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Grantham Journal letters: British do have a backbone

I, and almost half of the United Kingdom voted to remain in Europe, and yes, we are proud to be British and do have backbone.

We voted that way because we were clever enough not to be duped by a bunch of mediocre, opportunist politicians and we weren’t influenced by the right-wing newspapers such as the Mail, the Sun and the Express.

Although not all Brexiteers are racist there is no doubt that it was the racist vote that swung the decision to leave, particularly in rural Lincolnshire.

As the final sentence of Mr Drury’s letter of two weeks ago and the way the Slovakian lady was spoken to shows, we still suffer significant racist and misogynistic attitudes here in the county, sadly supported by too many people. The diehard Brexiteers keep trotting out the same tired arguments about protecting our borders, world trade and making our own laws.

Unlike the rest of Europe, we aren’t part of Schengen so we do have controlled borders; the average person can’t name a European law that adversely affects them and we’d be in cloud cuckoo land if we believed the rest of the world will clamour to trade with us rather than do bigger deals with Europe.

I can’t help feeling these are all a cover for a real purpose of keeping the foreigners out. I’d just ask, if that’s the wish, who is going to replace them in the NHS, the care system, the farms of Fenland Lincolnshire and so many other employment areas where we’ll have major problems without them.

My late father fought for this country throughout the war and after being taken prisoner during the Battle of Arnhem, he suffered for more than six months in the Belsen POW camp. He would have voted to remain in Europe and a significant reason for that would have been his belief that it would prevent the future generations from going through what he went through.

This for me, and many others was a compelling reason to remain in Europe. We also need to pay heed to the aspirations of Putin who would make great capital out of a weak and possibly fragmented Europe we could be starting to create.

This was all driven by Farage, who strangely is seen as a great patriot by many but, in reality, has provoked potentially great damage and decline to the UK. He showed, just after the referendum, when he addressed and insulted the European Parliament that he isn’t pro-British but an anti-European. He’s keeping well out of the way now leaving the EEC IS not as easy as he’d have had us believe and UKIP becomes more discredited as its inherent racism shows through.So, I, for one, make no apologies for hoping we finally decide we’re better off in Europe as that is the family we’re part of. That isn’t because of lack of backbone or affection for my country but because I put its future above a set of misguided and somewhat bigoted beliefs.

I want my grandchildren to enjoy the security and freedoms my generation has as part of a progressive, democratic Europe. Look to the future and stop yearning our colonial past.

Paddy Perry

Lime Grove


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