A New Beginning

As in most workplaces I guess yesterday, some colleagues and myself had a frank discussion about the referendum.  The age-division was apparent but the reasons not as straight-forward as have been caricatured by the mainstream media.  We are all professionally employed people so I’m not going to claim that this is representative of anything than among our group.  My younger colleagues voted Remain, but some did so reluctantly, as whilst they don’t like the EU and they don’t trust any politicians (both healthy outlooks in my opinion), they are worried about the future and didn’t want to risk the uncertainty of Leaving.  They are too young to know any different and should not be derided for that.  I can no more put myself into their mindset than I could that of my parents’ generation, born during wartime, experiencing austerity that I have never known.  These ‘millennials’ are well aware that Brexit could lead to the break-up of the EU and the Eurozone if other countries follow suit.  This will no doubt lead to the next financial crash being blamed on Brexit, rather than on the creation of the Eurozone.

So whilst some ‘millennial’ Remainers are being cast as cry-babies, I believe that that the vast majority are not.  Their worries should be respected and not ridiculed.  There are a minority of Remainers who are cry-babies, just as there are a minority of Leavers who are xenophobes, would be and still will be regardless of whether the EU exists.  The cry-baby Remainers are so angry that they don’t know what to do.  I heard a student couple this morning, with private school educated accents, talking loudly enough so that everyone around them could hear, how angry they are.  They’ll carry on being angry long after they should have grown out of it, but hey ho.

But it is not just the ‘millennials’ who need re-assurance, skilled workers from other EU countries need to be assured that their employment and residential status are not under threat.  Many may feel that it is and decide to leave, but if better employment opportunities existed in other EU countries then they would already have made that decision.  I’ll admit a bias in that I work with professional people from other EU countries and I don’t want them to feel threatened; but I also work with professional people from outside the EU and they have to meet skills and qualifications criteria in order to live and work here.  That the British economy depends on importing skilled workers, especially in STEM fields, is itself a damning indictment of the failure of our education system.  Migrants from other EU countries without professional qualifications should not fear deportation, if they are employed on a permanent or fixed-term contract basis and paying taxes; or if they work freelance in some field and can prove that they are self-supporting and paying taxes.  We need to stress to EU migrants that we do not object to the presence of the vast majority of them, but that the scale of immigration that the UK has experienced since 2004 is more than our infrastructure can cope with.  This is especially true in England.

There is one group of people who have been overlooked and who are justifiably likely to feel the most insecure.  In the first post on this blog I mentioned about Poland having lost part of a generation to children born in the UK to Polish parents.  These children and those uprooted from Poland by their parents should not feel that they or their parents are threatened with deportation; many of those who moved to the UK during their childhood sometime during the last 12 years are now young adults and stuck in limbo.  If they do not already have British citizenship they should be offered it.  The same applies to the children of other EU nationals though the scale of immigration from those countries has been nowhere near as large.  Of course the very fact that we were denied a referendum on the Treaty of Nice, which led to EU expansion, is why this issue has arisen in the first place.  Behind the issue are thousands of people who should not just be dismissed as statistics.

Immigration is a thorny issue and the fact that it came to dominate the referendum is that since 2004 anyone who expressed concern about the scale of it, and particularly its economic impact on low-waged, low-skilled workers, was slandered as a ‘racist’ by the ‘progressive’ corporate globalists.  That the scale of immigration has led to the slumlordisation of many inner-city areas and council estates, in which the housing stock was sold off by the Thatcher government, is something which these ‘progressives’ are happy to ignore.  Immigration policy henceforth should be to reduce the scale to a level which is more sustainable, no more than fifty thousand people a year say, rather than six or seven times that amount as it is now.

Apart from the privileged cry-babies, whom I mentioned above and who want the referendum result to be invalidated to force another one, the other group of Remainers for whom I have no sympathy are Labour voters (there is an overlap between these groups).  What happened on Thursday was the revolt of Old Labour (mildly patriotic and mildly socialist) against New Labour (corporatist, ‘liberal’ and globalist).  The late Peter Shore MP puts the latter group to shame:

Contrary to the lies told by ‘progressives’ in their defence of the EU, we British are not, by nature, an insular people.  We have long been more outward looking than most of the nations of continental Europe.  For more than four decades we’ve been continually derided that Britain is ‘small and weak’.  Britain is small but not weak and there are more than sixty million of us on this island.  We have been derided that Britain is ‘old and tired’.  Britain’s infrastructure is old and tired, but that is because our taxes have been diverted from upgrading our own infrastructure to finance the infrastructures of the countries of southern, central and eastern Europe, with lovely highways and bridges from Nowhere to Nowhere Else, such as appear on the Euro notes.  We can and shall develop bi-lateral trade agreements with other countries, that is what the ‘progressives’ are frightened of, that the EU itself is becoming redundant.

