Street Campaign 29 Jun 19

Time for a catch-up on our weekend campaign activities so here is a thread to bring you all up to date and share the observations and stories of the day. This week our main stall was in Ellesmere Port to talk to the people there. The local MP is Justin Madders.

Ellesmere Port campaign board

The planned decision to visit Ellesmere Port turned out particularly prescient given the recent news of Vauxhall’s warnings about the consequences of the “Do or Die” no-deal being touted around by Johnson and Hunt

Campaigners at Ellesmere Port 29 June 2019

Some observations of the day have come in from our volunteers. One campaigner met a couple so disgusted with the current atmosphere which is toxic from the Brexit omnishambles, they have decided to move overseas to Spain permanently. These are not isolated cases sadly.

People’s Vote campaign leaflet

An observation on Johnson.
“If the next PM is dishonest in his private life, he will be dishonest with the country”
Well yes we agree.

However Jeremy Hunt gave us this fascinating and rare truth here.

Is your job worth Brexit? How do we decide who’s job is worth this monstrously bad decision? Any volunteers? Shall we draw straws? Any MP who is telling you that there is any Brexit which will not damage our lives and our economy and jobs is not telling you the truth.

The general vibe reported back by our volunteers was the overwhelming majority about 70% were supportive of our campaign for a #PeoplesVote. One man said “if the politicians can’t decide then it has to come back to the people”.

There were plenty of working class people, labour inclined, who came to talk to us. There were far fewer outright pro Brexit voices than we expected but even those people were unfailingly polite and not at all hostile, something we always find in Ellesmere Port.

Best for Britain map

One woman talked to us thinking we were pro Brexit. We were a little baffled until we realised she probably made an assumption about our flag. It seems so sad that Brexiters have attempted to hijack the Union Jack for their agenda. It belongs to all of us as does the EU flag.

We had a very shocking story told to us by a teacher. He ran into some ex pupils who all voted in the referendum but it turns out they voted leave. When asked why, they claimed it was to stop people who were not white. They used different words which I do not want to repeat.

The teacher was heartbroken and felt they had totally failed. But our view is the biggest failure has been accepting the below as legitimate journalism and political campaigning. Talking about “others” as problems has been normalised and this fed into the Brexit vote in 2016.

Breaking Point poster

We can no longer Look Away. The Brexit rally last night used air raid sirens to invoke a feeling of war. There is no Brexit compromise which will not strengthen and normalise the far right.

The local MP in Ellesmere Port Justin Madders seems well supported. His photo drew a lot of people to our stall. They don’t deserve a Brexit foisted on them . There were zero positive views expressed for Farage or Johnson. It was all negative.

In Ellesmere Port we asked for people’s priorities if we can #StopBrexit and get a functioning parliament back. NHS came top. Looks to me like a domestic agenda is what’s on people’s minds and we all now know that the Boris Bus was a pile of big fat Brexit Lies.

Brexitometer

Boris Bus

So another positive campaign day. People are fed up but more are starting to feel really worried and supporting the idea that we should stop and draw breath and look at the new facts before there is no going back.

With Brexit we face the prospect of job losses, possible medicine shortages or increased costs and lower tax revenues and worst of all, years of distraction from the day to day as we scrabble around to duplicate what we already have access to via our EU membership.

Unite poster
Unite poster

Why throw all this good stuff and influence away for a mediocre at best alternative? This is the real truth that MPs have to tell their constituents.

It’s time to face the truth and support a People’s Vote and Remain.

(This article was published on our Twitter page by Pilar, Chester for Europe campaigner)

Campaigning in Chester – 22/23 Jun 2019

In order to mark 3 years since the disastrous EU referendum, our group was out campaigning on the streets of Chester for the whole weekend. We wanted to speak to residents and visitors about what Brexit issues were on their mind.

Chester for Europe campaigning for a People's Vote
Chester for Europe campaigning for a People’s Vote

It was a busy time, as our action weekend coincided with the Chester Midsummer Watch Parade. The streets were very busy with residents and visitors. We had our new banners to show off.


