‘We must change the EU from within’ says St Albans band Enter Shikari

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 June 2016

St Albans band Enter Shikari.

St Albans band Enter Shikari.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@EnterShikari

They perform across the world and have legions of fans from the UK to Australia, but St Albans band Enter Shikari has been keeping a close eye on the political scene back home, by encouraging voters to ‘stay in’ the European Union.

St Albans band Enter Shikari. Photo courtesy of Twitter/@EnterShikariSt Albans band Enter Shikari. Photo courtesy of Twitter/@EnterShikari

Rou Reynolds, the local band’s frontman, has given his thoughts on next Thursday’s (23) referendum, in a 35-minute-long podcast.

He advises listeners to “use it and enjoy, or use it as treatment for insomnia.”

Rou, who along with fellow band members Chris Batten, Rory Clewlow and Rob Rolfe are all former Verulam and Sandringham School students, recommends people “ignore anyone shouting about” staying or leaving the EU, particularly those “playing to people’s fears”.

He added: “My gut reaction is to vote in. I came to this conclusion simply by looking at the main characters in each side of the debate. Both sides are people I dislike and distrust. And both sides are funded by big corporate interests.

St Albans band Enter Shikari. Photo courtesy of Twitter/@EnterShikariSt Albans band Enter Shikari. Photo courtesy of Twitter/@EnterShikari

“The ‘in’ campaign is supported by David Cameron, our Prime Minister who was schooled at Eton College, and the Brexit campaign’s main pimp is Boris Johnson, also schooled at Eton College, so the debate over whether to leave or remain is really a battle between old Etonians, over which will get sovereignty, or govern the country.”

Rou said that after doing a “tonne of research” ahead of the vote, he had reached the conclusion that the “EU has helped create a peaceful and more democratic continent [but] … that is not to say there are not any negatives. The EU has a lack of democracy and transparency in how it works.”

Other downsides include that: “It suffers from corporate interference, the formation of monopolies, and harbours tax-dodging elites”, he added.

But, Rou said, “We shouldn’t be voting for anything that isolates us, or cuts us off.

Chris Baker outside the Alban ArenaChris Baker outside the Alban Arena

“All of the big problems facing the UK are demonstrably international problems, whether it’s the refugee crisis, climate change, terrorism, global corporate tax dodging, or lobbying, these are all things that transcend small nation boundaries; we must address them by cooperating with our neighbours in Europe.

“Among some of the bigger changes brought by EU membership is protection of the environment, which has often been heavily resisted by UK governments – the EU has brought in environmental protection, that our own governments would have willingly bypassed.

“The union has the strongest measures to protect wildlife and habitat in the world. And all you animal lovers, all you veggies [sic] and vegans take note, the EU has enhanced animal welfare in food production too.”

Concerned that the EU would collapse and Britain would return to “selfish, isolationist, nationalist policies,” Rou added, “the last thing we want is Tories off the leash with nothing to rein them in.

“We must stay in the EU to change it.

“We shouldn’t just walk away from a struggling family. We should communicate, mobilise, and strive to fix it. I would rather fight for something with my fellow Europeans.”

• The Alban Arena’s marketing manager Chris Baker said while he hopes there will not be an impact on the entertainment venue, he is keeping an eye on the economic impact of the referendum. He told the Herts Advertiser: “The majority of people who watch our shows are from St Albans, and this is an affluent area.

“We have no idea what it would entail for us – we will just see what happens.

“If there is an economic downturn, we will have to be careful not to take risks with our shows – hopefully it will be fine either way.”

More news stories

The Members of Parliament for St Albans, Harpenden and Radlett are split on whether to support the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

A St Albans postie made a “one in a million” find of a stolen handbag and has returned it to its rightful owner in Hatfield - nearly 40 years after she was mugged.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller says leaving the European Union is part of a plan to impose a new set of values in the UK.

St Albans MP Anne Main has warned the Chancellor of the Exchequer that business rates are closing the city’s pubs.

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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