To the people of Sunderland

by Malcolm Potter-Brown

Auksfor crest: a great auk displaying an open book with the words" Ex ovo sapientia"
Auksford, 2019

Copyright Malcolm Potter-Brown 2019

You voted leave, but you were deceived.

You were told that the NHS would be massively improved with an injection of £350 million per week.  This money was illusory.  Our net contribution to the EU was much less and it was outweighed by the greater prosperity of being inside a major trading bloc.   In fact the NHS is much worse off than ever before because European staff, alarmed by the climate of hatred, are leaving – and this includes all levels: consultants, junior doctors, nurses and ancillary staff.  Britain will somehow have to try and replace them by recruiting outside Europe.

For years the popular press has been dripping poison in your ears.  Newspaper proprietors are not your friends.  They care about only one thing: making a profit, and the way they have chosen to do this is to gain your loyalty by warning you against imaginary enemies.   It is the same technique that the Nazis used to gain control of Germany.  The Nazis blamed the Jews for every cause of discontent (though the hyper-inflation that brought about the collapse of the Weimar Republic was caused by America demanding repayment of all the loans it had made to Germany because its own economy collapsed in the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression).  

The newspaper proprietors tell you that everything that is wrong with Britain is the fault of the EU.  Why do you believe them?  Take for example the Express’s repeated predictions of extreme weather, of heatwaves and hurricanes, big freezes and blizzards, all bringing death and destruction.  If all these predictions had come true the population would have been decimated so many times it would be a wonder if even 10% of us had survived.

The press insinuates that Austerity is the fault of the EU.  It is not.  It was necessary to overcome the recession caused by the American Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis, in which American banks, hungry for ever larger profits, had taken unacceptable risks, landed themselves with bad debts, and then packaged them up so that they would be unrecognisable and sold them on to British, European and other banks across the world.

You were told that Nissan and the other international car-makers would always want to have their cars made in the UK even if we were outside the EU.  It seemed that Nissan was committed to staying, for they announced that their next model would be built in Sunderland for the European market.  What you may not have known is that decisions of this kind are taken up to six years in advance of the start of production.  Nissan were, it seemed, already too far committed to back out, but Sunderland will not even be considered for the model after that, and now the X-Trail SUV, which was expected to be built in Sunderland, will not be.

This is the beginning of the end, not just for Nissan in Sunderland but for the British car industry as a whole.  Investment has fallen by 46% and production has also fallen.  Your vote for Brexit was a vote for unemployment and austerity that will be far worse than anything you have yet experienced.

When it came to the referendum the Leave Campaign used illegal tactics, sending texts and e-mails to everyone who had a grievance against the establishment, implying that the way to have their say was to vote leave.  The organisers have been found guilty by the courts, yet still Theresa May insists that the people have spoken and that they must not be allowed to have another say in case they change their minds.

Why do you think she takes this attitude?  It is because her first priority is to maintain the unity of the Conservative Party.  The extreme right wing is in the ascendant, and she has to obey.  Do you suppose that the plummy, privileged Jacob Rees-Mogg cares whether you have a job or not?  Do you suppose that the slimy Gove cares whether you have a job or not?  Do you suppose that that posturing popinjay Boris Johnson, with his pretence at being an eccentric English gentleman and his ambitions to become Prime Minister, cares whether you have a job or not?  The right-wing Tory grandees are just playing at politics, preserving their own privileges, jockeying for position and trying to further their own careers and feather their own nests.

Theresa May is desperately trying to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a trade deal.  She knows it will cause poverty, yet she cannot rule it out and she will not grant a second referendum because the right wing threaten that they will bring fascist gangs out on to the streets and cause riot and disorder.  Already in Northern Ireland the New IRA are beginning to show their readiness to use the same terrorist tactics as the old IRA.

Do you really want to live in an impoverished country with mass-unemployment, subject to random acts of Irish terrorism, and governed by the extreme right wing of the Tory party?

If not, demand another referendum!  Demand three options:
(1) Crash out without a trade deal (which means widespread unemployment, increased food-prices, shortages, etc.),
(2) Accept Mrs May’s deal and stay in a customs union (which offers more employment, eliminates the likelihood of shortages and removes the excuse for IRA terrorism, but leaves us without a vote in the EU),
(3) Cancel Article 50 and stay in full membership (with all the advantages of a customs union and a voice in the EU Parliament and Commission).

If you want to save your job, demand a referendum and vote Remain!  

Don’t let the fascist right ruin your lives and the lives of your children and grandchildren.  Exit from Brexit!

Copyright Malcolm Potter-Brown
During the Brexit negotiations anyone may quote this article in part or in full.

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