“Say no to No-deal. We already have the best deal”.

Chester for Europe under the Chester Clock
Chester for Europe campaigners with our new banner

So what was the vibe? Well I have several conversations reported to me. One couple from Ellesmere Port had voted leave but are Remainers now. They made the excellent point that 6 years ago nobody was bothered about the EU so why was it suddenly made a problem? They felt manipulated by the Leave rhetoric and now do not like what we have become – so they have for the first time in their lives become properly engaged and one of the couple now volunteers for the Green Party.

It was lovely whilst being out on the streets for the our volunteers to feel the community spirit of the crowds around the Midsummer Watch Parade. We are a community group, of the community for the community and we give our time freely.

As always, we get lots of overseas visitors. We spoke to a German couple who asked us what had become of British democracy. They were shocked at the current paralysis in our politics. The UK has been held up as a beacon of power and stability and parliamentary democracy. Around the world now this view is severely tarnished. Boris Johnson is not a respected figure and business with the EU27 will be difficult with him at the helm.

Our German friends interestingly said that Bercow who has endeavoured to protect the voice of Parliament is respected. Our volunteers said the banners attracted a lot of people who wanted to talk. They detected that the threat of no-deal was being confronted by more people now in support of Revoke Article 50 or a People’s Vote. More and more people are realising they can no longer look away

Chester for Europe campaigner talking to Chester shoppers

Angry leavers are still around and difficult to engage. They don’t want to talk about no-deal, but there is more interest in our activities from soft leavers and soft remainers.

We have to keep working on the Fed Ups and persuade them to look because it is in their interest. A couple of our usual volunteers couldn’t help this weekend because they were proud to be taking part in the Midsummer Watch parade. The Parade was brilliant

We spoke to a couple of Conservative members. They are aghast at the idea of Boris Johnson as PM and question whether he could win a general election with his lack of grasp of detail. Sadly in our view Jeremy Hunt is not much better though he has a very good grasp of detail 🤦‍♀️

Jeremy Hunt, 22nd June 2019

We don’t want Chester jobs to be a casualty of the Brexit cult that has gripped the government. We did a mini survey with the people who we spoke to. We asked what the top 3 issues were, apart from Brexit, which were on their minds.

From the most often mentioned to the least we got this
1. Health
2. State of politics
3. Hate crimes
4. Freedom of speech 5. The Environment
6. Education
7. The economy
8. Austerity
9. Peace including the Middle East
10. Farming

Apart from peace and the environment which are both best served as part of the EU, the rest of this list is pretty much the stuff our Parliament is supposed to look after. Unfortunately for 3 years they have been so busy paralysed in the pit of the Brexit Vorago that they have done no significant work in any of these other areas to make 21st century solutions for 21st century problems.

Instead we have been forced into fighting the same old arguments of a very small number of the Tory right about the EU over and over and over again. When asked the question about the best way to break the brexit deadlock, 90% said a new public vote, 10 % said no deal crash out. The overwhelming majority said the ballot paper should say Remain vs the government’s agreed version of Brexit whatever that ends up being. Let’s hope the unicorn and four horsemen of the apocalypse aren’t foreboding omens. We will certainly be doing everything we can to fight them off for a Final Say. We will be fighting hard so Let Us Be Heard.

Please come and help us.

(This post was published in out Twitter account on 24 June by our Campaigner Pilar)

Happy with No Deal? – Don’t think so!

I keep hearing this myth put about by faragists and erg fans that people are happy with no deal as they asked about it in the referendum and still voted leave. Well I do remember whenever I saw a discussion about a deal I heard “of course we will get everything we want. They need us more than we need them. We will get a good deal”

michael gove

The idea that there is a mandate for no deal is rubbish spread by terrified Brextremists who have been caught out in every deceit they have pushed. The biggest deceit however is selling Brexit as something easy and simple and of benefit to the country.

There is no benefit.

