Referendum Debate Round Two : Ed's Blog
Ed Hall
A passionate and experienced offshore yacht racer, Ed completed his 6th Fastnet Race in 2017.

The Night Owl team was 12th to the Rock in the 2015 race, 10th in IRC2 in the 2011 Fastnet, and overall winner of the JOG Offshore Series in 2009.  

Both yachts Night Owl 1 and 2 have a great history, winning many races during the last few seasons, including Line Honours in the St. Peter Port race to Guernsey, Royal Thames Trophy in the St Malo Race, and the 2017 Warsash Spring Series. 

Ed is also an active RNLI crew member on the Thames Lifeboats and races other yachts and sails for pleasure too.
Ed has been creating digital television and retail businesses since 1998. He has created multiple TV channels in news, film, sports and entertainment.  He also built and sold a group of TV shopping channels.

He has led on complex business projects in Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  He created the UK's first financial services televison channel, Simply Money, and also created the first non-Sky red button interactive service.  

He has served as a board member on professional industry bodies for television and retail businesses in Asia, Europe, and Australia.

In 2011 he created Comux, a new company that beat the BBC to win the contract to build the national broadcasting infrastructure for the new UK-wide local television network, reaching 13 million homes.

In 2017 Ed took on a role as interim CEO restructuring a national terrestrial broadcaster in Greece. 

To discuss new opportunities or for advice you can always get in touch with Ed through his office at Expert Media Partners.
Ed spent ten years as a writer, journalist and broadcaster in print, on radio, and on television.

He wrote and presented a range of programmes for BBC Radio 5 Live in the series Ed Hall Investigates winning a Sony Radio Award for News and Current Affairs in 1998.  The BBC News website carries details of his expose of a secret world trade in genetically-modified pigs click here.

Other radio programmes written and presented by Ed Hall include The First 100 Days (of the Blair Government) for BBC Radio, and Encyclopaedia Historica for the BBC World Service.  

In 1991 and 1992 Ed produced programmes for Channel 4 Dispatches and Thames Television on drug smuggling at Heathrow Airport and British mercenaries fighting in the former Yugoslavia.  Ed's book, We Can't Even March Straight (Vintage), was published in 1995 and was a catalyst for the campaign to lift the ban on lesbians and gays serving in the British Armed Forces. 

As a writer Ed's work has appeared in a very diverse range of publications including the Independent, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Evening Standard, and not forgetting Independent Grocer.
Blog and Contact
Ed uses Facebook most of the time to express views about current issues and generate debate, but from time-to-time he writes here too.  

He is also active and opinionated on Twitter and a search for @hall_ed will find him.

Referendum Debate Round Two

by Ed Hall on 06/19/16

After awful events of last week, and the violent murder of a clearly brilliant young woman, I stopped the in/out debate, as we were all asked to do. I'm sure we all feel huge sympathy for her family, friends and colleagues.

So, before anybody starts engaging in the EU referendum debate again, I'd like to make a couple of points based on the various popular posts doing the rounds on social media during the period when campaigning was supposedly suspended.

1. Being sympathetic to the case for Brexit does not make anyone a supporter of murder, attacks on MPs or street violence in France.  We need to tone down the anger and bitterness...

2. Contemplating an OUT vote does not mean out voters want to usher in an era of neo-Nazi government in the UK. Nigel Farage standing in front of a poster with refugees on it may well be an unpleasant image, but it hardly makes that buffoonish character the re-incarnation of Josef Goebbels.

3. The case for IN and OUT crosses party lines. Suggestions that the good liberal thing to do is vote IN are not reflected by the voices that are speaking in favour of OUT, but seemingly not being heard by the media. The RMT, the Fire Brigades Union, Labour Leave, are all clear Brexiteers: how Left can you get?  That contradiction seems lost in the social media noise.

4. A vote for OUT is not necessarily a vote for racism. I noticed that the industry body for Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants with an incredible 12,000 restaurant members across the UK is of the view that EU policy is racist and discriminatory and supports Brexit. 80 Commonwealth community leaders from diverse communities around the world wrote to David Cameron in February asking for the UK to take back control of its 'discriminatory migration and trade policies' from the EU.  There is much ambiguity here too.

5. For many this campaign is not about immigration, it is about the direction of travel of the EU, and fears about democracy and freedom, economic collapse within the Eurozone, and a desire to see our politicians directly accountable to us for the decisions they make. Those are perfectly legitimate concerns and they need to be heard, not drowned out by a metropolitan liberal consensus Twittering memes with fingers in their ears. Go to Greece where I've been doing business this year and make many of the Remain arguments about democracy in Brussels and you'll be laughed out of the country.

6. We have a short period left to debate the issues, I'd like to do so with the substance and range of voices fully heard. There are ethnic minority OUT groups, there are hard Left OUT groups, there are lesbian and gay OUT groups, there are think tanks and community groups and writers from every part of our multi-ethnic society that want to vote OUT.  I think we should listen to that debate and hear their reasoning, not try to close it down with social media posts implying an OUT vote is automatically a vote for extremism and Right Wing government.

So from today I am going to engage with the campaign again, I look forward to a spirited debate, with real issues discussed, and I hope fewer pictures with a few words photo-shopped on the front implying that people considering an OUT vote are racist, homophobic, murderous, ignorant psychopaths intent on self-harm.

See you all next Friday!

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