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British Prime Minister David Cameron has finally made his long-awaited speech about Britain's position in the EU and - perhaps surprisingly, he seems to have won a lot of people over.
Reading the comments made by those working for the EU machine prior to the speech, it was clearly felt that we Brits had joined a 'club' and were asking for the rules to be changed, or saying we only wanted to observe some of them whilst ignoring others. We were thought to be ridiculous in our demands (and no doubt still are, by some!)
Many of us believe though that what we signed up to has now changed beyond all recognition and it's not just the Brits I'm talking about either - it's millions of citizens from other parts of the EU who feel we've been duped by our politicians who are no longer listening to us. We all want free trade; we want to work together to improve everyone's lot and to look after the planet; we want to take part in joint projects, to pool our resources, to learn from and teach one another and we want peace. Also, we want to be able to eat, have shelter, to heat our homes when it's cold and be in a position to pay our bills. Most of us want to be able to work for a living.
Speaking to friends and colleagues in the EU, I can see we all feel that the project isn't working properly and that it's detrimental to our way of life. Our freedoms are being eroded, there's the continuous tremendous and shameful waste of money (it just isn't being spent wisely in far too many cases) and we seem to have lost any control of the situation we're in and the direction in which we're travelling. And many of us are not in a position to eat, have shelter, to heat our homes when it's cold, to work and to be in a position to pay our bills - and it's not all down to the global recession either!
We Brits were accused by many of the EU elite of being 'Little Englanders'. This sentiment was echoed by a handful of non-British Europeans commenting on some of the industry forums I've read, but generally, there was solid support from people all over the EU who also feel that the EU needs to make some profound changes if it is to succeed - and by succeed I also mean making all the citizens of the EU delighted to be a part of it. It was often a case of "Good luck. Pave the way for us."
Many EU citizens are hoping that David Cameron finally doing something about the concerns of the British public will lead others to question the way the EU is going about things and in turn call for those essential changes. We've never been Little Englanders looking after ourselves and nothing has changed - we're doing this for the good of Europeans everywhere.
The global cleaning industry works very well together and Cleanzine, with its global readership, is in an ideal position to share people's views on the EU question. We'd be delighted to receive any comments on what I've said here or on our Facebook page (even if you disagree!), whether you are part of the EU or are on the outside looking in and considering the impact David Cameron's speech will eventually have on you. Do please let us know how you feel because this is something that affects us all.
Please get in touch either by emailing me or posting a comment on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/Cleanzine
24th January 2013