a new kind of politics
The Peace Party of the United Kingdom

Love for a Europe at Peace

John Morris, Peace Party candidate for Guildford West Division in the Surrey County Council elections on 4th May, 2017, was invited to a meeting of Guildford in Europe on 26th April to give his views on the impact of leaving the European Union on Guildford and Surrey.  This is what he said:

I was a very young front-line spectator to the Second World War from my home in the south London suburbs, less than a couple of miles from Croydon Airport.  Bombs, Air-raid shelters, Sirens, Doodle-bugs, living in strangers’ houses when ours was too damaged to live in – were part of everyday life.

Later, I came to know and like – if not, love – people and places all over Europe.  I gradually came to realise that we should build a Europe together to prevent a war ever occurring again.  When it was proving difficult for the UK to join the ECSC and later the EEC, I quietly welcomed the UK’s role in the developing EFTA.  At least we were co-operating together over trade.

The UK is still, perhaps for only a year or two more, a full member of the European Union.  It struggled to be accepted into it; now it’s struggling to leave.  Fortunately, our governments have seen sense over the years to work, and co-operate, with many other countries – the Commonwealth (the UK’s former colonies), the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations and its various agencies.  Of course, as a member of the Peace Party, CND, Peace Pledge Union, you wouldn’t expect me to extol the virtues of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.  (How I would love to see a referendum on leaving NATO!)

So far, there has been hardly a mention of the concept of “Peace”.  It is too easy to think of it just as a time without war – a kind of negative peace.  How about considering the opposite of that – positive peace?  What is going on that keeps our part of the world in a peaceful state?

The Institute of Economics and Peace has demonstrated that there are, what they call, eight “Pillars of Peace”.  One of these is entitled “Good Relations with Neighbours”.  It has been found – statistically – that the more a country develops and maintains positive external links, the more peaceful it is (and vice versa).  So, by removing one link, the UK stands a chance of being less peaceful.  Of course, the severing of the inward links from 27 other countries makes THEM all less peaceful too.  Town-twinning, such as the successful Guildford’s twinning with Freiburg im Breisgau, is one local example of person-to-person co-operation.

Another Pillar of Peace is referred to as “Well-functioning Government” – the better the trust between people and government, the greater the political stability and the upholding of the rule of law, the more peaceful the country is shown to be.  We can describe this as “democracy”.  What concerns me now is the description of the result as “the will of the British people”.  If one considers “the British people” as the electorate, only just over a third of it voted to leave.  That was hardly the will of the British people.  Taking the result of the vote, one can hardly say that just over 51% of those voting either is the will of the British people.  48%,, if not 63%, of us are very unhappy.  As a young friend said to me many times, “That is demockery”.  I’ve seen no attempt to search for Unity in relation to the UK and the European Union.  We are in a state of Demockery.

Peace all comes down to how far each one of us is prepared to accept Universal Human Values into our hearts.  We’ve set some of these out in our current election literature.  How can you be other than peaceful, if you accept compassion for life and love for humanity?  How can you even think of supporting the bombing of anyone if you really care for others?  How can you develop good relations with neighbours if you don’t have trust and hope built into you?  And so I could go on!

Vote for Peace.  And start campaigning to get back into a reformed E.U.  (The Leavers started their campaigning 30 years ago.)

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