The Vine Moon – Bind us together!

Union Jack waving


At Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox, which this year falls on a Monday – next Monday, the 22nd September, we are at the point in the year when we celebrate the last harvest, the best harvest of the year – truly a cause for celebration.

I love Autumn and the harvest, particularly when all our work and efforts come together in a glorious binding together time. We gather our gifts together and share what we have. What better way of celebrating and we have done it like this for many years.

Yet this year I find myself fearful that the Scottish people, our neighbours and brothers in arms are contemplating breaking the ties that bind and taking off on their own. They feel (many but not all) that they will be better off without us down here in England. I for one will be sorry if they go their own way, yet there is a bit of me that says ‘if they want to do that, let them’. Tomorrow they vote, all 4 million who have registered. Some are still undecided. We await the outcome. The English people, though also part of the Union and without our own parliament exclusively for us, unlike our Scottish neighbours, have not been included in the vote. We have hardly been consulted and yet we will be expected to comply with the wishes of the majority up there whatever the outcome will be.

I am justified in feeling proud to be British. I am English too and proud of that. I don’t really separate the two. We all live together on the same set of Islands. We share trade and brotherhood. What’s wrong with that. If Scotland hives off, the Queen will still be Queen because ever since the Union of the Crowns of 1603 – when James VI of Scotland also became James 1 of England, precedes even the Union of the nations of 1707. Perhaps Scotland, once separated will want to become a republic. What a shame that would be and what would happen to the Queen’s properties in Scotland? Our noble Queen who has been such an example to us all has kept out of the debate recently, except to advise the Scottish people to think carefully before voting YES.

Our politicians have been promising changes if Scotland stays in the Union. I don’t agree with this. Why should we bribe the Scots to stay? They should be begging to stay if you ask me. How can a country the size of Scotland hope to do better than if they stayed in the Union. We are already subsidising them in many ways and per capita each Scot receives ¬£1,600 more than we in England do. We are in a time of austerity and that applies to Scotland too. They think they are rich but they are mistaken. If they split off then they will be required to pay back their share of our National Debt. Their first Minister, Alex Salmond, has said he will default on the debts if asked to pay back what they owe. How does he think he will ever be able to borrow money from anyone ever again if he defaults on his debts here?

The main issue seems to be the currency. Scotland, once hived off, wish to keep the pound. That would mean that they as a foreign country would not have their own currency. How ridiculous. When asked what he would do if the banks refuse to make that path easy for him, was unable to answer. He refuses to answer because he doesn’t know. For sure several banks in Scotland will move their head offices to England. There will be job losses and a run on the bank. If I had money in a Scottish bank, I would have removed it weeks ago.

If Scotland want to join the European Union, they would have to reapply. The process would take at least five years and they would have to adopt the Euro. Then they would have to do what the European Union says and not Westminster so they still wouldn’t be free. There is no freedom these days. We are all answerable to somebody.

They want to remove the trident missiles from their shores. Wouldn’t America have something to say about that? Again, it would take years to put that into practise and how would our defense look then? We could be over-run with terrorists and immigrants from all over Europe, entering Scotland and moving down into England through the back door. Scotland would have very little defense at all. They could not depend on the support of the British army, such as it is and they would have to build a whole host of warships etc. That would all take time and money. There is not time where defense is concerned.

The Scots think they own the oil in the North Sea. Actually it belongs to the United Kingdom. If Scotland is no longer part of the United Kingdom, they they would have to renegotiate for the oil and there is nothing to say that they would get all of it. In fact the sea would probably be divided up and they would only get some of it. Since Alex Salmond thinks the oil revenue is their salvation, what plans has he in place if they don’t? and what will they do when it runs out?

Perhaps we in England we would have to put in border control and issue passports. That would interrupt trade.

Talking of trade, perhaps our government would add import duty onto all the crates of whiskey we import or maybe we’ll get it from somewhere else. I’m told that the Irish have good whiskey too.

If I was a pensioner up there, I would be very worried. At the moment their pensions are paid from a communal pot. We are apx 58 million people here, 5 million in Scotland. They would have to fund their own pensions in future.

Perhaps I will stop there. I could go on and on and on about it but like everyone else, I will have to wait and see and wonder what lies in store.




Britain and the European Union

Last week David Cameron, our Prime Minister, gave a speech about our participation in the European Union. He promised us that within five years there would be a referendum, which would give British people the choice of whether to stay in the European Union or to come out of it. I think that if the referendum happened tomorrow, most people would vote to come out. Am I right? Brits? what do you think?

However, are we, as ordinary people, able to judge the facts correctly? We need to be very careful.

David Cameron made it perfectly clear in his speech that he wants us to stay IN but with a few changes. Whether or not the other countries will agree to those remains to be seen.

You can read more about the speech here.

America’s view point is that we should stay IN, but is that because it would be to their advantage? They want ‘a strong voice in Europe’.

It seems to me that our staying IN would be to everyone else’s advantage, but maybe not to our own.

We did very well before we joined the Union. Wouldn’t it be better to go it alone again, make our own decisions, trade freely and not be restricted in our dealings by the rest of Europe.

I am old enough to remember what it was like before. We seemed to get a lot more butter from New Zealand and other products, which rarely appear on the supermarket shelves today. Nowadays we get lots of French cheese, German that, Spanish sausages but I doubt if they eat much of our produce over there.

While I was in America I couldn’t help but notice that they are very biased towards Ireland. There are lots of Irish products on the shelves, but few English items.

We in Europe are not alike. ¬†Each country is made up of a unique type of people. Our cultures are totally different. I personally doubt if we will ever be ‘one Europe’.

David Cameron’s speech did not go down well with the French but the Germans listened and understood where we were coming from.

Of course, for those people here who want to vote ‘OUT’, it almost guarantees that David Cameron’s party (conservatives) will be re-elected next time because for sure the other side (i.e. labour party) would not hold a referendum and we would definitely be staying in Europe.

People here have become disillusioned with the European Union. When we signed up for it, we signed up for a Common Market, but it has turned out to be a very different thing altogether. Laws are made and we have to comply with them whether we like it or not. People here don’t like being told what to do.

e.g. a lot of our crops have to be churned back into the ground because they don’t conform to European standards. Phooey! Sod that. Personally I don’t care what size or shape my bananas are or whether the cabbage is frilly or not. If it’s edible, I’ll eat it and I don’t need someone in Belgium to tell me I can’t.

I think you can tell where I stand on this issue. How many more people feel like me?

Here is a little poll. If you feel like it, please vote. I’d be interested to know what you think.