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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

To EU, or not to EU?

I don't normally go in for politics on this blog because it really isn't what it's supposed to be about, and also because why would anyone be remotely interested in my opinion?  However, it did come as a shock to me today to realise that The Vote will take place a week tomorrow.  The reason it came as a shock is because I started this campaign as a 'don't know' and I rather hoped that, by now, one or other of the sides would have persuaded me, but they haven't.

I realise how difficult it must be for the 'Remain' camp.  "Let's leave things as they are" is never going to be a stirring battle cry.  However, I don't think their stern warnings of the dangers of Brexit (as it has unfortunately been christened) as true as they might well be, really chime with the British psyche. We Brits have a certain innate cussedness and tend to react mulishly when threatened with what will happen if we don't do as we're told.  I rather fear that these tales of woe may well backfire.

Moreover, it would have been heartening if the Remain lot could have spelt out a positive vision of Britain in Europe.  Some bright vista to look forward to, rather than stern warnings of what might happen if we don't hold on to nurse.  George Osbourne's intervention today is just part of this rather dismal spectacle.  In addition, the sight of Jeremy Corbyn campaigning, apparently with his fingers crossed behind his back and refusing to share a platform with any Conservatives, is hardly likely to stir the blood.

For the Exit camp, there is rather too much of a whiff of 'It'll Be Alright On The Night' - not the television show, just the sentiment.  We are asked to place a good deal of trust in their reassurances that the other lot have got it all wrong and we'll be just fine, don't you know.

The only telling argument I've heard lately came from a friend of mine, who made the point that the young were overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU, that it will be their world and not ours and therefore we should respect their wishes.  This is a good point, but assumes that 'the young' have got it right, which is a concession we rarely give them in any other walk of life!  Another friend said that his heart said leave but his mind said remain, which, I think, is possibly where I am at the moment, but I'm really not sure.

I have a strong feeling that my mind probably won't be made up until I'm actually standing in the polling booth, which is not really how democracy should work but I guess it is better than the alternative.