I am pleased to welcome a fellow Blogger and Campaigner for Expats rights here on this site. Brian and others have worked tirelessly
with companions from different countries on a great number of issues that are of major concern to old and young alike. We welcome your comments on these pages but please keep them constructive and without personal insults. Thank you
Clive Walley 15th December 2013
Good Government and The Looming Crisis in Europe
We, the British Citizens abroad circulate messages to each other about our problems – the WFP tops the list at the moment amongst the elderly – then Passport renewal costs – exchange
rates – Frozen Pensions in Commonwealth countries – health care costs in Europe – The proposed Referendum – Relationship between the EU and the UK - Investments in Britain – Bank accounts in the UK – Taxes on Government
pensions ……. One’s family in the UK……
The Elderly Briton is most affected – That is because pensioners are the largest group of
Britons most permanently settled abroad AND also most dependent on Britain for their income and welfare. In Europe the Elderly Briton comprises about 33 % of all Britons and are an even higher percentage of all those permanently
resident in other States of the EU. It is necessary to do more than talk to ourselves….
should we do about it? What can we do?
We need to
be able to talk to Government – We are Citizens - WHY CAN’T WE?
We need to build a condition of mutual confidence - between the Citizen
and the Government. The politicians are, in theory, our servants, not our masters. But only they have the power to change things, we do not! If
the politicians are not elected by us then they have absolute power. The WFP affair illustrates that. Representation is the answer. Yes – it is necessary to spend less on politics as Cameron says, probably
the number of MPs should be cut but surely the 450,000 retired Britons in Europe deserve to be listened to! To have a voice! The politicians need to feel pride in us and then want to help
us. But we need to feel pride in them – (don’t laugh!)
Harry Shindler in Italy gives them reason to feel pride – doesn’t he?
What would Representation do? Let us say we had an MP just for us at Westminster - Call him/her Jo. Smith MP. Jo could stand up in Parliament and tell the gathered House of Commons of the difficulties you face;
Jo could write to and discuss with the civil servants the way forward. And more! could tell them of what you are doing for the reputation of Britain in Europe ( and elsewhere). You surely know of Britons serving on local committees - of
elected bodies, of charities - running clubs for schools, as teachers, The pensioner teaching English in voluntary classes, raising money for charity, performing in concerts, leading walks, and I am sure you can add to that. There
are Britons running businesses - selling British goods. It would seem that few politicians in Westminster thoroughly understand and grasp the significance of these facts!
of the Brit Abroad, if taken back to Parliament and retold not just in the Chamber but in the restaurants and bars -->of the House in speaking with other MPs, would do so much to improve our standing. We desperately
need to engender in the British politician and indeed in the British Public respect for what we do and who we are. This is what Axelle
Lemaire, the député
in Paris for the French citizens in Britain does and she does it well.
When Bills are presented, Jo Smith MP. would speak for matters which
concern us - like the WFP -like health support -like passport controls and costs - like the exchange rate! Jo could speak of our interest in the development of Europe or our problems with the laws of the country in which we are resident, so that a dialogue
can occur between the British Government and the local Government and the EU Commission on our behalf.
Jo could speak out for our concerns
about matters in the British economy - Why on earth can't we open a new bank account in England? Why is it difficult to invest as a new client in British investment houses - building societies etc. These matters are contrary to the spirit of the
EU regulations yet the UK permits them.
You are an EU citizen and also a UK citizen but the UK ignores you. Together we can help to
build a forward looking Europe.
can you do? You could start by signing the petition.
You can try and persuade your British friends both here and at home to understand the seriousness of the situation. Get them
at home to sign the petition. If we do not speak out: No-one will hear us.
If you can vote - click here -- but why don’t you vote?
[I know the answers- We´ve lived too long abroad: They are not interested in us: They don´t represent us - do they? They don´t understand us. It´s too damned complicated]
Move the Politicians. Let's start with the MPs which are supposed to be most concerned for the Pensioners.
Here is a list of the members of the Select Committee for Works and Pensions. THEY have oversight of the condition of the BRITISH STATE PENSIONER. That includes us in the EU beyond Britain.
Tell them of the difficulties which some amongst us face. Tell them that we should be as equals to those in the UK. Tell them of the work
we do and the pride we bring to Britain. But please always be polite.
Clicking on the MPs name will raise their profile and their address.
Other politicians can be approached via http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
Brian Cave (firstname.lastname@example.org)