Still resisting Brexit, to avert the UK going backwards.

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I made a promise to myself after the vote to keep on fighting against something I believe will be a disaster, and take the country backwards. To those who say this would undermine democracy, as i have said in previous posts; no ones gives up, shuts up and stops opposing after an election, so why should I now on something way more important that will have wide ranging effects for many years?

I will go back to a few major reasons for resisting and opposing the result of this referendum:

  1. The uncertainty surrounding science research funding and attracting scientists and students to the UK since the result, with the UK’s world-leading position in these areas now being in jeopardy.
  2. The large projects EU funding has given us in Wales and Cornwall for example, with future funding not guaranteed by our governments.
  3. The EU is about peace and moving Europe on from a history of conflict, especially in the 20th century.
  4. The chance that Scotland, and possibly Northern Ireland could break away from the UK and remain in the EU, and border controls becoming an issue.
  5. The division the campaigning created with hostility, we now need to unite as a country and with our neighbours to sort out this mess!

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I go back to the words of Winston Churchill, who was quoted recently by Guy Verhofstadt, the former leader of Belgium who will be a major force in the negotiations the UK has with the EU.  On the 19th September 1946 Sir Winston Said;

“We must build a kind of United States of Europe.. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important..

“If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can.”

Guy Verhofstadt used his words to state;

“70 years ago in Zurich, Sir Winston Churchill made a vibrant plea for a United Europe. So, where are we now? Empty declarations, minimal collaboration and blame games have become the norm, fuelling nationalism, populism and discontent. It’s time to together tackle the challenges we face; it’s time to reinvent Europe.”

Some will say what about rioting/civil unrest if these ‘Leavers’ don’t feel their result was respected. I would say that if the economy takes a major dive; people lose their jobs as organisations move elsewhere; products and services become more expensive, could be much more of a disaster. We have no idea what the long term implications will be and those who say “things haven’t been that bad” have to remember we haven’t even triggered Article 50 and left yet.

The 52% of voters weren’t on the whole voting for UKIP, or readers of the Sun, Mail, Express etc, and came from all sections of the country. However in the words of Professor Michael Dougan; specialist in European Law from the University of Liverpool, they were lied to on an “industrial scale” by the leave campaign. These included the £350 million a week for the NHS, definitely cutting immigration on a large scale, and Turkey is just around the corner from joining the EU.

In the views of myself and many on the Remain side this vote shouldn’t have happened, and David Cameron will be known as the Prime Minister who took a massive gamble and lost. The other 27 other EU countries won’t give us a great deal that members of the Conservative government still hold onto, and the new PM Theresa May and others saying “there will not be a running commentary of the negotiations”  isn’t possible as they be will leaked,  highly scrutinised, greatly analysed and if not covered by our media will be picked up elsewhere.

There may be a long and tough road ahead, but I’m not about to give up on something that has taken many years to build and cast ourselves away from our neighbours. I strongly believe a united Europe, with all the benefits we have gained is the way forward, and any negatives can be worked on from within this union, and is something worth fighting for.

 

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Great week visiting France, Spain and Guernsey.

La Pallice Port at La Rochelle

After a day at sea from Southampton we arrived at La Rochelle on the Western Coast of France. We took a half an hour complimentary bus from the port into the city with much on offer in the way of attractions and sights. The cityscape is stone with orange slate roofs, and those who don’t mind heights can view the city from a Ferris wheel.  A great way to spend a few hours looking at the history of La Rochelle, while getting the fantastic views from 3 different points with a combined tickets around 8 euros is to visit the three towers. Would leave a warning that there are many steps, and some steep but are worth it for the views from the Lantern, Chain and St Nicholas Towers. There is also an Aquarium and boat trips out from the harbour if you prefer or have more time while visiting.

