An opportunity to correct an historic mistake on 23rd June – a letter from our President to the Leicester Mercury

Married with a son and daughter plus three granddaughters, I have lived in Leicester for 20 years. I am not a member of any political party, now aged 81, having worked in engineering manufacturing for 51 years watching our heavy engineering virtually disappear and our fishing fleet destroyed by the EU.

I organised demonstrations to close down the EU-inspired East Midlands Regional Assembly and also had the EU flag taken down because it was being flown illegally above the main entrance to the Town Hall. In 2000 under Magna Carta I organised and, with the help of Groby voters, won hands down a Parish Poll to save the pound against the euro. For good measure, under the ancient law of Misprision, I laid evidence of alleged treason against Tony Blair at Leicester Magistrates Court which the Bench felt they couldn’t handle although I had done my duty as a citizen in making a detailed report.

I spent 10 with Leicester Jazz Society voluntarily promoting concerts and a jazz festival in the city, plus two years trying to establish St George’s Day celebrations in Castle Gardens. Now I spend my spare time on three NHS-related committees locally, plus organising Head & Neck Cancer Support Group meetings monthly at Coping with Cancer at Helen Webb House, Westleigh Road, Leicester. Having survived major cancer surgery to my head five years ago I am now used during the final exams at the Royal Infirmary for trainee doctors and those wishing to become Consultants

Around the age of 17 in 1951, I followed my father into a large engineering factory. There was little problem trading with and travelling around the continent before we were drawn into the Common Market. Becoming married and a father I became suspicious that we were not being told the truth about joining the EEC so I sat in the Commons the night we joined by a slender majority of 8 votes obtained by the withholding of crucial information from MPs about the terms of entry and a legal warning from Lord Kilmuir about the surrender of sovereignty hidden for 30 years. (see video film of former Labour MP Nigel Spearing on MPs being asked to sign a blank cheque)

At the stroke of midnight 1st January 1972 we turned our backs on and discriminated against our Commonwealth friends. We had to cancel duty free and other food contracts with those countries to enter the higher cost food market of the EEC without any thought to the major impact upon the economies of those countries who had historical and multicultural links with us. As Barbara Castle of the Labour party put it “This is the new internationalism, selected relationships dictated and controlled by a powerful European bloc. What kind of internationalism is it that henceforth this country gives priority to a Frenchman over an Indian, a German over an Australian and an Italian over a Malaysian”?

Since then I have campaigned to reclaim the sovereignty of our Parliament and Courts to make our own laws and regain the freedom to trade globally within and outside an ailing crisis-ridden EU of rising unemployment and social unrest

There are three issues and many more that worry me should we remain in the EU.

  1. The British public want truth and calm debate, not hysterical crystal ball predictions and threats bombarding us from the remain side. We began to distrust long ago politicians fobbing us off as though the British public are fools such as the time then Minister for Europe Keith Vaz claimed that the European new Charter of Fundamental Rights “would have no greater legal standing than a copy of the Beano”. Peter Hain said of the EU’s draft Constitution for Europe, the forerunner of the Lisbon Treaty setting the EU’s course for the next 50 years that it was, “a mere tidying up exercise”. We are getting bad tempered insults, mud-slinging with an eye to winning the next general election. The Labour party is as bad as the Conservative. It is the scratching of infected scabs left by long standing party conflicts.

  1. I owe my life to the NHS. I fear that the TTIP trade treaty being negotiated in secret between America and the EU will bring the full weight of privatisation, pharmaceutical, insurance, financial investment companies and legal professionals to fall upon the NHS. David Cameron says the NHS will be exempt. I do not trust him.

  1. The biggest concern is uncontrolled immigration. We need controlled immigration. Our history is built upon immigration over centuries. Our culture evolves over time if newcomers integrate gradually rather than bringing the problems of their own countries with them. We need to leave the EU and elect a Parliament to begin to get to grips to find the right balance between the types of skills and labour that are needed matched with the adequate provision of homes, schools, hospitals, transport systems and the many services that are required to avoid social tensions and civic unrest. It ought to be made known that economic immigrants on arrival should not expect to take or be given priority over UK residents. Joining the EEC required us not to set any limits on immigration from within the Community. Although Turkey is expected to join according to our government’s policy, on top of those arriving from other EU countries, 100,000 would be expected to arrive every year from Turkey. This is the estimate given by Lord Green to the Migration & Asylum Select Committee on 7th June based on the pattern from east European of known arrivals Our towns and cities are becoming overcrowded and air polluted whilst our countryside is coming under increased pressure with new urban sprawls

The evidence of uncontrolled immigration is perfectly clear to those who live, travel and work in cities, to those who want their children placed in schools, to those who want GP appointments and to those who want hospital treatment.

