Europe and the lost age of giants in politics and industry

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From: Geoff Marsden, Buxton Avenue, Heanor, Derbyshire.

I WONDER how many of your readers will empathise with me over this business of the EU and all its implications in terms of a referendum. I am not so much in a quandary as caught between two considerations.

I was born in April 1945 and thus nurtured in an era of austerity and in a community that was stabilised by years of tradition. Coal, heavy steel production and engineering and the railway were the ‘immortal’ industries, with of course all the various feeders from them. Now in this era they have all gone, and I mean all just gone!

So, as I ponder over what I will vote for, I recall my past. I have family buried in a war grave in Belgium. My maternal grandfather survived World War One while my other grandparent was a miner, so they did their bit for crown and country.

Then, along with my parents, they were all subjected to World War Two – again suffering strife and turmoil which they survived and all doing their bit for the successful outcome.

The emotions created by the death of family and friends and destruction remained with them and were passed on to me when they began to talk about it. Not being able to understand what being under bombs and living on sparse rations was like I could not fully comprehend it. So I was imbibed with their dislike of certain European nations and told, in not so many words, never to trust them because of what they had started and what we had to finish.

Now I am a grandfather to six children. They ask me what it was like when I was a child, and they find it difficult to imagine what I tell them, for where all the industries in the 1950s were is now bare land, or housing, supermarkets, cinemas, fitness clubs and restaurants. From all this, I now meditate at my leisure.

Is my allegiance to my ancestors, who so valiantly worked all hours or fought for my freedom during those awful days of war, or do I vote for the continuous association with the Europeans who seem to create silly ideas and impress them upon us just to show their self-appointed dominance?

So tell me. Do I vote for a future which no-one knows about? Or do I vote “No”, hoping that this country may revert to the one I was born into? One that had statesmen of the ilk of Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Wilson. Whatever, the outcome creates another dilemma: will I live to see whether my vote was the right one or the wrong one?

From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.

AS I predicted (Yorkshire Post, January 9,) varied establishment bigwigs are being wheeled out to make blood-curdling threats against the UK escaping from the EU.

So Stephen Odell of Ford Europe insists we should not “discuss leaving” the EU, 
while Ian Robertson of BMW 
goes one better by stating we should not even “think” of doing so. Who do these people think they are?

It is true that these foreign businesses have production plants in the UK. But they also both manufacture in the USA. And the last time I checked the USA was not a member of the EU, yet they still invest there.

Moreover this sort of overt (or even covert) bullying could easily backfire. While these big corporates can threaten jobs here, even if only by implication, we are also their customers. The threats can therefore go both ways. When we leave the EU, such threatening behaviour will be counter-productive for everyone. I therefore suggest it would be wiser for other big businesses to employ cooler heads, and back off from interfering in national politics in the way these two insensitive oafs 
have done.

From: Dr David Hill, World Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.

OVER the last 50 years successive politicians, their advisers and Whitehall have gone so terribly wrong and that is the main reason why the UK is going downhill fast.

Indeed, PriceWaterhouse Coopers have stated that in another 38 years our nation will drop out of the top ten largest economies in the world.

This failure can only be that 
we have the wrong people making our decisions for us and their advisers, including Whitehall, do not know what they are doing.