View over the marina

St Nicholas and Chain Towers

Lantern Tower

 

 

The day after La Rochelle we sailed into Bilbao on a hot day. The main attraction to visit is the Guggenheim museum, and so was nice to get into this cool building for a few hours, where you can spend all day. I had heard of the museum as one the top attractions in the city and was good value for what is on offer, with much modern art to see. I would recommend listening to the commentary which explains every exhibit but in detail. The building itself designed by Canadian born Frank Gehry is worth seeing on it’s own as a masterpiece in my view. The building is titanium clad and fits in well with the historic architecture around it, including the bridge over the river. We also had a walk around the older part of Bilbao and managed to spot the Vizcaya or  Puente Colgante (hanging bridge) in the distance from the ship, built in 1900 which carries cars and passengers across the river by gondola like the Warrington Transporter did with train carriages up till the 1960’s.

Guggenheim Museum

Louise Bourgeois’ Maman

 

Bilbao with Vizcaya Bridge in Centre

Fountain in Bilbao

The next stop on the Cruise was La Coruna near the North Western tip of Spain in Galicia, which has a maritime history going back to the Romans, with the Tower of Hercules lighthouse originally built in the Roman period. It is also known as the Crystal city, with glass fronted buildings, and was the port the Spanish Armada left for England. The Castle of San Anton overlooks the harbour, and was a short walk from the Britannia ship and the centre of the city. Included inside is the museum about archaeology and local history (including Roman and medieval artifacts), which was worth it for the 2 euros entry. There is great views over La Coruna and it’s promenade, and is a fascinating piece of history.

Tower of Hercules

Castel St Anton

Plaza de Maria Pita

Glass-fronted promenade

The last stop on our week along cruise with a day at sea after La Coruna, was anchoring off the coast of Guernsey. The trip into the capital was an experience in itself by tender boat from Britannia. The weather warmer was than predicted and we had some time to look in the La Vallette Underground Military Museum, and walk to the secluded Fermain Bay. The museum provides exhibits and artifacts of the time of the German occupation of Guernsey (1940-45) with lots of interesting things to read about, and does make you think. There is also a section on the First World War, and was used as an old bunker for storage of fuel tanks by the Nazi’s with part of it left unfinished as it originally was. We also found time to try some Guernsey ice-cream and look inside a Victorian sweet shop.

View from Guernsey with Britannia on right

German truck in La Vallette Museum

Looking down on Fermain Bay

St Peter Port

We felt lucky with the weather as apart from a little rain in La Coruna, each port was warm and sunny. Definitely would recommend a cruise as a way to visit a number of different places, while having the chance to relax, and enjoy the food and entertainment on board.

Giving up isn’t an option!

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I do despair sometimes reading the political news every day since the 23rd June with the changes in government, and reports of hate crimes on the increase, but my belief that this ‘Brexit’ result is near impossible to implement and will be a disaster in many ways hasn’t changed. Some may have resigned to the fact that ‘Leave’ is inevitable but I don’t buy that, and I won’t give up hope that the country shutting itself out of the world and going backwards can be averted. In my mind Theresa’s words of “Brexit means Brexit” doesn’t mean or explain anything.

The argument that overturning this result will undermine democracy is also questionable as technically this was an advisory referendum for parliament to discuss and vote on. The campaign was also short with many lies being spread especially by leave campaigners, and there was no plan created, with those who created this mess letting others pick up the pieces. Those who uses phrases of “shut up” and “you lost” etc, and those who have accepted this result without question need to be reminded that opposition doesn’t just give up after an election, so why should we now?

I could also refer to my current situation about not giving up as I personally am looking for work, and feel my confidence has taken a hit while searching. I have had temporary and part roles since graduating a couple of years ago, but nothing has felt permanent or what I want to build my skills in. However things have been looking up recently as I write this blog to get my voice out there, something I have thoroughly enjoyed with a passion. I do wonder though if the events of the last few months have set in this motion this path, and has made me think of ways to use my to skills to fight positively.

A march for Europe will also take place tomorrow; the 3rd September in London and elsewhere across the country, which if you can make will be great way to show support. The future within the EU can be still certain if all the 16+ million who voted for Remain, and others who may not have voted, or changed their mind can get together not give up fighting for the best option to create a country we can all be proud to live in and share economically, and culturally with Europe and the world.