I consider myself relatively lucky because I am in a position prior to a vote where I have a reasonably blank slate. I am not overtly politically minded and my views and opinions tend to be ill-informed and somewhat "piss weak" when standing up to any form of scrutiny. The reason I consider myself lucky is that the Eu Referendum is on Thursday and I have had plenty of time to become acquainted with the facts (after sifting through a minefield of propaganda and seriously odious bullshit!) - I also don't have any prior leanings or prejudices to stand in the way of a fair and controlled debate.
As I have only recently returned from living in Australia for the last sixteen years, I only had a brief knowledge of the main figures in British politics and the shenanigans they all get up to. I was too awash with the insanity of the Australian Government to pay much attention to my home-soil's circus.
So, what did I know about the UK and the bullies in the playground? well...
- Boris Johnson looks like an albino Baron Greenback from Danger Mouse
- Jeremy Corbyn looks like someone's dad who has popped 'round to ask us if we could keep the noise down
- Nigel Farage makes Hitler look quite charitable and easy-going
- David Cameron likes his sausage wrapped in bacon
Admittedly, not the greatest of knowledge when it comes to making a decent decision about the future of Great Britain, the European Union and the many generations to come.
It's an added complication when the current Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition is on the same side and one wonders what all the fuss is about, but that's something I have just accepted.
On the 29th May, 2016, an opinion piece was published in The Guardian written by David Mitchell where he voiced a fear that I shared. Basically, why get hoi polloi to make a decision that the experts have a better grasp on? Fair-dos, I believe in the notion of democracy and I think if the decision was made without my consent, I'd be a little bit miffed. However, not everyone is well-versed in politics (like me) and many won't even bother checking facts and will blindly give a knee-jerk reaction because they didn't like someone from the local pub's opinion (and they once knocked over his pint and the grudge still holds!)
Anyway, this is not a blog post about the failings of the democratic system in place. This is about taking control of an opportunity and making the most of our right to vote... So...
My first port of call was to ask my friend Dan about his thoughts on the whole complicated issue. Dan knows more about politics than I know about Alfred Hitchcock movies, so I knew it would be a safe bet. He advised me wisely and fairly. I took all his points on board.
I then started researching the pros and cons. I learned about the impact on farmers, the various regulations imposed by the European Union, the allegations about funds, rebates etc., the whole immigration malarkey... gosh, my head was spinning.
I started to look for inspiration from those I admired and whose opinions I trusted.
In late April, the President of the United States gave us his opinionand there was, oddly, quite a backlash. Now, call me a big old Leftie if you will, but I actually value the words of a leading Democrat who understands economies, prejudices and legal matters globally.
OK, if complainers want opinions to only come from local minds, then take a look at this piece from the rather spectacular brain of J.K. Rowling.Yes, I know that some belligerent folk will whinge and say "But she only writes kids' books about magic!" to which I say "Don't be moronic imbeciles - the woman's a legend!" and that will be the end of that argument.
I can understand the notion about wanting to be an independent land once again, I really can, but I also want to relive my school days and not have to worry about bills, rent and politics - nostalgia is hindsight with rose-tinted glasses. It's not necessarily an idyllic paradise with rainbows and unicorns (er... not that Olde England was ever like that. I'm being facetious!)
National pride is, on some levels, to be commended (however, I have often said that there is a very thin line between National pride and racism!) but one can still be a proud Briton in a European Union. No one is going to take that away from anyone.
Those who are worried about border control need to take off their pointy white hats and focus on a less insensitive/barking mad notion.
Also, if we do leave, you realise England will never, ever win the Eurovision Song Contest again. It's a point to consider...
As you have probably gathered by now, I will be voting to remain. I don't know all the facts but I have gone out of my way to listen to both sides of the argument. I trust the multitude of advisors, economists, politicians and (ho ho) celebrities (me being facetious again) who suggest that a future within the European Union is a future with vastly more strengths and possibilities. The fact that Farage, Trump and Putin think we ought to opt out is enough reason for me to stay in. The opinions of narrow-minded, egomaniacal bigots do not sway me one jot.Also, John Oliver says we should and that's good enough for me. See John's take on Brexit here!
The truth is, there will be complications and problems whether we leave or stay. I just don't think anyone should be voting without doing a little bit of research and not take everything at face value. Vote with a conscience. Vote with a heart. Vote with a brain. Just don't vote with hate, anger and fear.
If you're a nerd like me and you're still perplexed by the whole issue, just think "What would the Doctor or Gene Roddenberry do?"