The Blitz. ‘I slowly came to understand that other families were in a far worse case than us. Friends, fathers, brothers, uncles who had not come home or who had returned as ex-POWs.’ [Image: Popperfoto/AN2.]

The Blitz. ‘I slowly came to understand that other families were in a far worse case than us. Friends, fathers, brothers, uncles who had not come home or who had returned as ex-POWs.’ [Image: Popperfoto/AN2.]

I know. It’s an actor discussing politics, and we all know how embarrassing that can be. Does anybody remember Clint Eastwood talking to that empty chair?

But I have a lot of respect for Patrick Stewart. He has a track record of pricking the balloon of pomposity that surround our current Conservative government. Remember when he used a packet of Wet-Wipes to ridicule David Cameron’s tweet about an important phone call with the US president?

Phone fiend: Sir Patrick Stewart is a witty critic of David Cameron. When the UK's Prime Minister posted a photo on Twitter, claiming it showed him on the telephone to US President Barack Obama, Sir Patrick was quick to ridicule it.

Phone fiend: Sir Patrick Stewart is a witty critic of David Cameron. When the UK’s Prime Minister posted a photo on Twitter, claiming it showed him on the telephone to US President Barack Obama, Sir Patrick was quick to ridicule it.

Then there’s his sketch about the European Convention on Human Rights:

So perhaps we should give him a fair hearing when he has something to say about the European Union.

Here he is:

When the European Union came into existence and the UK became a member, it was for me a triumph of all those convictions that the future must be one of worldwide cooperation and unity, and here we were paving the way with the beginnings of collaboration across Europe and learning the lessons of our own history.

In a little over a month’s time, all that will be at the mercy of the ballot box. For those of us who identify as Labour, we need only look to the back of our party membership cards, which carry the line: “By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone.” Ultimately, this is the decision we face. Do we wish to stick with our allies, our neighbours and remain in Europe, or do we wish to leave?

It is the biggest political decision of our generation, and it is our children and our grandchildren who will live with the consequences. Though I am convinced that the stay vote will win the day, nevertheless the fact that so many fellow British citizens want to leave Europe is shocking. Standing alone was how we were in 1940.

Why campaign to put us back there? I do not understand this thirst for isolationism. The most potent arguments, politically, economically, socially, urge us to remain. Let this just be a passing insecurity, and let us once more embrace reality, philosophy, common sense and hope for our country.

Source: I saw postwar Europe unite. We can’t let it unravel | Patrick Stewart | Opinion | The Guardian

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