In this Podcast we ask how did it get to this and what should we expect from now on.
I have a declaration to make: I have never been a member of any political party nor have I made any contribution to a political party. I have never attended any political party meetings and my only contact with politicians has been in the cause of the Consumer, arguing for the protection or improvement of their rights.
I think that this UK neutral position has served me well and delivers I hope an honesty and the ability to freely speak my mind based on evidence.
But if there is one thing that I have noticed within the UK in this past 3 years, is how someone like me, who has a great deal to say, is either forgotten or is used less frequently by the media for fear of expressing a view which we are told is the prevailing or majority opinion.
This should not surprise anyone because I am in good company; a journey through Twitter will reveal other ‘public’ voices who express perhaps more forcibly than me, their anger at how they perceive they have been treated by the media this past 3 years; some have even called for a boycott by fellow-media contributors, of certain broadcasters, because of some odd perceived behaviour by some of those same broadcasters.
I take the view that the media has a job to do; they know that I will advocate a position or a point of view on behalf of Consumers and a reasonable person, faced with the same evidence as me, would very likely come to the same conclusions as myself about Consumer Rights. So on the important media contributions and appearances I make, I ensure that I present an opinion based on that ‘reasonable person’ evidence and simply tell it as it is, without the whistles and bells that have accompanied the ‘Remain’ Campaign.
So here is my second declaration; I am an advocate of membership of the European Union. I voted to ‘Remain’ in 1975, in those days when there was no internet and no social media; the only source of information either came from government or my local library.
I voted positively in 1975 based on my own research and the desire as a young man to strive for something better in our world, delivering a better life and rights for people; I voted for inclusivity, brotherhood and peace.
I also voted to ‘Remain’ in 2016, carrying forward my themes from 1975, but this time bringing my experience of working within the EU, actively engaging in the political process and achieving much for Travel Consumers.
Here is my third declaration: Whilst I am able to put to one-side my European views and advocate independently for Consumers, this does not mean that I cannot express my private views; and express them I have.
I have attended several of the major marches for membership of the EU in London; I have sought to engage locally with groups advocating a ‘Remain’ position; I have attended local rallies; I have expressed opinion, both in writing and through social networks; I have talked directly with some key people of the ‘Remain’ Campaign; I became a subscriber to ‘The People’s Vote’ and a one-year paid up member of the ‘European Movement’.
Through my engagement with the ‘Remain’ side of the debate, I would say, pretty much like some in the media, that my views have not been universally welcomed. I must stress that whenever I have expressed any views, to either side of the polarised European debate, I have done so with great diplomacy & care, but that is a difficult goal when you just have 280 characters!
But as is the case with first-past-the-post UK politics, with the victory, comes the spoils. I would suggest that some comments heard from the victorious have so far been perhaps somewhat muted, for example, Boris Johnson said in his victory speech that:
“You've been paying attention. Because this election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people... And with this election, I think we've put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum...And I say respectfully, I say respectfully to our stentorian friend in the blue 12-star hat, 'That's it, time to put a sock in the megaphone and give everybody some peace’”.
It is for you to decide whether that constitutes a muted opinion or whether this is just a precursor for more to come?
So was I surprised with the result of the Election; no I wasn’t. Why?