The Office of National Statistics state that at the time of my birth in 1935 the UK had a population of 46,870,000. It is now 65,089,427 with a projected increase to 74.3 million in 2039.

My wife’s parents were invited and came to the UK from the West Indies in early 1960s. Caribbean immigrants were needed to fill job vacancies because we had to cope with the loss of people killed in the second world war (326,000 military and 62,000 civilian deaths) who would have provided more children had they lived. Those immigrants arrived and came speaking the English language, wearing western dress and bringing Christianity as my wife reminds me. They had a rough time but in reasonable numbers integrated over time. We have never before known the scale and different cultures and different languages we have arriving now in the UK. We are told we need immigrants to counter an ageing UK population. This is perfectly true when a balance can and should be created and managed once we leave the EU. Sad to say our UK population is on average ageing as many women need or decide to work longer before couples can afford or want to start families. We should not raid the skills and labour especially for medical staff needed by the remaining populations in poorer countries. It is wrong morally to recruit doctors and nurses as a cheaper and short term alternative to spending money and time to train our own youngsters

I liken the EU to a lorry without insurance and MOT certificates travelling on worn tyres and defective brakes driven by under-qualified drivers along rocky roads to a destination signposted “Ever Closer Control”. David Cameron says he changed the signpost from “Ever Closer Union” but yet again, I do not trust him.

I trust the common sense and instincts of the British people to have the confidence to vote Leave to be governed in future by our Parliament by MPs we elect and not to be governed by unelected Commissioners we cannot get rid of.

Upon leaving the EU we would save billions of pounds. It is just not the money that we transfer directly to the EU but the even greater amount of money which burdensome regulations cost the UK economy. How much better when we are spending our hard earned money on our own needs and making laws and regulations to suit our own country and people. A brighter future beckons when we leave and take control.

George West

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. BarryReply

    We need to control immigration properly and this now requires a future British government to set-aside their liberal PC instincts and be extremely tough. This would be necessary anyway but is now particularly so because past British governments IN OR OUT of the Common Market/EU haven’t been. Infact, NO British government has exercised sufficient control over this issue since 1948! This is a important issue for the vast majority of people who wish to leave the EU and is one of the main motivations for people to vote leave. I have been dismayed, however, that some vote leave spokespeople seem to imply that the only real issue is EU migration and that were we to leave then

  2. BarryReply

    we would could then substantially reduce migration from EU countries and all would be well. I believe many people are more concerned with non-EU immigration as many come from cultures that have very different values to us (the sex attacks in Cologne being a recent example of this). I hope the leave spokespeople realise this and be more careful in their statements on the immigration question because if they are not then they may make a few people abstain instead of voting leave and with the polls as extremely tight as they are that could mean the difference between winning and losing this referendum.

  3. John Petley
    John PetleyReply

    Please see the following comments from our President regarding the feedback he has recevied from his article:-

    1) I was genuinely looking forward to sitting down today to read a Stay or Go article by Keith Vaz
    Instead there was Nicky Morgan who together with Liz Kendall I provided a bit of a history lesson at the recent VAL public debate. They are so young.

    The explanation for Keith’s absence which presumably caused you inconvenience, was at the foot of Nicky’s article “Keith Vaz Labour MP for Leicester, had agreed to provide the argument for the Remain side, but we received a call from his office yesterday morning to say he was unable to fulfil this commitment.”

    Did this I wonder have anything to do with my reminding your readers in my Leave article yesterday of Keith claiming when he was Minister for Europe that the European new Charter of Fundamental Rights “would have no greater legal standing than a copy of the Beano”? Actually he didn’t only liken it to the Beano but also to the Sun and look at the Sun’s Leave policy announced yesterday . Perhaps it was the Sun coming out today to warm us but not the Remain side?

