Wednesday, January 31, 2018

VOTES FOR LIFE for British Citizens abroad

A call to action.
Many Britons who live abroad feel abandoned by their National Government.  Those who live in the Far East or Africa  have long suffered  a  diminution of their income because the Government refuses to increase their State pension.  Now The Referendum has brought a feeling of this abandonment to Europe, especially to those who have no vote because they moved to Europe more than fifteen years ago. On February 23rd some progress might be started to put this abandonment of the British Citizen by the British Government into history.  
But you, the reader of this page must take action.
Note that the address of the House of Commons is London SW1A 0AA.
Will you write preferably by letter post to one or more MPs.  Especially to Labour MPs?
Let us see why.
If you had the vote….  If you have resided outside the United Kingdom for more than 15 years you won’t have the Vote… but if you had the vote the MPs would be interested in YOU.   But  few MPs are interested. You must make your voice heard.  It benefits no-one to say ‘Why should I vote? I don’t live in Britain.’  I have been writing and blogging for years on this and suddenly Brexit arrives. Perhaps you approve of Brexit, perhaps not.  Perhaps you approve of the State pension being frozen to ordinary elderly retirees in Australia. Whatever. What happens in Westminster most certainly affects you as a British Citizen. Yes it does. You should have a voice. A Vote for Life.  Most Governments in Europe and leading nations in the World recognise their citizens. Britain ignores many.  That includes many of those who are well equipped to be unofficial ambassadors for our once great nation.
Two people are significant players in the action on February 23rd, Glyn Davies MP and Harry Shindler M.B.E.
Glyn Davies (left) is a Welsh Farmer in Mongomeryshire. He is opening a debate of Votes for Overseas Citizens on February 23rd.  He has a winning personality – He needs your support.  But not directly.
The second person in this story in Harry Shindler.  I have a great respect for Harry. He is 96 years old and indefatigable. He puts many of us to shame. I and many of us have done so little for our fellow citizens, but Harry has fought for us in war; led the campaign for the Vote and the recognition of British Citizens by our National Government.
 In the last week of January he was phoned at his home in Italy from Westminster. ‘Can you come to meet some MPs in Westminster?’  At his own expense he went. He met various MPs, Labour of course, of which he is a life time supporter, but the invitation was from the Conservative side, many of whom also greatly respect Harry. Harry was there to promote the cause of ‘Votes for Life’.  He met Glyn Davies, he who is our present MP fighter for our Rights, and Chloe Smith M.P., who has responsibility for ‘Votes for Life’.

The situation is that Glyn Davies’ motion is a ‘private members’ motion which always take place on a Friday.  MPs generally skip these because they want to get home to their constituencies, and usually such debates have little importance. But the London Labour MPs have no excuse to scarper to the suburbs.
Glyn’s debate is most important.  If the House of Commons shows that it is important by attending in considerable numbers then it is most likely that the Government will take over the Bill and push it through to victory.  Then we will ALL HAVE the Vote!.
But much depends on you. 
Write to an MP beseeching them to attend the debate on February 23rd on THE OVERSEAS ELECTORS BILL.
You think you have no MP?  Yes in theory you do, even if you haven’t got a Vote and he/she does not communicate. You can find his/her name from knowing where you last lived.
Even if you don’t know, then writing to ‘The MP for *****, House of Commons London, SW1A 0AA, England will get there.  Although an email is something, a postal letter is far more likely to be effective. 
Write like this.  I was a resident in your constituency of *******.     On Friday February 23rd Glyn Davies MP will open a private members debate on Overseas Electors.  Please, if you possibly can, attend this debate.  It might well be a milestone in British Governmental history.  The course of Electoral law might well change if this Bill succeeds. 
Yours sincerely.
If you are writing to some other MP, not in any manner as a constituent, then omit the first sentence.  The Labour MPs need mostly to be encouraged. And, naturally if you prefer, write more personally
Harry Shindler needs your support.  Please.

Brian Cave

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