Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who needs the Vote most? - The Government? or The Voter?

On Friday 31st January 2014 in the House of Lords The EU Referendum Bill – died - but it is far from dead!    What does that mean for us?  Quite a lot!
Your help needed – see below.
Lord Lipsey,  the archetypal ‘we rule – you are ruled’ politician, tabled the motion that the House should  ‘resume’! This arcane procedure meant that the Committee stage of the House debating the Referendum Bill came to an abrupt end and so did the Bill itself!  It is all slightly strange to those unfamiliar with the way ‘our’ government proceeds.
The Bill had a gaping great hole in its construction so far as the Citizen Abroad who lives in other States of the EU are concerned.  Unless the British Citizen had left less than fifteen ago he/she could have no vote in the referendum.  So although their lives could be turned upside down following the possibility of an OUT vote created by the resident British population, they could have no democratic say in the laws and treaties which affect their future, and it seems that most other expatriates are blind to the consequences. We were not to be consulted because ‘they’ rule – n’est-ce pas!
It is frankly tragic that so few citizens abroad in the EU realise the dangerous cliff edge which was appearing in front of them.
But Citizens across the world are also affected, for what affects the Government’s attitude towards the British Citizen in the EU also affects them.
THIS BILL will return effectively in an unchanged form UNLESS the British Citizens abroad DEMAND change! Demand Representation! Demand the Vote! But ‘the rulers have ruled’ from time immemorial, but should this be their attitude?  Should there not be a dialogue?
If the Conservatives win at the next election, Mr. Cameron has made it quite clear that a new Referendum Bill would appear and would be forced through Parliament almost exactly in its present form.
It is my view that a Referendum might have one good outcome.  That is - as long as the result is ‘yes’!   It would lance the festering boil of contention over this issue in Britain, and ensure that Britain is where it should be as a leading nation in Europe. But surely ! any new Referendum Bill should not ignore the British Citizens in  the rest of Europe!  But it most certainly will unless we, the citizens abroad, put aside our distrust of all politicians and say in no uncertain voice - WE WANT TO BE REPRESENTED.   We need to be Represented. We count! We are British Citizens!
A number of members of the Lords spoke well in our interest on Friday. Among these were the Lords Shipley, Bowness, Baroness Quinn, Kerr of Kinlochard, Williams of Elvel,  and others.  I was interested to hear Lord Kinnock refer to the oft-repeated phrase ‘no taxation without representation’ . He was referring to the French residents in Britain but the same could be said of  so many Britons Abroad who by law have to pay tax to the UK! These are the politicians who think differently – their mind set is ‘We rule but we listen to the citizen’ .  “We rule by consent”  They may be unelected peers but quite a few listen to the citizens.
I am quite certain, from personal mails to me, that leading proponents of this Bill, are sympathetic to our cause, but the appalling apparent lack of interest by the expatriate citizen in the political scene, is ruining our position and if we do not stand up now and say WE WANT TO HAVE REPRESENTATION IN THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT then we might well not get it in our lifetime.
The reason why the Politicians are indifferent to us, is because most of us are indifferent towards them!  This must change.
Your help is needed.
We need to publicise in ten Bullet Points why the British Citizen Abroad needs to be represented in the British Parliament.
It is necessary that the needs of the citizen are heard.
It is necessary for good Government and the ongoing prestige of Britain that the citizen is consulted. It is in the interest of The Government that ‘we have the vote’!
Send me your thoughts - your list. Covering why the Government needs to represent us as well as why we need this representation.
The final list will be publicised through all the media outlets we can muster.
Now is the hour to stand! For the right to be heard, and the need to listen.

Hansard report can be read here.
Begin at column 1532 for the amendment 57 on ‘Entitlement to vote in the Referendum’.
With good internet reception you can view the Parliament TV. Recoding at:--
Begin towards 2.15 p.m.
Profiles of the Lords who spoke can be read here.