Introduction

I’ve started this blog to enable more debate, fuller questions and better answers. Twitter is great; but many arguments need more detail than 140 characters allow.

So I’m now going to blog my thoughts on the political issues of the day – the main current one obviously being the referendum. These are just thoughts and ideas though. I’m not saying I’m right and I actively want people to contribute and prove me wrong (or right).

I’m open to all views and ideas; but I do have a few bugbears, which – if you follow me on twitter – you may have noticed by now. So please contribute and comment; but remember:

  1. Be polite. We all have a vote and we all have an opinion. These can be expressed without recourse to name-calling. Remain supporters being called “unpatriotic traitors” and Leave supporters being called “deluded idiots” is unpleasant and unnecessary; and it certainly won’t help you change anyone’s mind.
  2. Keep to the point. Ignoring what someone has said and instead bringing up something entirely new into a debate is always obvious and is usually a sure sign the original argument wasn’t strong.
  3. Give Evidence. If you state something as a fact, it needs to be backed up with evidence. Things don’t become true just because you repeat them and want them to be.

Personally, I will (and do) change my mind when presented with a good argument and good evidence. Admitting you were wrong about something is never a weakness.

1 thought on “Introduction”

  1. It’s really good to see a common sense approach to the debate. I think you are correct in pointing out in the post on immigration that people can naturally be swayed against the long term, ultimate or wider benefits of immigration (despite the evidence for it) by local, personally detrimental circumstances. The issues are complicated and need careful consideration.
    However, it seems that there are many who are mostly reasoning (or not reasoning) on the basis of fear without foundation, on myths that they’ve taken on board unchallenged. I’ll be specific – I’ve met or heard many people saying that they support ‘Leave’ on account of immigration pressures, despite living in towns in Wales where the presence of recent immigrants is less than 1%…
    People also forget that many of our historical settlements in Wales were formed in the later phases of the industrial revolution by significant waves of immigration – to Merthyr, Swansea, Llanelli – from England, Scotland and Europe. At one time, 40% of Cardiff’s population were of Irish origin!
    As you point out, immigrants making a positive economic contribution who stay (and very many from the EU eventually return home, according to the most recent study) and assimilate, can only strengthen Britain. I can only compare and contrast, from my own experience and perspective, the history of Italians who established the cafés of the Valleys, many adopting Welsh as well as English as their new languages, similarly the Polish airmen who after being prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice defending the UK after the fall of their own country, were stranded here and truly made Wales their home.
    But then you have the constant decades long immigration of non-Welsh speakers into the Welsh speaking heartlands, who not only refused to assimilate but successfully strove with vigour and disrespect to impose their language and culture on the last remnants one of Britain’s original and ancient languages.
    Having said this, I’m not saying that Welsh culture is better than English/England’s, just as that of Poland or Romania is not less valid or vital than any of the UK’s own. English culture and language are not under threat from immigration, and Europe offers cultural opportunities that we can only benefit from discovering and sharing. We have to respect each other’s culture, especially where the part we play by choosing not to assimilate puts another culture under threat.
    Citizenship is no longer about ethnic origin (if it ever was) but about how much we want to contribute to the greater good of the whole society we live in.

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