?> Brexit – Page 2 – 48 And Beyond

February 2017

The 48 and Beyond – Join now!

By | February 25th, 2017|Updates|

A few days after the referendum in June last year, we started a group on Facebook called The 48%. The aim of the group was to give remain voters a place to discuss and debate the outcome, however, overnight the group grew by the thousands. As of today, the group sits at 56,000+ members and is still growing. The aim of the group moving forward is to create a platform for remain folk to discuss ways of retaining the UK’s position within the European Union. whether it’s comfort or advice, discussion or assistance, the group has provided all of these for months. Over the next few months, as the exit process begins, we are going to need to stick together and through doing so, we can influence and change the approach and deal we get upon our exit. Please remember to like our public Facebook page, follow us on twitter and Instagram to remain in the loop.

The group page currently promotes local groups, giving thousands of people the opportunity to join a pro-EU community near them. We don’t post these local groups on the public page but do share them in the private group. If you would like to join one of the hundreds of local groups, join the group below and just ask for help finding yours. 

Join the group: HERE

Like the page: HERE

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Guest Blog – I went for a walk today

By | February 14th, 2017|Updates|

I went for a walk today. First, down to the Post Office where the owner helped me with my parcel, checking the post code which he was worried was not correct. He’s a Muslim, a first generation immigrant judging by his voice – not that that made any difference. When I left the Post Office I decided to go home by a roundabout route in order to get a bit of exercise. As I passed a gate I got a huge hello and grin from the chap standing there having a smoke. He was black and had spectacular dreadlocks almost down to his waist – not that that made any difference. 

I went on my way, passing a lollipop man who was greeting parents and children as they passed with a beaming smile. He was white – not that it made any difference. On I went on this chilly afternoon, up past the hospital and met a “walking bus”: two young women and about ten children holding hands with each other and chattering away nineteen to the dozen, making their way home from school. Some of those children had white skins and some of them had brown skins, not that it made any difference – it certainly didn’t to them. I carried on, past the bike shop with the white owner, circling through the park past the swarms of students from our highly successful 6th form college in their mixed ethnic groups gossiping with the energy that young people have in abundance. Not that it made any difference either. When I walk around the town centre I hear voices in many accents and languages. I have heard most of them all my life. The Scots, Irish, Germans, Italians, Jews and Basques were already here before I was born. So too were the Eastern Europeans, fleeing first the Nazis and then the Communists. There are Latvian clubs, Ukrainian clubs , Polish clubs, Estonian clubs and so on all over the region. After the “Captive Nations” Europeans came people from the West Indies and then people from the Indian sub-continent and Africa. The new voices around my home town are Chinese; we have a thriving University which has a good number of Chinese students, and those of a new wave of Eastern European people. 

Not that any of THAT matters. I taught for thirty-eight years in the area, mostly at a comprehensive, and taught children from all these backgrounds, and also from Africa, from Palestine, from Sri Lanka, from Greece and from Russia. They were all, well, children. They were, of course, mostly lovely. My colleagues were white, brown, Christian, agnostic, Muslim, French, Spanish, Caribbean. Not that any of that made any difference. I spent my last five years of work at one of the highest achieving schools in the country where some of the pupils had doctors or surgeons as parents, some taxi-drivers, some accountants, some shop-keepers and some academics and so on. Nearly forty percent of the pupils were Muslim or of Asian descent – and none of that, none of it, made any difference. When I was about twelve I had an experience that did make a difference. On a visit to my grandfather’s house one day, being left alone whilst everyone else went to walk the dogs I explored my grandfather’s library. Looking through his books I discovered a photographic record of what the Allies found in the extermination camps in 1945. There was a horrid fascination that kept me turning the pages looking at one nightmare after another. I felt sick and yet I couldn’t stop looking: gallows, ovens and shower-rooms that weren’t. One image stays with me: a giant yard full of what appeared, at first sight, to be neat stacks of firewood. Except it wasn’t wood that was so neatly piled. I couldn’t tell my parents why I was so upset when they returned from their walk, I felt that I had been looking at something obscene and shameful, and I had. So here’s the thing: I was taught at junior school that white people were naturally better than every one else, that there were such things as human races and you could judge people by which religion they held to. It was all a lie. None of it, none of this nationalistic, xenophobic nonsense that engulfs us today is true. 

And it is why I am so angry about the results of the Referendum; that a project that was explicitly set up to ensure that the horrors of the past could never be repeated because we would be bound together at first economically and then through shared cultural experiences, a project that in those terms at least was an enormous success, that all this should be thrown away under the influences of those very forces it set out to destroy, is heart-breaking. I say shame, shame on all those unprincipled politicians and media men who encouraged this Pandora’s box to be opened. Let us hope that a butterfly of hope was released too.

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Why the government attempting to hustle us out of the EU

By | February 13th, 2017|Updates|

We must keep fighting to stop it

Theresa May is wholeheartedly dedicated to, in her own words, “delivering on a promise this government has made in response to the will of the British people”.

Now, although I admire her tenacity, her blind sightedness is causing a whirlpool of division and is posing a far greater threat to this country’s credibility and influence in Europe and across the world. Experts have warned about the impacts Brexit could have on our economy, yet May seems despondent, claiming it is “the will of the British people” to leave the European Union, a phrase that simply isn’t true. Of course, there are a few possible reasons for this bonkers thought process, but one, in particular, is party integrity.

