’75 and all that

The last time this happened I was 15. The digital age hadn’t quite kicked off. Vinyl records and cassette tapes were hip. Monty Python made us laugh and the film Jaws was released. In 1975 the Conservative Party selected its first female leader; Margaret Thatcher. North Sea Oil started to flow but on the down side Dutch elm disease killed over 3 million Elm trees.
I remember the following year with more affection but there is no doubt that the consequences of 1975 shaped my working life. UK voters said “yes” in the referendum on staying in the European Community on 6th June 1975. Living in the countryside, where farming was the main stay, I was never far from a debate on the Common Market. The two opposing camps were just as vigorous then as they are now.
Taking a lesson from that time, it’s perfectly clear to me that young people have the most to gain by remaining in Europe and the most to lose by leaving. For me, Europe has provided challenges, opportunities and rewards. I dread to think what the UK would look like now if that referendum had turned out differently.
It’s also perfectly clear to me that predicting the future is mighty difficult. Going back to the start of the digital age there was predictions that we would work less and have more leisure to fill our time. At least one prediction came true the common market became a much bigger single market. Working together, removing trade barriers and free movement has created a brighter future.
This time I will have a vote. In this crucial referendum I will vote to REMAIN in the EU.

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