Boring, Boring EU Referendum

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NB: This post was written over a period of days. It was meant to be a monologue about how difficult it is to promote a decision to not change anything when you’re promised the world. It morphed into something else entirely. However, it is exactly as written. Unedited. Not even a spellchecker has looked at it. Getting it out seems more important than endless fiddling.

We have two options. Vote to remain a part of the European Union, or vote to leave it, and go on our own.  The remain camp thinks that the leave camp are bonkers. The leave camp thinks the remain camp is similar.

In all honesty, both are correct and wrong at the same time. The EU is, by its very nature, a dry, stuffy, and undoubtedly complex organisation. It’s so complex that men and women can and have devoted their entire lives to studying its structure and economics. You can, and some have, a PhD in ‘Europe Stuff’. I don’t know these people personally, but they’re probably not the most exciting folk to go down the pub with on a Friday night. Although I may be wrong.

Our government, in conjunction with these Friday night killjoys, should be the ones making this decision. It’s beyond almost every single one of us. This is why we elect a government, or one of the reasons, anyway. To make the difficult decisions that are too complex or too dull or too unpopular for us to actually make a decision on. However, on this occasion, they have let us down badly.

Instead of a governmental decision, it’s down to us. And the referendum called by Cameron and his band of merry men is making a right fucking bollocks of everything. Friends and colleagues no longer enjoy each other’s company, preferring instead to shout, as loudly as they can, about why their contemporaries should follow their voting lead. Irrespective of great swathes of evidence to the contrary, people on both sides of the argument are vehemently extolling the virtues of their version of right and, quite revoltingly, condemning any alternative viewpoint without so much as a half-glance at it. Social media has become the exact opposite of that to which its name implies and, folk wishing to keep their friends are biting their tongues as much as frustration will permit.

The atmosphere has become toxic. Hysteria, fear, panic, and xenophobia no longer hide behind the polished veneer the nation usually tries so hard to display. The hatred and intolerances lying deep within far too many of us are no longer being kept in check, now to be thrown in people’s faces under the new guise of ‘evidence’. How foul, how devisive and duplicitous this referendum has become.

This referendum has become, for me, no longer just about whether or not the country remains allied to the European Union. It’s become an indicator of how little progress the country has made. Britain hardly deserves to be called Great.

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