The Conservatives had their marketing team create a fresh motto for the newly coronated Prime Minister, Theresa May. The motto, ‘A country that works for everyone’, was their attempt to reach out to the working class, the Labour voting crowd. It wasn’t emblazoned on a bright red bus, although it was printed onto her podiums and press backdrops. This move was a new approach to life under Theresa May, a new way of crushing the opposition and cementing future leadership for the Conservatives.

Okay, so the Conservatives are pushing through Brexit, but why? Well, it’s clear that if they don’t, they’ll lose their place at the top and suffer a huge drop in support when the next general election comes around. This means they’re catering decisions to help solidify the future of the party. The Labour party was always going to vote in favour of invoking Article 50, despite campaigning to Remain before the referendum. Labour are seen as the party for the working class, their support being built up from the angry population trying to fight off the so called Tory grip, the upper class, the elite; they can’t possibly vote against triggering article 50, they’re trying to gain back the trust of those who defected before the last General Election. A source from inside the Labour party was quoted as saying “The party is voting in favour of Brexit because we need to gain back the trust that was lost”, clarifying that above statement.

The SNP’s don’t have enough seats or influence in Parliament to block Brexit, along with the Liberal Democrats, who since the referendum, through their backing of Remain have garnered thousands of new members. Both the SNP’s and the Lib Dem’s have nothing to lose, which is why they’re so vocal. The Scotish National Party have a unique position when it comes to Brexit as Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain, leaving them with a strong hand if the opportunity for a second Scottish independence referendum arises. The Lib Dems already struggle to represent largely in parliament, their aim is to snatch the Remain folk and have been gaining seats in local by-elections since the referendum. Unfortunately, without a worthy opposition to the Conservative government and their dismissive attitude, our efforts to quash Brexit are being stemmed. This doesn’t mean we are finished, we are a large group of campaigners, a huge chunk of the population and through hard work and determination, we can force change, influence officials and move the chips over, in our half of the poker table. 

The Leave vote isn’t sacrosanct, we can fight it by coming together and doing what we need to do. Protesting, writing to MP’s and Lords, attending street stalls, flyering, sharing articles from papers supporting the Remain cause and by voting tactically in by-elections.

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90,000 Supporters and Growing, Fast

By | February 12th, 2017|Updates|

Hello guys, thank you for taking the time to read this short post.

We wanted to update you on numbers, how things are going behind the scenes and what you can do to stop Brexit.

Firstly, it’s probably worth mentioning that we have now reached 31,000 likes on our page – 48andbeyond

Secondly, our group the 48%, now has over 56,000 members and there is still a waiting list of over 600 people. – The group

Our twitter has grown slowly but with the help of our friend A. C. Grayling, it’s growing nicely too with over 2, 200 Followers – Our Twitter

We do have an Instagram account but we only post there when we have an interesting picture to share, which lately has been frequently. This account now has over 450 Followers. – @the48andbeyond

We have been pushing petitions, crowdfunding campaigns, videos, and letter drove directives through the group and through our network of social media accounts now for almost a year and think we do a good job as volunteers on keeping you guys up to date. (We also have very busy lives)

We will continue to grow, fast, and with that can start to pile the pressure on the right people and the right parties to try and overcome such a monumental disaster.

Keep supporting us, we’ll keep supporting the cause and providing you with all the relevant information and remember, keep sharing this group and our page, the larger we grow, the larger our voice becomes. 

Thank you, 48 And Beyond Admin.

September 2016

Brexit and identity

By | September 27th, 2016|Updates|

“We want to be British, we don’t want to be European

This phrase was uttered by an interviewee in Jeremy Paxman’s BBC documentary about the EU which was broadcast about a month before the referendum. It has stuck with me ever since as I think it is central to understanding the outcome of the vote.

Identity is a very personal and complex issue. I personally believe that everyone should be free to choose their own identity rather than having one thrust upon them. I also think that people should be allowed to have more than one identity and not be pigeonholed because of a single defining characteristic. All of the above is perhaps unsurprising given the fact that I grew up in Northern Ireland where the issue of identity is a very thorny one, to say the least.

The Good Friday Agreement, the historic pact which secured peace in Northern Ireland in 1998, has a wonderful passage about national identity. It states:

“the people of Northern Ireland can choose to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both”

I know many Northern Irish people from both sides of the sectarian divide who indeed choose to identify themselves as both. I am one of these people and always say I have a British head but an Irish heart. This dual identity perhaps also makes Northern Irish people more willing to call themselves Europeans than our English cousins.

Another factor could be age. The person interviewed on the Paxman generation was in their 70s and had lived through the aftermath of the Second World War. This was a time when Europe was deeply divided and there was a strong suspicion of anyone of foreign extraction. Holding on to your national identity was vitally important. The younger generation live in a time of increased mobility, intercultural marriages, bilingual children, Erasmus programs and low-cost flights. All of these factors make younger people more likely to embrace their European identity.

In conclusion, we are all more than just one thing. For example, I am proud to say I am Irish, British, European, a linguist, a member of the LGBT community and, as of 25th June 2016, the founder of a wonderful pro-EU community known as “48 and Beyond.” Let’s all embrace our different identities and the potential contradictions they may cause instead of desperately clinging on to just one of them.

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