Wednesday, 22 June 2016


I rarely get political on social media. I don't think it's a good place to do so, especially when I've worked so hard to make my corner of it into a silly, joyous, ranting and musical place. Besides, you lot are my friends — not people I feel the need to hector with my half-hearted party opinions most of the time: the converted — or at least, the accepting. Consequently I'm not going to get unnecessarily bogged down in political details but with one more day of decision left to go, something needs to be said.

I’m voting REMAIN. There has never been any doubt in my mind otherwise.

Furthermore, I'll give you my reasons. Monetary ones? Nope, I hate counting and maths is grown-up and dull. Negotiating trade agreements? Boring. They did too much of that in The Phantom Menace and we all remember how exciting that was. Immigration? I was born in England and by blood I’m 50% Irish, 50% Italian — that's a whole 100% Can't Be Arsed. Politics? Cah. No matter who you vote for, as Viv Stanshall once said, the Government always gets in.

However since this referendum gained momentum it hasn't, to my eyes, ever been about the nuts and bolts of international politics and commerce so much as it's been a platform for people to air their discontent with the world around them — and more to the point, how they think the referendum result, in their favour, is going to make the country, its place in the world — and by logical extension the world itself — a better place to be.

Well, with that in mind, call me a loony, but somehow I don’t think Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Bobby Moore, Winston Churchill, John Bull, Princess Diana, fish’n’chips, The Beatles, misquoting William Shakespeare, ‘saying it like it is’ (whatever that actually means), ‘putting the Great back into Britain’ (whatever that means), ‘taking our country back’ (whatever etc etc), the Dunkirk Spirit, Spirit of the Blitz or even the bloody Spirit of Ecstasy are realistically going to get this country out of recession quite as effectively as hard work, courage, civic duty, openness to ideas, willingness to share, intelligent discussion, cultural respect, tolerance, generosity, compassion and inclusivity will.

This is the 'magic', such as may be, of the referendum. You don’t really have to understand the paperwork, much as you don’t have to understand it on a daily basis already. The values that come with remaining in the EU are the kind that encourage people to roll their sleeves up, muck in, work a problem, be kind to mistakes and remain undaunted should they happen.

I have heard several lucid, intelligent arguments for Brexit, but frankly not many, and certainly not enough of them. They confine themselves to either the cold, inhuman facts of finance or the profoundly speculative nature of future trade agreements — and the rest of the Brexiters reside in infantile whimsy, misguided anarchy, a simple, bitter, resentful and cowardly defeatism — and at worst, the bleakly sinister pall of outright ignorance, low self-esteem, fear, racism, hostility and belligerence.

These are not qualities I see in the act of remaining within the EU.

Therefore, I will choose to Remain.


No comments:

Post a Comment