When was the last time you heard the term sunlit uplands? The real benefits will be to stop Brexit however we do that. A Peoples Vote is best because it seeks consent in view of the facts. Imagine when we stop Brexit, we can stop wasting all the billions on no-deal planning, civil service time, the paralysis on parliamentary business. Investment will flood back to the UK. The pound will strengthen.

All scrap of uncertainty will be removed from the business community and they will start planning and investing for the positive future inside the most successful trading bloc in the world. Our NHS will be saved, we can start once again addressing the problems of understaffing and underfunding. Our care system likewise. Our parliament will be unshackled from corpse bride of zombie brexit and they can address the issues:

Housing
Education
NHS
Investment
Wages
Industry

Just imagine. We can make that happen. That’s the Stop Brexit Dividend

(This article was published on our Twitter page by Pilar, Chester for Europe campaigner)

Brexit – a marathon, not a sprint

A View From the Chair

I’ve never run a marathon. 
Apparently if you’re really fast you can do it in just over 2 hours. The run starts with some exhilaration as friends and well-wishers cheer you off, then there’s a period of steady running and just as the miles count down and the end is in sight you hit the ‘Wall’. The temptation to stop is overpowering but encouragements like ‘You’re nearly there!’ or ‘There’s only a few miles to go!’ help you keep going to the finish line.

So, in terms of our Brexit campaign, we are nearly there. Summer is such a tempting time to stop for a break. We’ve made so much progress. From our very first Street stall at The Cross when Brexit opinion in Cheshire West and Chester was  pro Leave through 3 indoor rallies, 2 monster marches and a duck race.  We’ve had a blizzard of leafletting at events from Chester Pride 2018 to Chester Half Marathon 2019 up to the European Elections campaign where hard Remain Parties scored 39% of the vote vs 35% for hard Leave and Labour outscored Conservative. We have really shifted opinion to Remain.

Of course, the finish line has moved. Brexit Day has passed and we are still European citizens. We don’t know when the crunch point will be be, but certainly within the year.

Chester for Europe Activists on the streets of Chester
Summer is a great time for Street campaigning. There’ll be another Pride in 2019. There
will be sunny days when people are happy to stop and chat. There will be tourists from all over the UK.

The campaign to convince voters in Chester (whether residents or visitors) that Brexit can only be a disaster needs to carry on over the summer while Brexiters (may or may not)
take a break.
We do need to expand our campaign into Ellesmere Port and Neston which voted Leave. Their MP is a Remainer who feels bound by the referendum result. But the voters are having doubts now that Vote Leave’s promises look undeliverable.

These summer months will be a great time to show Ellesmere Port and Neston’s voters how EU membership is in their interest and help the MP see that he can represent the best interests of his electorate.

So, the next stage of our campaign marathon will take us in a new direction. We’ve
helped set up Warrington for Europe, Eddisbury for Europe and Weaver Vale for Europe – all great landmarks on the route of our race. We are no longer alone as these groups are all campaigning alongside us now.

Now we need to go from convincing Remainers that Brexit can be stopped to convincing Soft Brexiters to “Say No To No Deal” and ultimately Stop Brexit. For those working in manufacturing, relying on EU support for their communities or needing NHS care, we need to keep up the race. We are nearly there. The finish line isn’t in sight yet – but it will be
soon.

Bollocks to Brexit!


Noel McGlinchey
Chair
Chester for Europe 

Leave in Retreat in Cheshire West and Chester and across the UK

c4e_post_election_party
Chester for Europe post EU Election party

Voters in Cheshire West and Chester have firmly rejected Brexit in the European elections in the votes counted on Sunday 26th May. With all votes counted the total Remain vote in CWAC from Liberal Democrats, Green, Change UK and UKEU parties totalled 36,324 votes while that for The Brexit Party and UKIP was only 32,980. This represents a clear shift in opinion away from Brexit in the borough.