Anyway, unless another referendum is forced through or the exit negotiations stall, there is no point in doing numerous blog posts about Brexit.  That David Cameron has tendered his resignation as Prime Minister should mean that the government is not going to over-ride the referendum result.  The EU, worried that the electorates of other countries will demand an ‘exit’ referendum, wants Brexit completed as soon as possible before the trend catches on.  The SNP want a Dependence referendum so that Scotland can continue being ruled from Brussels, whilst Sinn Fein want an Irish Unification referendum to liberate English taxpayers from the economic burden of the Six Counties, so that all Thirty-Two Counties of Ireland can continue being ruled from Brussels.

Greenwashing the European Union

The Ecology Party originated in Coventry in 1973 with four people involved in the ‘survivalist’ movement, not exactly a bastion of left-wing thought for ‘watermelons’.  This group put up candidates under the title of ‘PEOPLE’ at the two general elections in 1974, picking up about four and a half thousand votes the first time and just under two thousand the second time, between the candidates which they fielded.  The name change to the Ecology Party came shortly afterwards and although it had marginal levels of support nationally, it still had enough to entitle it to a party political broadcast in advance of the 1979 and 1983 general elections.

Where, when and why the Ecology Party originated hasn’t really been examined that much.  With hindsight it might seem odd that a city whose economy was dominated by the motor industry should give birth to a political party opposing it, but then it could be seen as a reaction to that (although the same city had the world’s first bicycle factory).  It should have been obvious that none of the mainstream parties locally would accommodate any opposition to domination by large employers.  The Labour Party had run Coventry as a one-party state since prior to the Second World War, the Tories were not going to do anything against big business whilst the Liberals locally were as they continued to be, virtually non-existent.

The Ecology Party’s ‘small is beautiful’ ideology might seem the embodiment of parochial parish-pump politics, but its ethos was that of opposing large corporations, state-owned (eg British Leyland) or privately-owned (Chrysler, GEC), the big state and the trade union bloc vote.  It is important to remember that the Ecology Party was not a socialist party, if anything it leant more towards promoting individual initiative.  So why didn’t these ecologists become involved in the Liberal Party, which in the 1950’s / 1960’s could have accommodated their views?

What was significant about 1973 was that the UK joined the EEC, at the time something believed by most of the electorate to be merely a trading bloc.  That it was a Tory government (with a few dissenters) which did this was not surprising, as big business was always going to be the major beneficiary.  Not surprisingly also at the time was that most opposition came from within the Labour Party and the trade union movement, as they foresaw what came to pass, an enlarged labour market leading to downward pressure on living standards.  The Liberal Party was heavily in favour of the EEC and that is why it could not accommodate the views of those who formed the Ecology Party, as the latter were honourably opposed to the EEC.

Globally, the most significant political event of 1973 was the Arab-Israeli war which led to the Arab oil embargo and the creation of OPEC.  This more than anything focused public opinion on the importance of long-term alternatives to oil, hence the time was opportune for a political party singularly dedicated to ecology to be started.  If the ecologists were ‘hippies’ as some claimed and still do, then the Ecology Party would have been started five or six years earlier, but by 1973 the hippy ‘movement’, if it can be called that, was discredited.  Handing out flowers did not defeat Richard Nixon.

So how did the Ecology Party change?  With a rebranding exercise in 1985, to follow the success of Die Grünen, who themselves had started out of the protests against US nuclear weapons being sited in West Germany.  The assimilation of left-wing views into the Green Party came with the crossover in the membership of CND with those of the left and the co-operation between any organisations which were considered to be ‘anti-Tory’.  Where the assimilation of left-wing views into the Green Party might be considered as ‘infiltration’ came following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when ‘socialism’ became a hard brand to sell.  ‘Green-Left’ crossover groups developed but these in themselves do not explain the Green Party’s current love affair with what became the European Union (EU) as the genuine (classical) left was and still is opposed to it.

