Anger and ridicule alone won’t win Peo­ple’s Vote

The New European - - Letters -

I found my­self agree­ing with, and heav­ing a sigh of re­lief when read­ing, Caro­line Cri­ado Perez’s ar­ti­cle (“We need to change our tune.. and fast”, (TNE #124).

If the Re­main side con­tin­ues to rely on char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion, anger and ridicule, backed up by overused eco­nomic warn­ings, the next vote will not be won by us.

I re­mem­ber watch­ing one of the tele­vi­sion de­bates be­fore the 2016 ref­er­en­dum and be­ing caught up in the pas­sion and vigour of the Leavers. They weren’t go­ing on about GDP or emer­gency bud­gets. It was all about feel­ings; fear, loss of con­trol, dis­trust, lives threat­ened by un­known forces. We were be­ing told con­trol could be won back, fears could be lifted, lives could be bet­ter with­out the EU, and peo­ple be­lieved it.

Now we have to re­build a be­lief in the EU and what it can do, and has done, for strug­gling com­mu­ni­ties in the UK. I hope we haven’t left it too late.

There isn’t any point in pre­tend­ing that the EU is with­out fault. It isn’t, no po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion can be. But it is surely our job to be pas­sion­ate, and tell any­one who will lis­ten what we will lose, and how this coun­try stands a much bet­ter chance of im­prov­ing ev­ery­one’s lives if we stay in Europe.

We might even start to sug­gest things that could be changed in the EU in fu­ture, to ad­dress peo­ple’s fears and dis­trust.

That sounds to me a lot more like tak­ing con­trol of events and chang­ing peo­ple’s minds. Sarah Pen­nie Tod­mor­den

Caro­line Cri­ado Perez is right. Dur­ing the cam­paign, I noted that Re­main had left out ‘pathos’ in the re­quire­ments of win­ning an ar­gu­ment as set out by Aristotle (lo­gos, ethos, pathos). Facts and truth alone are not suf­fi­cient or good enough to win an ar­gu­ment.

Stephen Ben­nett

Lon­don SW4

An­i­mal read­ers of

Mag­gie and Susie from Lin­colnshire want Brexit to be over and wish you a Merry Christ­mas and a Happy New Year.

Here’s Minnie, who is con­sid­er­ably more in­ter­ested in ex­perts than Michael Gove was, catch­ing up on a few weeks’ read­ing thanks to her loyal Bri­tish/ French staff, Julie and Eric in Cheshire. Caro­line Cri­ado Perez has, as al­ways, hit the nail on the head. We would never have had the Brexit ref­er­en­dum had decades of sub-stan­dard Bri­tish politi­cians not poi­soned peo­ple’s minds against the EU by us­ing it as an Aunt Sally and a scape­goat for their own short­com­ings.

The re­al­ity is that a lot of the best things: equal­ity, food safety, mo­bile roam­ing rights, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion etc have most ef­fec­tively been achieved at EU level in co-op­er­a­tion with other mem­ber states. I hope there are al­ready peo­ple with the rel­e­vant ex­per­tise re­search­ing ‘What has the EU ever done for us?’ good news sto­ries and work­ing them up as po­ten­tial Peo­ple’s Vote broad­casts.

I also think that ef­forts should be made to en­er­gise those too young to vote, but old enough to un­der­stand the is­sues. They need to be en­cour­aged to beg their Brex­i­teer rel­a­tives to have a thought for the fu­ture of the younger gen­er­a­tion and at least re­frain from vot­ing Leave even if they can­not bring them­selves to opt for stay. Peter Martin Strath­conon

The feel­ing of be­ing let down by our politi­cians is some­thing that could unite us all, if we could hold off from pass­ing judge­ment on who is to blame for a mo­ment and fo­cus on the idea that there must be a bet­ter way of or­gan­is­ing our na­tional af­fairs.

Per­haps the ex­am­ple of Va­clav Havel, whose con­tri­bu­tions to the lib­er­a­tion of Cze­choslo­vakia from Soviet op­pres­sion were pre­sented in your Great Euro­peans fea­ture in TNE #124, can teach us some­thing. A char­ter of cit­i­zens’ rights was cen­tral to the cre­ation of a demo­cratic state in Cze­choslo­vakia. This is some­thing that the Bri­tish lack, and this per­haps con­trib­utes to the sense of vul­ner­a­bil­ity that many com­mu­ni­ties feel.

Com­mu­ni­ties and in­di­vid­u­als have been mis­treated. A char­ter could sim­ply state a right to fair treat­ment, which should be in­de­pen­dent of any trade deals, cus­toms unions, FTAS or other acronyms.

Martin Juckes


Mod­est pro­pos­als

Tech­nol­ogy is a won­der­ful thing. It can solve all sorts of seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble sit­u­a­tions. So when Owen Pater­son pops up on tele­vi­sion earnestly ar­gu­ing that modern, seam­less tech­niques can over­come the Ir­ish bor­der prob­lem, it sounds quite rea­son­able.

It’s so con­vinc­ing, I sug­gest the next time any­one hears this so­lu­tion be­ing of­fered that it is wel­comed with open arms. Be­cause this new in­vis­i­ble, seam­less tech­nol­ogy could also ap­ply to Scot­land, Lon­don, Manch­ester, Bris­tol, Brighton and all the heav­ily Re­main-vot­ing ar­eas. It could cover about 48% of the pop­u­la­tion – di­rect democ­racy at work!

All in the spirit of Brexit be­ing a stupid an­swer to a stupid ques­tion. Alan Hause

Surely the an­swer is for Leavers to be able to opt out on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis? Any­one ought to be able to re­nounce their EU sta­tus and priv­i­leges, and forego their rights, with­out drag­ging ev­ery­one else down with them?

This type of free­dom should be of­fered to com­mit­ted Leavers, to re­spect their views, in the event that Re­main wins the next ref­er­en­dum Dr John King Strat­ford-upon-avon

Mag­gie & SusieDoes the an­i­mal who runs your house­hold read TNE? Send pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence and cru­cial bi­o­graph­i­cal de­tails to let­[email protected]­neweu­ro­pean., putting ‘An­i­mal Read­ers’ in the sub­ject field


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