He’ll have to put up with Remainers
Dear Sir, — In the letter headed “A week without Remainer letter” (Chronicle 5th July) Ken Elliott made several mistakes.
He alleges that I think that I “have the answer to everything”.
Alas, not so. Two years ago I wrote to the Sentinel precisely because I did not know what should be done about Brexit and was looking for people with whom I could discuss it, on the principle that several heads were better than none.
I had little faith in Westminster politicians.
Now I have even less. Mr Corbyn has taken refuge in silence. Mrs May seems less like a party leader than a referee. The words “Chequers Agreement” say it all; it sounds less like a statement of collective policy than a peace treaty — or temporary truce — between warring factions within a party, which, although the biggest party in Parliament, does not have an absolute majority.
Mrs May now has to persuade all her MPs and enough MPs of other parties to support this plan. Then she has to convince the electorate. Finally it has to be accepted by the EU.
Some might think that there is a better chance of seeing unicorns graze in Hanley Park.
So I am still looking for solutions. I feel that a special obligation rests on me. I am the only European studies graduate in the Potteries, population about 250,000. As I am 75, time is not on my side, so I have to make an effort.
The Potteries is in a peculiar situation.
It had the highest Brexit vote in the country.
Nobody seriously hoping for office could publicly challenge Brexit.
In schools it would be difficult to discuss the issues in current affairs or modern history lessons because parents would complain that the referendum result was being undermined; 68,000+ Stokies voted to remain, but many are understandably cautious about saying so, let alone sticking their heads above the parapet.
This has led to a paradox, commented on by several of my pro-EU colleagues.
We pensioners can say and write what we want because we cannot be sacked. Age has some unexpected compensations.
So in a sense we represent the young. Differential death rates have shifted the political balance.
Leavers are no longer in the majority; it has been calculated that twice as many Brexiters as Remainers have died since the referendum.
Those reaching 18 and therefore able to vote will probably vote against Brexit, particularly a hard Brexit.
Mr Elliott will just have to put up with me and my fellow-Remainers. Into each life some rain must fall. — Yours faithfully,
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