The answer is more rooted in the structure of the EU ‘parliament’ into ‘groupings’, such that nationally-based political parties fighting on issues important for their respective electorates become redundant.  The Green Party has become ‘Europeanised’.  Some may say that this is just adapting to new conditions, but in doing so it has betrayed its Ecology Party origins by supporting the very continental superstate which it ought to oppose.  There are of course other reasons.  Most politicians are driven by personal ambition and those in the Green Party leadership have found the European stage difficult to resist.  They have become part of the political establishment, supportive of supranational dictatorship where it suits their ends.  So in order to get certain ‘green’ directives issued by the European Commission, the Green Party and the others in its ‘grouping’ turn a blind eye to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which the Green Party has always claimed to oppose; but which fundamentally it cannot oppose whilst it supports the EU, because the CAP is one of the foundation stones upon which the EU is built.

The most disturbing trend within the Green Party and which has now become dominant within it, is that of control.   This is where the influence of the hard (regressive) left has been felt and this is where the Green Party’s enthusiasm for the EU has come from.  Genuine ecologists recognise that local people are usually the best custodians of their local environment; not always but they ought to be consulted, not ordered about.  Genuine ecologists also recognise that ecology is best managed from the bottom up, not dictated to from the top down.  Genuine ecologists support international co-operation, not supranational dictatorship.  The Green Party, like all the ‘green’ NGO’s financed by the EU, supports supranational dictatorship, where every aspect of every individual’s life must be controlled, from car usage to what light bulbs one is permitted to buy.

The Green Party, even after it had been rebranded from the Ecology Party continued to support the principal of national sovereignty, indeed the Scottish Green Party supported genuine independence (not the SNP’s oxymoronic ‘independence within the EU’).  However the Green Party has now betrayed its principals by opposing national sovereignty.  Whereas a genuine Ecology Party, if one still existed, would recognise that environmental legislation should be the responsibility of national parliamentary democracies; and these, responsive to their respective electorates, negotiate international agreements.  But the Green Party’s love for the EU is because it wants ‘environmental’ legislation to be imposed, not negotiated.

Moreover, the Green Party’s anti-democratic polity is perfectly in keeping with that of the EU.  A genuine Ecology Party, if one still existed, would recognise the right of every nation state to manage immigration to a level that is environmentally sustainable.  The less space and fewer resources per head of population that the country has, the more stringent its immigration restrictions need to be.  There are a few within the Green Party who recognise this and who more importantly recognise that a country – any country – has the democratic right, responsive to its electorate, to set appropriate immigration legislation, changing this according to circumstances.

But the majority view within the Green Party is anti-ecology as well as anti-democratic, unwilling to allow immigration policy to be decided by voters who are justifiably concerned by high immigration driven population growth (currently running at an annual level roughly equivalent to a city the size of Coventry) and the loss of green space due to inevitable urban expansion.  The Green Party is thus anti-green.  This is without getting into any of the economic and cultural issues; suffice to say with regard to the former that the Green Party’s ‘left-wing’ credentials are also spurious, as it supports the unlimited supply of cheap disposable migrant labour for unscrupulous employers and let’s not even talk about how ‘sustainable’ it is supporting mass economic migration.  The cultural issues of immigration are only pertinent to ecology if the high birth rate among women in certain immigrant groups is a consequence of their being forbidden the use of contraception should they wish to, but as the Green Party claims to support women’s rights then it should be fully aware of this, as it should be aware of the right of all women not to be raped in a game of ‘Taharrush’.

But the central issue in this referendum is governance, the supremacy of national parliamentary democracy, of which immigration legislation is only a part.  By supporting the EU and thus advocating ‘Remain’, the Green Party has shown its true colours as a reactionary anti-independence movement doing the dirty work of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund in moving towards One World Government with only a veneer of ‘democracy’ and nothing more.

Footnote:

The origins of the Ecology Party are detailed in Dominic Sandbrook’s history book, State of Emergency, The Way We Were; Britain 1970 – 1974, pp 218-219.  Tony Whittaker, one of the four founders, was a former Tory activist, whilst Teddy Goldsmith (uncle of Tory MP Zac) united his ‘Movement for Survival’ with the group started by the four.

