Mon 24 Sep 2018 7:46PM

Grassroots for Europe - letter to People's Vote leads

CT Claire Thomas Public Seen by 216

Please find below a letter which we have been asked to sign. Accompanying emails also attached.

Dear friends at Bath for Europe

The small group who organized the initiative described below seem to have failed to contact, invite or notify you about it. Please accept our sincere apologies for this oversight which can only have been due to haste and scarce resources.

I hope the following is clear as it stands and that you can kindly review our draft letter and advise us whether you would like to co-sign it. We are aiming to send it on Wednesday, but if you need more time to consider and discuss this, please let me know. While Richard Wilson is on holiday I'll be glad to try to field any queries.

All best wishes,


pp Oxford for Europe

07557 909811

Colin Gordon


Claire Thomas Mon 24 Sep 2018 7:51PM

Here is the other email that originally accompanied the letter.

Dear all,
Grassroots for Europe - letter to national organization leads : confirmation of your signature
Please find a joint letter from our grassroots pro-EU local campaigning groups which attended last Saturday's meeting in Birmingham of Grassroots for Europe.
As we agreed, a small group coordinated by Richard Wilson (Leeds for Europe) have drafted this letter to convey the key urgent messages we agreed on there; we have been assisted by the meeting notes kindly compiled and circulated by Chris Hoffman.
*** We hope that all groups who attended the meeting can now confirm their signature of this letter which we plan to send on Monday.
*** Richard is now on holiday so please send all responses to me at [email protected], copied to him at [email protected].
**Please in responding provide: a signatory name, the name of your group and a contact email address.
*We are contacting now as many as possible of our fellow grassroots groups who were unable to attend to invite them to add their signatures, if they are willing. Please feel free to do this also.
Gareth Steel has kindly agreed to relay this message to all London area groups.
We hope you are happy with this letter. Unfortunately we will not be able to process amendments to the draft, unless for very exceptional and urgent reasons. We will copy you the letter when it is sent and notify you of any responses we receive.
We plan to cc this letter to key figures in the other six PV organizations that are based in Millbank, to some key individuals in the movement, and to Best for Britain, who attended our meeting.
We'll be in contact soon about other actions and plans.
Our next full meeting will be on Saturday November 17th in Oxford 1pm-4pm, venue tbc.
Our special thanks to Richard Wilson and Chris Hoffman for their hard work making all this possible. Thanks to everyone for their support of this initaitive.
Best wishes,
Colin Gordon
Oxford for Europe
pp Richard Wilson, Acting Chair
Grassroots for Europe
[email protected]


Claire Thomas Mon 24 Sep 2018 8:07PM

I have read the letter twice and my initial reaction is not to co-sign it. I am not keen on the short timescale for a start and it is written in a style that I am personally not comfortable with. I appreciate the potential concerns that they raise, but I am not convinced that they are manifesting themselves as real problems (ie top down approach) or whether BfE/EM have much control over (funding). I see Bath for Europe as an independent-thinking and doing collective who engage as we feel appropriate with PV HQ, not a 'dependent'. I will try to give Colin a call tomorrow to get some more background on where this has come from because I am slightly surprised by it. In the meantime, if anyone else has any feedback (obviously you don't have to agree with me!) please add it to this thread.


Alice Hovanessian Mon 24 Sep 2018 9:56PM

There was quite a lot of dissent from some of the local groups towards Tom and the council at the meetings I attended, I think this has been brewing a while. I agree we shouldn't sign it, there are lots of good points but it's too accusatory. It's a good idea to discuss it with him, perhaps they can put forward their ideas without making it sound like a mutiny.


Sally Long Mon 24 Sep 2018 10:00PM

I've only skim read the letter (sorry it's late and it's recycling night) but I agree that it is not the right approach. I think that the Co-ordinating Group are doing what they can to help and it is up to groups like us to make things happen on the ground. Talking to people like Scott in the past, I get the impression that they are doing their best in a highly pressured situation. It's a vital time at the moment and I think that grassroots organisations should be putting 10% of efforts into the PV campaign - and even if there are niggles with BfE/EM, let's just put them aside at the moment.


Alan Richard Champneys Tue 25 Sep 2018 6:08AM

... great typo -:) I think you mean 100% 😀. I agree


Sally Long Tue 25 Sep 2018 7:18AM

Oops yes. That was a typo. At least I didn’t type 110% in the style of an Apprentice or X factor contestant.


Alan Richard Champneys Tue 25 Sep 2018 6:07AM

I agree. Don’t sign. It’s a very negative letter at a time when we need to be encouraging each other. I would personally go further and try to counsel the instigators not to send it.


Jane Riekemann Tue 25 Sep 2018 6:26AM

Agree we shouldn’t co-sign for reasons you’ve all listed


Claire Thomas Tue 25 Sep 2018 8:59AM

I have just spoken to Colin Gordon about the letter and expressed our concerns as noted above and that if the letter is to go out tomorrow, then Bath for Europe would not be signing it. According to Colin, so far they have collected signatures from 43 groups with one group not willing (I assume that is another one apart from us). I said I would write to him tonight to explain our reasons more formally.


Ruth Malloy Tue 25 Sep 2018 10:42AM

I think the letter contains some very important points, ie. about avoiding the mistakes of the (BRITAIN) STRONGER IN (EUROPE) campaign, and preparing NOW for a new campaign for Remain, so that we're not taken by surprise when we are in fact given notice that there will be a People's Vote (on the Brexit deal/Remain in the EU). In actual fact, I think we've all realised this for a while now, hence our new leaflet (nod to Devon for Europe) and the next one about what the EU does for us. So, to summarise, I wouldn't advise against sending the letter, even if Bath for Europe isn't 100% happy with the tone of it.

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