work within the framework of the European Union.
it’s been the aim of the West to stop the spread of communism for decades, wars have been fought over it, families have been separated by it both in Europe, the Far East and elsewhere around the world. The Americans have a deep mistrust of the communist yet the American president is suggesting that Britain remains in the European Union which is as close to a communist state as you can get.
It cannot be denied that there are similarities between the ever-expanding EU and the ideology of the old Soviet Union perhaps Brussels is trying to revive the old idea of Eurocommunism, it’s well understood that sovereignty disappears under communism, we all know now what happened to the Russian royal family during the early part of the nineteenth century. We would like to think that kind of thing would not happen in this day and age, but the European Union is not a supporter of Sovereignty and history has a habit of repeating itself.
I suspect the vast majority of British subjects are in favour of British Sovereign rule, sovereignty is understood in jurisprudence as the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. This should be our primary concern as our national identity and British society has been founded and nurtured of these principles.
I admit that I am not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination but I would sooner be a royal subject than a state subject without freedom of speech and thought. The freedom to elect our government is our right and it should remain so. Eventually if we stay within the European union that right will be removed, this process has already begun in Brussels with the unelected Jean-Claude Juncker at the head of the European Commission along with a further a further 27 unelected commissioners.
We cannot be complacent about the European Union, if we care about our families it is our duty to learn from past history. you only have to look at the misery and suffering that came about due to communist regimes around the world. Don’t let Britain fall into that trap remember you owe it to your forefathers for giving you the freedoms you have now and to your progeny to ensure they remain free to live in a democracy not a version of a communist state.
Vote Leave on 23rd June 2016
Government climb down over forced academies plan in England.
Today we hear of yet another U-turn by the conservative government, but of course it is not really a U-turn. Today on 5 live Eric Pickles said ‘this is not a u turn’ in reference to the climb-down.
The government is once again running scared of industrial action by teachers & head teachers and rightly so, give these people the funding and the tools to do their job instead of asking for more than they can give with the education cuts. This is just another example of their poorly made decisions, how can the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan save face on this one?
A survey in January of nearly 900 mainly secondary headteacher’s and senior leaders by the Association of School and College Leaders confirms that more than 38% of those who completed the survey made redundancies in the previous 12 months, with even more staff losses hidden by the under-the-radar non-replacement of teaching (70%) and support roles (80%).
The country is sick and tired of the nanny state, the meddling by ill-informed officials taking orders from Brussels. Todays local election results have shown that there is a storm brewing. Beware Mr Cameron I think it maybe that perfect storm that sinks you and your government. Every one of your unpopular decisions of which there are many diminishes your credibility and your friends in Brussels will not be able to bail you out or throw you a life line.
June 23rd is looking more likely to be your judgment day. Better get practicing for that new job with the brush and shovel in the stable, I’m sure there will be a great big steaming mound of the brown stuff left now the horse has bolted!!