This is my last blog post before Thursday’s referendum.  It was never my intention for this to be a strictly political blog, let alone a ‘Brexit’ one, but we bloggers have fought back against the lies peddled by Project Fear.  We are part of broader movement to restore parliamentary democracy and can only make what contribution we can.  Thanks to everyone who has read and shared these posts.

A Modest Proposal

The cattle boat became a perfect image of the ambivalence of Irish freedom: a profitable export in the hold, a bitter exodus of people on deck.

In the first post on this blog, I made reference to Fintan O’Toole’s book Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, from which the above is taken from the Introduction.  One can infer that the human population of rural Ireland was and perhaps still is as expendable as the cattle being exported for slaughter.  The book is long since out of print, but I obtained a copy nonetheless, with the intention of finding out about EEC/EU farm subsidies and exactly where the money ends up, as I was aware that Irish beef production exceeds domestic and export demand with the result that carcasses are stored in deep freeze for several years, these being part of the ‘beef mountain’.

Driving people off the land to make way for grazing animals is not unique to Ireland, the Highland Clearances in Scotland were for the same reason and the same process still goes on in developing countries to feed the greedy supersized gullets of developed countries.  Detailing the history of ranching in Ireland, O’Toole references F. S. L. Lyons in saying that the power of the old (Anglo-Irish Ascendancy) landlord class was already in decline by the late 19th Century giving way to a ‘fresh breed of hard-fisted graziers, the bulk of them Irish and not a few from Catholic and Gaelic families’.  These are the power brokers in rural Ireland and the reason why Irexit, the possibility of the Republic leaving the EU, which is being increasingly discussed in the twittersphere, is unlikely in the forseeable future.

This is by way of introduction to the following video, which features Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, an Irish politician with a maverick reputation who supports Brexit, but doesn’t quite go so far as to support Irexit, instead talking about ‘a fundamental review’ of how the EU is run.  Flanagan is from County Roscommon and received the most first preference votes to represent a predominantly rural part of Ireland as an MEP in the multinational, multilingual talking shop bereft of legislative power that sits in Brussels.

He has recently become more widely known for trying to access details of the TTIP and for posting a blurry video of this on youtube.  The problem ultimately is that Flanagan knows that the economy of the area he represents would collapse without continued EU farm subsidy, even though this in itself keeps its dependence on large agri-business.  Look beyond the outward appearance and you have just another parish pump politician, an Independent who sits with the ‘Green Left’ group because genuine independents are not allowed in the EU ‘parliament’, an advocate for turf cutting in the face of the EU directive which forbids it.  The supranationalist corporate ‘greens’ with whom he sits obviously overlook that; though those who enjoyed a spliff during their ‘radical’ youth might approve of his support for the legalisation of cannabis.  But at least he is batting on our side and trying to persuade Irish people resident in Britain to vote for Brexit, something which Irish yuppies who are only here on a transitory basis (which begs the question why they are permitted to vote) are unlikely to; though Irish builders long permanently resident in Britain who face competition from Polish builders might prefer to turn the clock back to pre-2004 and hence vote for Brexit.

Support for Irexit appears to be growing – as is opposition to the EU throughout the rest of the EU – as it has become apparent to increasing numbers of Irish people that their country will be asset stripped through the privatisation of its infrastructure by orders of the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund).  The most contentious issue at the moment being the imposition of water charges, which other countries have, but which in the Republic have been paid for through central and local government taxation.

Finally, Dublin’s chattering classes, to whom O’Toole belongs, like to talk about Irish people not knowing whether to look to ‘Boston or Berlin’.  The reality is that the Irish proletarian classes don’t look to either; they look to Liverpool and Manchester, London and Glasgow, even Birmingham and Coventry (though their football teams are crap).  For all that the Irish like to get one over on us, they know that their economic interests are more closely tied to Britain than to anywhere else.  They certainly wouldn’t support the Republic rejoining the UK, or us migrating en masse to the Republic to vote for it to rejoin, but they might tacitly support Brexit and a future Irexit, where they could trade with us as equal partners.