    Keith is a long standing opponent of mine. Years ago the Mercury ran a two page feature about the EU with Keith on one page and me on the other.
    I wrote about the damage done to our fishing industry by the EU amongst other damage to our industries. Keith in return pointed out that fish know no boundaries. Recently we (CIB) produced a 30 page booklet “The Betrayal of Britain’s Fishing to the EU” written by John Ashworth who since 1963 has been involved with the commercial fishing industry. I will bring a couple of copies to your office tomorrow.

    We CIB used to hold our national committee meetings in a Lords committee room. I arrived to climb the steps one day and found Keith and an assistant seated at a desk strategically positioned to be easily seen for reasons unclear to me. I couldn’t help myself and told him “Good grief, I have travelled a hundred miles to get away from you and here you are”. Corporal Jones has a saying “They don’t like it up them sir”. It is a great benefit for me not to belong to a political party. I did try it once for about 18 months a long time ago but it did give me a blinding headache. Much more can be accomplished by being free as Britain will find after 23 June if voting in majority for Leave

    On the news today, boats have been sailed up the Thames in protest against the EU damage to the fishing industry. This isn’t the first time that a flotilla has sailed up the Thames. Many years back we helped organise a similar demonstration. I still have some photographs that were taken. But in those days we were being actively discouraged from conducting such demonstrations for fear they might receive too much publicity at a time when the British public needed to be educated that being in the EU was “a good thing” and “the advantages outweigh the disadvantages” plus we should all consider ourselves to be “citizens of the European Union” after the Maastricht Treaty. Today the boats were allowed to sail under the bridge to be outside the Houses of Parliament. Back then the flotilla was heavily policed and prevented from sailing under the bridge by the Port of London Authority. I seem to recall the boats were halted at St Katherine’s Dock (where I was a Director of JCS jazz society in late 1960s promoting concerts in an old disused bonded warehouse with Arts Council funding, the warehouse when we first went in lacking amenities such as a roof and all windows all blown off during the war…..a bit of a handicap)

    You mentioned that when the referendum is over , you might possibly interview me to recall all the activities with which I have been involved since 1971 plus what I have contributed to Leicester with my voluntary work in music and cancer support. I would like that very much. It would make all the obstacles placed in the way over all the years I have been in Leicester seem almost worthwhile. Another regular opponent on the pages of the Mercury for years urging us to adopt the euro currency or suffer dire consequences was Peter Valentine. I don’t know what stopped his one man campaign and I keep meaning to try and find out. I hope it wasn’t his health. I hope it was because in the end he realised he was promoting a lost cause

    Thanks again for yesterday’s invitation. I am beginning to get interesting feedback especially from the owner and his CEO of the large engineering group in the north east where I worked before coming to Leicester. They are big exporters and definitely voting Leave.
    Best wishes

    2) I am thankful that Leicester Mercury over the years has given me so many opportunities to speak out against the EU especially for my full page GO article published last Tuesday. I do wish however that Mr Mark Jones in yesterday’s mailbox would challenge me on exactly what I have written instead of what I did not .
    More importantly, Mr Mathew Hulbert in yesterday’s First Person column wrote that because of the sacrifice made by his grandfather in the First World War and relatives in the Second we have lived in a Europe which is at peace. I too lost a grandfather in the First World War leaving behind a grandmother and nine children to fend for themselves, who gave his life with some of my relatives who fought in the Second World War to bring freedom and liberty to the countries of Europe but not for our Parliament in 1972 to surrender our sovereign law making powers to the EU.
    There hasn’t and isn’t peace in Europe. The EU seems impotent to stop the violence. When I sat writing my GO article I thought of the attacks by the Provisional IRA and Real IRA between the time we entered the EEC and now. I started counting and gave up because there are so many whatever the reasons. Just check it out on the internet. Then I thought about the war in the Balkans and the 100,000 who were killed in that conflict with the EU impotent causing NATO to step in turning NATO from a peace keeping organisation into a military aggressive force.
    I want peace world wide but the EU instead has not brought peace but civic tensions, high employment and tyre burning, stone throwing, tear gas street demonstrations because of its policies especially by introducing the Euro currency improvising the southern countries. If people are still of the opinion that the EU has brought peace just think of Ukraine. For sure, we need a better model for peace than the European Union