Speaking after the EU election results were declared, Chester for Europe chair Noel McGlinchey said, “The results in Cheshire West & Chester show a clear majority of voters in our borough are against Brexit. There has been a shift against Brexit across the borough since the referendum in 2016. Chester for Europe have campaigned across the borough to explain what leaving the EU would mean to everyone and why we think people should have a final say on what happens next. We’ve talked to thousands of people and we’re delighted that the result of the election is a firm ‘No’ to Brexit from Cheshire West & Chester.”

Source: Sky News

Across the country both Lib Dems and Greens have done well to combat the extremism of the Brexit message. The total United Kingdom Remain vote, excluding both Labour and the Conservatives, was 6.70M while the total Leave vote including both The Brexit Party and UKIP was only 5.79M. This clearly shows that voters are fed up with Brexit and want to move onto more important matters such as employment rights, environment protection, NHS and local services.

Why you MUST vote in the EU Elections

Remember why we want to stay in the heart of the EU where we belong making decisions and developing the project with our partners? Here are some things we have achieved together

Euratom works for all of us to deliver treatment in our times of great medical need

Euratom is a complementary research programme for nuclear research and training.

A small detail but extremely useful to keep our friends and families and businesses just a click away when we are travelling within the EU.

OFCOM – Using your mobile abroad

Our biggest benefit, FOM is a personal freedom we can’t get anywhere else in the world. It’s so envied across the globe that other trading blocs in the world are trying to adopt similar schemes for their own citizens.

Freedom of movement is one of the basic aims of the European Union.

So many positive things we have done together with our partners for the benefit of each of us, our children and grandchildren. What can we do you ask!

Well for starters Thursday the 23rd May get yourself and everybody you can think of down to the polling station and vote for a positive EU. Vote for a future in Europe. Vote for Remain Parties.

If we don’t do that, the politicians and journalists will claim we don’t care. If we can’t be bothered to vote pro remain in the European Elections they will claim this means we want to Brexit and they will foist any old kind of rubbish on us. So please turn up and vote for our futures and that of our children and grandchildren.

Street Campaign 4 May

This week our Saturday campaign centred around the EU Elections 2019 but had a Star Wars theme. Our main group was in Chester at the Cross. Our volunteers just couldn’t help themselves and did a little dressing up.

Street Campaign Chester May 19
Street Campaign Chester May 19

Our boards were appropriately themed, even special stickers and we had our leaflets ready …

Chester for Europe Brexitometer

We had a visit from our MP @ChrisM4Chester who gave us some encouraging words about a People’s Vote.

Chester for Europe with Chris Matheson MP
Chester for Europe with Chris Matheson MP

Some notable conversations were reported by our Chester activists. There was a man who was voting for the first time ever in the EU Elections in order to “stick it to that tw*t [email protected]”. A voter who had supported leave due to being an anti-capitalist was extremely worried at the parallels with 1933 and is going to vote for a remain party in order to keep the Far right out.

A couple from Rochester expressed how good it was to see us out and getting such a positive reception in our city. In Rochester they said remainers have to remain low profile. Somewhat ironic that it is remainers who feel they have to be quiet don’t you think? The leave glitterati and their shouty fellow travellers cry that we are trying to overturn democracy yet it is they who are suppressing legitimate dissent. They call us traitors, they gaslight us. This is fascism. We are proud to live in a city which shuns such nonsense.

Meanwhile our Weaver Vale Team number 1 were in Frodsham. We asked people who they were voting for in the Eu Elections. A significant number of people there said they would not vote. Some wouldn’t say or had not yet decided.

Weaver Vale for Europe
Weaver Vale for EU in Frodsham

An alarming number of stall visitors didn’t know that EU elections were happening so from the point of view of raising awareness this was a very good day, and was an invaluable opportunity to get some good quality information out to people.

Our second Weaver Vale group were in Northwich. They managed to speak a good number of Labour voters there.