irexit 2

Another Europe is Possible

the rotten heart of europe

It is surely not irrelevant that for many left-wing Britons, ‘Europe’ exercises a grip on the imagination similar to that of the Soviet Union on the Philby generation at Cambridge in the 1930’s.  Nor is it illegitimate to seek a parallel between the apologias for the Soviet Union issued by the British intelligentsia in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and today’s wilful closing of intellectual eyes to the realities of ‘Europe’.  The left-wing fellow travellers of the 1930’s constantly made unfavourable comparisons between Britain and the supposed paradise to the east.  Today, the same is true of the British Euroenthusiasts.  The head of the Commission’s representative office in Britain, for instance, seems to view ceaseless denigration of his own country as the most effective way of selling ‘Europe’ to his fellow Britons.

Bernard Connolly, from The Rotten Heart of Europe  (1995), Introduction, p xvii

The ‘left-wing’ Britons to whom Connolly refers are les faux gauchers, the Negative Nationalists, who denigrate anything British in favour of anything ‘European’, whether that be food, drink or just arty-farty foreign language films over any Anglophone ones.  They are self-loathing Britons who have never forgiven themselves the unpardonable sin of having been born on an offshore island of their favourite continent.  They are fools, incapable of judging anything on its merit; they are the mirror image of the Little Britons they claim to differ from.  They even continue to extol the ‘virtues’ of European Monetary Union, despite the shockingly high youth unemployment in Southern Europe that has resulted from that failed experiment.  So when you are told that hundreds of economists oppose Brexit, these are largely the same ones that told us that we must join the Euro.  At this juncture I have to say that I don’t necessarily share many of Connolly’s political views, but he is one of only a small number of economists (including Roger Bootle and Liam Halligan) left with any degree of credibility following the financial crash of eight years ago.

I’d like to think that I have an international outlook in life.  I’m happy to defer that most of the best beers in the world come from Belgium, a result of trade dating back centuries between the hop growers of Kent and the monasteries of Flanders.  We didn’t need a ‘European Union’ then and we don’t now.  (I still think the best cider in the world comes from Somerset though).  There are many French films, arty-farty or otherwise, that are pretty good, though some are based on ‘hommage’ to American genres (Mesrine, for example, starring Vincent Cassel, is a superb two-part gangster movie).  I’d rate Italy as my favourite country to visit for an autumn holiday, something which will still be possible whether or not the EU exists and if it does whether we are part of it; and there is a world beyond Europe of course – Montreal, with at least a day in Quebec City, being a great place to visit in the summer – though you’d never believe it from the endless stream of EU propaganda we have pushed at us.

All of this is by way of introduction to Brexit, The Animated Movie, which is succinct and far, far better than the over-hyped, but underwhelming, lengthy piece written and presented by Martin Durkin, weighted down as that is by political fossils such as Nigel Lawson and John Redwood.  It was Lawson’s previous fixation with maintaining a fixed exchange rate between the pound and the Deutsche Mark (as detailed in Chapter 3 of Connolly’s book), which was one of the principal reasons behind the Tory boom and bust, referred to in the previous blog post.

Where I depart from the synopsis in this short film is over NATO, which shares with the EU the same expansionist policies in The Great Game, as has been apparent from the destabilisation of Ukraine, which was always previously in the Russian sphere of influence.

Finally, those of us well into middle-age, the pissed-off post-boomer tax slaves, old enough to have voted in 1992, when we should have had a referendum, but too young to have voted in 1975, need to appreciate that the millennials have a totally different outlook to us.  We have to stress to them that the ‘European Union’ may have been an appropriate concept in the 20th Century, but that in the era of the World Wide Web – invented by a resourceful Brit working at CERN in Geneva (not in the EU) – international commerce does not depend on geographical proximity.  We can trade with any other country in the world without having to seek permission from bureaucrats in Brussels.  Oh and not everything about Brussels is bad, yes it does have awful traffic pollution, but if you are a comic book geek, it is the place to go to; and those little cafes near the Grand Place where the waiter brings you a beer menu and serves you your special beer in a special glass are one of the hallmarks of European civilisation.  Another Europe is possible, let’s start by demerging the EU and bringing democracy back to the nations of Europe.