    3) On the other hand another reply came from a friend who is a frequent business (IBM) traveller across Europe who previously was a Remainer now telling me he is not 100% convinced but will now vote Leave

    Cracking article George, I just wish more people would take note. You’ll be glad to know myself and ****** are on your side, and most of our international customers don’t give a dam. They don’t get involved in politics where they trade, as they know they will get bogged down with legislation if they do. So leave or stay it will not affect our business, as most people on the stay side believe. I have lost count of the people who have said that Nissan in Sunderland will close if we leave the EU, because it is owned by the French. I have tried to explain to them that French or not they would not close the most efficient car plant in Europe down just because we leave the EU.

    Keep up the good fight and let’s hope for a win next week.


  4. Mr J.GravinaReply

    “We are told we need immigrants to counter an ageing UK population.'”

    Does that mean that when the immigrants here eventually age, will we need further immigrants to replace them, and when they age we will need further immigrants to replace them, and when they age we…………… … is there no end to it?……….How on earth did the UK survive prior to 1948? ……NO its is NOT the money it is reclaiming Self-Rule. I should add the EU has nothing to do with keeping peace in Europe, peace has kept by NATO, remember their forays into Serbia.

  5. martin cruttwellReply

    Readers might care to look at my website If any reader particularly likes it please get in touch via [email protected] as the links may not be working. I agree entirely with the sentiments of above articles.

    I am an old anti-marketeer and go back to the the 1970s and my website is about the PARTY SYSTEM AND THE CORRUPTION OF PARLIAMENT. In it I explain how Heath was able to disregard the laws of England because we were (and still are) foolish enough to go along with the game of “choosing a government”. In so doing WE cause the constitutional separation of powers to be destroyed and having achieved the “will of the people” by a “democratic majority” Mr Heath and every Prime Minister may do as they wish. Not only was Mr Heath’s action a perfect example of power out of control, the consequences of which we are now having to unravel, but Mr Blair and Mr Cameron have demonstrated that same power out of control when they smashed Iraq, Libya and now Syria in pursuit of another regime change so that more and more nation states will succumb to “globalisation” and the world is in turmoil.

    The tragic consequences of the above military invasions (mass refugees and suffering) brings me to support the excellent article above and especially the sinister part immigration is playing on the attack on our nation. Having notionally escaped from the clutches of the EU dictatorship the other part of the attack, immigration, continues for the simple reason that for another TWO years the drawbridge is still down.

    England is England because of who we are. We are who we are because we had the most perfect natural barrier any people could wish for (“serving as a moat against the envy of less happier lands”(John of Gaunt)to develop our culture, our law and unique way of life and the reason we have had this mass invasion is to destroy us, our wonderful Common Law system and our liberty.
    This invasion could have been stopped and bloodshed avoided but those of us who protested had laws slapped upon us to shut us up and these laws were promoted by aliens from Eastern Europe who had received our hospitality and succor, worked their way up into our government and are thanking us for our kindness by turning on us from within.. It is not just about numbers, as the lilly-livered hypocrites say, it is about dividing our once beautiful nation into competing groups, often with differing goals and allegiances. The idea that the English have a right to prefer to live peacefully amongst their own kind and under their own laws and customs is a crime worse than murder now. The word “replace” comes to mind. In our capital city and across large swathes of England the English are being replaced by people who have only their own interests at heart and the tenor of the debate is that they are “good for the economy” as if money is the only factor which matters. In 2014 on one side of the Oxford Union (you tube) debate on “is immigration good for Britain” was Iraqi Nahib Zadawi MP for Stratford on Avon!! He thanked “this country” for giving him all he had as he came as a child refugee (who had done well on the backs of the English taxpayer), he stated that he was immensely grateful that he was a Member of the finest (English) Parliament in the world , that “immigration was ‘good for the economy'(!!), that “our universities benefited from migration share” and that “we” needed more immigration,so that, in effect, more people like him could replace(!!) us English people in our English Parliament!! In other words, the tiny English nation which had led in civilising the world through the rule of law etc must apparently now take a back seat (punishment for having had an Empire?) and that our future role is now to give everyone but ourselves a leg up. Politicians talk about “unity” but they have conspired to make it not only impossible but a very expensive exercise as the tensions increase.

Leave a comment