I went to my first ever political meeting, on the 5th October. Firsts are quite rare, these days!
I found the meeting really interesting, and although I am posting a blog quite a long time after, seeing the video of it again, now reminds me of just how thought provoking it was at the time. Oh! And the quality of it is much better than that of the Charles Kennedy Memorial Debate in my earlier blog!
There were two memorable points of the speeches that left their impression on me, for helping make that decision on whether to remain or leave the EU.
The economic arguments for leaving the EU are described in the video by Jim Mellor a very wealthy successful investor, by the sounds of it. He basically said that the main reason to leave was because in 5, 10, or maybe 15 years, France and Italy will go bust from unsustainable levels of debt to private investors, circa 130% of national GDP. Like Greece, they are benefiting from cheap interest rates via the Euro and are not addressing their huge government debts, through lack of political will. It is the size of these two countries debts that make the problem far more significant than the Greek troubles. The size of debts are two big for Germany to fund and Britian would be bound to be sucked into supporting them as one of the biggest Members of the EU. In essence he wants us to leave the EU, and then go back into a reformed EU.
The second speaker was a Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan. It is quite interesting hearing the arguments against the EU rather than reading them. Basically he was reiterating that the EU has a lack of democracy leading to bad decision-making that does not look after the needs of the population of Europe. Everything is more focused on creation of a Federal Europe, than addressing the needs of the people. He argued that we joined Europe when the UK was the sick man of Europe. "Would we join, now?" Was the thrust of his argument.
And finally, another notable moment was the reminder by the Chair of the meeting, that the Maastricht Bill was only passed by a majority of 3 votes in the UK Parliament. How different things might have been since then? On reflection, things would probably not have been a lot as there would have been a later vote, with a later Labour Government who would have gone for another vote. A bit like they did with signing up to the Social Chapter at a later date.
......the undecided voter