Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Monday 14 March 2011

My pledge is to fight the Pledgers

It saddens me that Mark Seddon, an old friend and comrade, has become director of the People's Pledge, the latest organisation to be pressing for a referendum on EU membership.
Even though it is described as cross-party, there is no doubt what the vast majority of its leading figures want.  They want the UK out of the European Union.
The consequences of that would be catastrophic.  With all the growing economic pressures on the country, why on earth should we decide to remove ourselves from the biggest trading block in the world?
I don't deny that there are all sorts of things wrong with the way the EU is run. As there is with the Government and the local council and any other body you can mention, including private companies. But the doomsday scenario - "it's not working to my entire satisfaction, so let's get rid of it" - is absurd.
The huge growth in antagonisim to the EU is due to an overwhelming campaign run in the Murdoch press as well as the Mail, Telegraph and Daily Express - which is now calling openly for withdrawal, which is at least honest - and the failure of politicians to explain the benefits of membership.
There is also the nasty involvement of anti-immigration sentiment, which wants the Poles and other East Europeans banned from these shores in the same way it does migrants from the Indian sub-continent.
Who is funding the People's Pledge? It will have shedloads of money, as all the anti-European movements do, thanks to extremely wealthy benefactors.
Meanwhile, the money that is really relevant - the billions that this country gains through trade with our EU partners - is put at risk by this senseless hatred.
Even those arch anti-Europeans Cameron, Osborne and Hague have moderated their attitudes since coming to power. They were faced with the reality of the benefits that membership of the EU brings.
Yet we are heading in only one direction. Out of the European Union and on to the long road to economic disaster and international irrelevance. It is way beyond time that we made a stand against the Pledgers and their fellow travellers.

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