The recent murder of Jo Cox is an example of a martyrdom in the cause of freedom of speech and freedom of movement. As my mother’s family, called Lefroy, were welcomed here when they fled from persecution in Cambrai in Northern France I am obviously prejudiced in favour of treating refugees well. If this had not happened to my family I would not be here.
Over the last few months there has been a considerable increase in violence in many attitudes to those who have come to our shores for whatever reason. The whole Brexit campaign appears to have been skewed largely to consider this one thing. As refugees and migrants have become the scapegoats for the cuts which have bedevilled our society the Government has been able to get away with a confidence trick. They have claimed that their austerity measures, which have robbed ordinary people, but especially the poor, of so many of the best things in life were a necessity. They were not. The £80 billion and more that have been taken away could have easily been recouped by making the banks and corporations pay what they have owed which comes almost exactly to that amount.
Lack of social housing, forcing the low paid and unemployed to choose between going hungry and not being able to keep themselves warm, lack of provision for young people including cuts to Sure Start, are examples of the ways in which those at the bottom of the ladder have been hit, while the whole of society has suffered from seeing libraries being forced to close, post offices being forced to make great profits or go under, chemists losing their funding, to name but a few.
Which way, in view of all this, we each vote next week in the referendum is entirely up to us, but I follow Caroline Lucas, our only Green MP, in believing that if we detach ourselves from the EU, with all its faults, under the present government we would lose all the incentive there is to be concerned with such things as workers’ rights and the environment.