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Archive for June, 2016

Come what may

Come what may; within 36-40 hours we will know whether or not the United Kingdom has taken a giant leap into the unknown or voted to stay in the European Union. As I said in my previous post, I will be voting to ‘REMAIN’ – but that last poll I saw showed the vote at 44% to leave and 44% to remain.

It will be (have been?) tight then.

Either way, I’m sure that life will go on – although at what cost remains to be seen.  Neither result will be seen as a good thing and the wrangling will go on for months, or even years. I’ve even read this week (something I vaguely remember from when we first referendum’d in 1975) that the government is not obliged to ratify the decision and could, if it so wished, go on as if nothing had happened.

Well – WHY THEN have the bloody referendum in the first place!

It will not silence the Tory ‘Euro-haters’, it will not lead to a general election (oh if all general elections could generate this much interest….) and it will not be good for the country – or Europe as a whole.

I despair of it all now and just hope for the best. Whatever that might be.

 

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I decided several years ago that my opinions counted for nothing when it comes to politics. After all, I only voted Liberal in the 2010 election because they (the Liberals) had promised electoral reform AND to see that student fees would not be increased. Both promises were reneged on once they were given the chance to share a harsh Tory-led coalition, which saw poor and working class folks bear the brunt of re-paying evil bankers for their unforgiven thievery.

I have survived, one way or another, all of the political crap thrown at me (and mine) over almost forty years of working life.  I’ve been lucky. Yet, after six years of an uncaring, banker-loving Tory government many others have been less lucky. However ….

however, after those many years of ups and downs, fuel crises, recessions and occasional years of plenty I’m now being asked to vote on something so inconceivably important that it amazes me we have (need?) a government at all. I am still not clear WHY David Cameron decided to make the EU referendum a manifesto promise (which less than 37% of those bothered to vote (66% turnout), voted for) but here it is – we go to the polls on 23d June. See http://www.parliament.uk/eu-referendum

The question we’re asked is ‘Europe: in or out?’.  We are never asked questions like:

  1. a) ‘Syria, Libya, Iraq: bomb or not bomb?’,
  2. b) ‘Bankers: give them all our money or let them sink?’ or
  3. c) ‘NHS: kill it or not kill it?’ – but yet we’re being asked whether we should remain part of the EU or not.

This is the most horrendous plebiscite you could imagine. The populace is ill-informed and lied to by self serving politicians, who are similarly ill-informed about a future outside Europe.

And yet, this would appear to me to be the most important issue – if we vote ‘out’, what will change? No one knows!

So, because no one really knows what would happen should we vote to leave, issues have revolved around the current state of immigration and the economy, both of which seem to have become ‘European’ matters, rather than ‘all-world’ problems – which they are.

This country was on its knees when we joined the common market, or whatever it was called back then; we’d just had a three-day week and Jim Callaghan was about to face a Winter of Discontent – only working together with partners and some sound Euro-management by Margaret Thatcher (hate her legacy as I do, I cannot deny that she knew how to deal with the EU) did we become the economic power we now seem to be.

For whatever reason, our economy is currently as good as if not better than most in Europe, but I don’t see that as a reason to leave the club we have nurtured and been nurtured by over the last forty years.

I’m staying in.

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