The Brexit Sideshow

If you are bored witless with how long this issue has been dragging out, you are not the only one.  It has only taken twenty-four years and six general elections to have a referendum on British membership of the European Union; and even then it was seventeen years since the one and only referendum on British membership of the European Economic Community, which at the time was known to most people as the ‘Common Market’.  Hardly a resounding endorsement of British democracy, is it?

Thatcher Europe 2

The ruling elites and professional middle-classes have always supported the removal of not just trade barriers, but immigration restrictions, because they know that increased competition for jobs and housing increases the disparities of wealth between themselves and the lumpen proletariat.  It should be no surprise therefore that a Tory government, that of Edward Heath – in which Margaret Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education – took Britain into the EEC in 1973, without a referendum.  Nor should it be surprising that the principle opposition came from within the Labour Party, whose electoral base was predominantly working-class and highly unionised.  Only when a Labour government was elected in 1974 was a referendum promised and held the following year.

As you can see from the picture above, the spin in 1975 was as it is today with ‘Europe’ being used as a shorthand way of referring, not to a geographical entity, but to a political project, the endgame of which was always the creation of a continental superstate.  At the time there was no way of knowing that in a decade and a half the Iron Curtain would have fallen and Germany been re-unified, but stealthily moving towards a Western European superstate was on the agenda, even though it was deliberately obscured from the voting public.  In 1975, Britain was held to be ‘the sick man of Europe’, the legacy of Heath’s terrible government which created an inflationary credit boom – so much for fiscal conservatism – when the global economy was already suffering the inflationary effects in commodity prices caused by the Nixon Administration’s dropping the gold standard in 1971.  The outcome was numerous strikes with trade unions demanding and getting inflation-busting pay rises, something which continued when Labour took over.

It was Margaret Thatcher’s successor as Prime Minister, John Major, whose government refused to hold a referendum on British membership of the EU and whose government later suffered the humiliation of the pound crashing out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner to monetary union.  The deep rift within the Conservative Party caused by this refusal to hold a referendum still exists today.  The real change has come within the Labour Party and the trade unions, who have bought into the ‘Social Europe’ propaganda with the price being paid by working-class Britons in the form of increased competition for jobs and housing.  For middle-class Guardian readers and even more privileged Labour MP’s this is a price worth paying.  For Labour’s natural electoral base it isn’t, which is why Labour’s support among working-class Britons continues to dwindle.  The Green Party, formerly known as the Ecology Party, whose electoral base is among those who follow E. F. Schumacher’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ world-view, has also gone arse-about-face by supporting the EU.

So what hope is there of opposition, of democracy returning to the people?  Forget the EU-worshipping Lib Dumbs, they are worse than useless.  There are ‘dissenters’ within Labour and the Greens who haven’t whored themselves to the EU and whom we should all support to promote the ‘Left Leave’ view, particularly those of us who were brought up in ‘Old’ Labour voting households, who do consequently feel some sense of patriotism.  Hope however, appears to be coming in what ought to be the blindingly obvious, namely that a political union of more than two dozen countries, many with no common language, culture or history, simply cannot be held together, even by dictatorship.  This has become evident in the resurgent nationalism taking hold throughout Europe.  This in itself is not something to celebrate, but it is a natural reaction to the centralisation of political power in Brussels, including the EU’s demands upon countries that they take quotas of economic migrants from as far away as Afghanistan and Somalia, whose cultures are totally incompatible with those of the respective host nations.

Even a common language, culture and history are not enough to successfully hold a political union together, but having at least one of these is a minimum requirement.  The UK itself is under strain from Scottish separatists, who are ironically pro-EU, as they genuinely believe that Scotland, with one per cent of the EU’s population, can influence how it is run.   This weekend the Irish commemorate the ‘Easter Rising’ (led by a Scottish socialist) against British rule.  That the Irish ended up being dominated by the Catholic Church, ultra-conservative governments and more recently the European Central Bank are all separate issues.  They understand, from bitter experience, that if a referendum yields the ‘wrong’ result, they have to hold it again until the result is ‘correct’.

Notes

I shall be lazy in not putting comprehensive references, but if you haven’t read Dominic Sandbrook’s excellent popular history books of the 1970’s, State of Emergency and Seasons in the Sun, I have to recommend that you do.  The former details British entry into the EEC and the latter the 1975 referendum.