Weaver Vale for EU in Northwich
Weaver Vale for EU in Northwich

Many on both sides of the brexit question were undecided as yet. Remainers were trying to decide whether to stick with their usual labour vote or for another remain party. Leavers to a certain extent were showing uncertainty also. One labour councillor from a town close by said they would be voting for the Green Party. Shout out to Rachel and Caroline for their help today. So wonderful when Remainers work together. By contrast the brexit party have chosen such toxic candidates that even fellow candidates can’t stand them 🤔. Rachel put some some people right on Claire Fox and kudos to Caroline for talking patiently to a man who wanted shillings back.

A couple of our team went to support our Welsh friends in Llangollen at the Tory conference.

Wales for Europe at Llangollen Conference
Wales for Europe at Llangollen Conference
Wales for Europe at Llangollen Conference

Back in Chester we briefly lost Darth Vadar as people wanted to be photographed with him and he took the opportunity to turn away from the dark side to give out some information about registering and voting in the EU Elections.

Chester for Europe street campaign

Our Brexitometer was very popular. Who can resist Wally’s smile after all? Most people in Chester who engaged with it had already registered and wanted to know about our hustings event where you can ask MEP candidates questions. Book your place now!

European Parliament Election Hustings
European Parliament Election Hustings
Chester for Europe Brexitometer
Chester for Europe Brexitometer

There was evidence of political homelessness in our conversations this weekend. We still have a lot of work today to keep getting the word out and informing people. One young man still thought Brexit would be alright on the night, a view we see less and less of but still there. Thanks once again to our wonderful activists for giving up their time and energy to inform the people of Cheshire and for keeping the questions alive. We salute you all.

May the Fourth

This post is an extract from our Twitter account – @chesterforeu, maintained by our activist Pilar.

Tired of Brexit? Read on …

There is no version of Brexit which puts an end to it. Deal or no-deal we will be negotiating and putting broken Brexit things back together for a decade or more. The only way to end is to Revoke Article 50.

Lilico displays the same close your eyes and cross your fingers recklessness that Brexiters have employed since before the referendum. They still have NO solutions to the myriad of problems Brexit has thrown up. All they can do is to tell you to close your eyes and have faith in a group of people who broke electoral law and cheated to get your vote. What have they done to earn your trust? Why do you believe them? They have delivered nothing.

If it was so great to leave with no deal why did the government not just set about preparing for that from the outset? If Brexit is soo fabulous why did the MPs who voted for it not support May’s negotiations and why did 3 of their own resign from key Brexit delivering roles? This is Brexit behind closed doors, this picture right here. There was no plan – they had no plan they have no plan. Just facepalms and fake bravado. Don’t let them carry on playing us all.

Brexiteers thinking

So if you are tired of Brexit – Revoke Article 50!


Author Credit – Pilar Gomez, Chester for Europe Activist

Put it to the People March – 23 March 2019

What an amazing day that was – here is our story of the day.


We started early on coaches trains cars and planes to get to our meeting point

Some of our people were helping going with this fabulous float @EUflagmafia

But most of us assembled together to join the start of the march. Great turn out and each of us were walking for family and friends who could not be there. Here we all are making our way up the road to Park Lane.

Once in the march we stood

.. and stood

.and stood some more

There were banners and flags and placards galore, thousands and thousands of them.

Ally the guide dog did a fabulous job both carrying our message and looking gorgeous

There were a lot of people and happy police officers. Not a minutes trouble, not a single arrest or fight or cross word with people who weren’t happy with what we were doing.

Look what we did. We filled the streets of our capital with laughter and positivity and people. 2 million people on the streets of London asking parliament to #PutItToThePeople

Aerial footage of huge Brexit march Hundreds of thousands of protesters called for a further referendum on the UK’s relationship with the European Union. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-47681229/brexit-aerial-footage-of-massive-people-s-vote-march We even spotted a famous son of #Chester 😉

Our chair @DevaCaerCastra managed to get himself on @BBCPM. 5minutes and 49 seconds in link below

BBC Radio 4 – PM, 23/03/2019 Full coverage of the day’s news. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003kmv

We met one of the earliest adopters of THAT petition

Here are the latest scores on the doors and the link. Keep sharing with everyone you can think of #chester

