Thoughts from the day

 

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Keep Calm and Article 50

£144bn EU Budget out of £6211bn, the combined spend of member states

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Of £350m per week the UK contributes to the EU, it is £260m after the rebate, then £170m after all incoming EU investment.  There are also all the benefits of trading without paying tarriffs at every stage.

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How does it affect a 62 year old woman in Greece, just about to come into her pension…asking questions like these lead you to different solutions…MEP

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The Council of Ministers and its austerity-blocking ways…

Proposals brought forward by the Commission (among others), and discussed and agreed by  EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers; the latter is made up of appointments by the member states.

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WEA is a member of Solidar, and so, therefore, at least indirectly, am I.

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How are we going to challenge the free market paradigm..?

Without warning, a group of people were thrust onto the longstanding, relatively well-knitted but poor community in a part of the city, one which had been feeling neglected for quite some time. The new people were disruptive. They caused nuisance and there was an increase in anti-social activities. There was a spike in incidents reported to the police.

It couldn’t be left to fester. This would only lead to more serious actions and their consequences. So, a number of local community leaders together with the local authorities invited everyone to a meeting – actually, a series of meetings – where everyone had their say. The meetings led over time to the new group becoming integrated into the local community. There was even more funding coming into the area as a result. Nowadays, it looks like a vibrant local community, which it always was.

And the group that was catapulted into the area?

‘Eastern Europeans..? Asians..? Africans..? ‘

‘What are you thinking? They were students.’

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Where is Africa in all this?

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I live in a city. Most people who live in cities voted to remain. Most young people voted to remain too. I am one of the 48%ers. But there is a disconnect with the many who voted to leave. We experience pain, fear, blame, betrayal (on both sides) and anger…

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…a Polish woman was enrolling on an ESOL course. I was explaining to her how she could apply to a fund for her course fees. She wasn’t working nor receiving benefits. I grew curious. ‘If you’re not on benefits and not working, what are you living on?’ ‘Our savings. I used to be a manager here in a pizza restaurant. So did my husband. We both moved to manage another restaurant with the same company in another city. But then I got pregnant, so we came back here. We have more friends and people around us here. I don’t want to take benefits. I don’t want people to say ‘You Poles!’ You’re only here for the benefits.’ And then she burst out crying. ‘I feel so afraid here now…after the referendum.’ And I felt…well, I did my best to reassure her that she was in a friendly city with people who wanted her here. Her child will be born here…but she doesn’t feel safe…And I feel…how do I feel? What can I do?

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