Petition: Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vot… https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241584

We are not a group affiliated to any particular party but we saw some party banners from across the house

There was music and dancing and some very bad singing along by me Sorry, your browser doesn’t support embedded videos At 16.42 we had not got as far as Trafalgar Square yet and we stepped out of the march as the coach travellers had to go. A few of us stayed to watch to the end. I don’t think 3 or 4 million @DevaCaerCastra but we are sure it is between 1.5 to 2 million, the biggest UK march ever Sorry, your browser doesn’t support embedded videos 17.03 I filmed the end of the March. The police at the back just coming around the corner from St James. Thank you to the @metpoliceuk for looking after us so well.

So there we have it. Our best bits. Thank you to everyone at Chester for Europe who organised the transport and kept everyone informed about times and places and thank you to all of you who came to stand and march and sing and dance with us.

Were you listening Parliamentarians from across the House of Commons? 2 million politically engaged, motivated voters each of whom probably represents another 10 people who could or be there. Did we break through your stuck records of meaningless slogans and untruths? The people were talking very loudly on Saturday the 23rd March. Put it in your diary. It’s time you started to listen, they won’t forgive a parliament which imposes a damaging brexit on them without telling the truth about damaging consequences.

Just #PutItToThePeople

This post was extracted from our Twitter page – @chesterforeu

Author credit – Pilar Gomez

A day of street campaigning

The story of our day of street campaigns in Chester.
 
Despite a cold day, we had a strong turnout for a big campaigning day in locations around Chester. It took a while to get things warmed up as people were reluctant to stop. But soon it got busier and we had a steady stream of people to the stall.
 
We had some musical and historical accompaniment whilst we chatted to people around the town. There is often a Roman or two around the place giving historical context to the city of Chester. Help us be able to instruct the town crier that brexit is dead soon.
 
 
The streets got busy as there were stalls celebrating International Womans Day and here are just 3 of our lovely key members of Chester for Europe enjoying the atmosphere.
 
Unlike the 2016 referendum when nearly 5 million people and 16-17 year olds were denied a voice despite being most affected by the outcome, nobody was disenfranchised on our stall, everyone got a Final Say For All here. All we want is a real peoples vote Mrs. May.
 
 
The team at Blacon spoke to our MP @ChrisM4Chester who told us that he will be proud to march with our group on the 23rd of March in London. Thank you Chris. That’s going to be an amazing day. See our website for information if you want to come with us.
chris matheson mp with c4e
An interesting Leaver conversation today. His view was the nation had voted to leave and should go out on an orderly ship but he felt there was mutiny in the ranks. An interesting use of rather authoritarian terminology. We would characterise his analogy in a different way.
 
The govt is trying to force us to sail out to discover a previously undiscovered place despite the fact the world is pretty well mapped out already. The ship’s full of holes. May is trying to bale out the water in the bottom whilst shouting at everyone to keep rowing like mad.
 
The ERG want us to jump in and swim without lifebelts, soft leavers and some defeatist remainers want us to get into a ship that hasn’t actually been built and we just want a chance to vote to go home because frankly we’re fed up of rowing and the promised nirvana does not exist.

We had a team on the bridge at Handbridge speaking to passers by and handing out leaflets. There was lots of interest in our bus to London on the 23rd March.

In Frodsham our  spin off Weaver Vale for Europe team experienced strong support and interest in a Peoples Vote despite the cold and blustery weather conditions.

That’s the Brexitometer result from Frodsham – looking good Gareth.

So overall, more and more people are saying they are fed up with brexit, more people want to stop it and are interested in having a Final Say and there are fewer loud and insistent leavers – which is why the poll of polls keeps showing this result.

poll of voring intentions
Poll of EU voting intentions

If you agree you can help us.

Write email or call your MP now and tell them you want to #makeitstop and you want parliament to #PutItToThePeople.

Come to our march on 23rd March in London.

We are organising coaches from Chester – see the link on our front page.