20 June 2016

Referendum

On Thursday, Britain's polling stations will be open. Regarding our membership of The European Union we will either put crosses in the "Remain" or "Leave" boxes or draw a cartoon... possibly of a sheep.

It is not entirely clear why we are even having this referendum. I guess it came about because of anti-European rumblings in the ranks of the Conservative Party. Having the referendum was meant to appease all those "Daily Mail" readers. I saw their leader on the television last night - David Cameron. He was fielding questions from members of the public and he appeared to be floundering. He looks older, less bullish, unconvincingly trotting out the same, tired arguments.

There are things about The European Union that baffle me and most of my fellow citizens. What began as an economic trading alliance appears to have morphed into something different. It is a political juggernaut which seems to have an uncontrollable momentum of its own, like a prehistoric brontosaurus stomping over our continent. In Brussels and Strasbourg, highly paid Eurocrats congratulate themselves about their cleverness and importance.
I am drawn to "Remain" but I wish that the champions of "Remain" would talk about the reforms they intend to press for. Many of them try to avoid the "i" word - immigration. It has become a huge concern to ordinary Britons. Many communities are utterly changed. To me, it is not just an economic matter. Not everything is about jobs and balance sheets. I used to live in a country where everybody knew what a maypole was, where everyone knew that a 99 was a vanilla ice cream  with a "Flake" pushed in it, where we all knew the most popular Christmas carols, where we knew what the years 1066 and 1666 meant to our people. It's not like that now. And if you dare to dig into immigration matters you are likely to invite accusations of racism and intolerance.

Nonetheless, it's "remain" for me. "Leave" is filled with uncertainty and its champions are dangerous dorks with whom I have no affinity - Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove for example. All odious ego trippers.

In contrast, our lovely Yorkshire rose, the murdered MP Jo Cox was strongly behind the "Remain" campaign. Only the weekend before her cruel death, she was pictured in an inflatable dingy on The Thames with her husband and small children and as it sped mischievously through the choppy waters near The House of Parliament its large flag fluttered in the wind, bearing a single word - "IN".

Nobody knows what the outcome will be or significantly what percentage of the electorate will even vote but in  memory of Jo Cox, for stability and togetherness I shall be giving "Remain" my cross. We have come so far in The European Union that "Leave" seems far too drastic and it increasingly looks like the gateway to Narnia.

26 comments:

  1. Interesting to hear your opinion , YP.

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    1. "Opinion" being the operative word Helen. How people vote will be driven by feeling - not reason.

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  2. I hope the overall outcome will be "remain" - it would probably make my annual Yorkshire holiday a little easier, and also mean less administrative hurdles for my possition as Ambassador.

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    1. I thought you had dual nationality - Deutsch and Yorkshire. Even if Britain votes leave you will be welcome in Yorkshire as you have done so much to sing the praises of God's holy acres.

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  3. Jo who?
    I have voted leave.

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    1. I'd never heard of her but apparently she was a real mover and shaker. Her husband is a bit strange. He left his job saving children in rather a hurry.
      I still want to leave.

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    2. Maybe you're right. I really don't know. Much of this boils down to instinct and feeling. I certainly don'tbelieve that Brendan Cox should be shood into his wife's safe Labour seat.

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  4. I am with you all the way Pudding.

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  5. I think David Cameron has opened a 'Pandora's Box' with this referendum. I just despise the nasty circus it has created.

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    1. I think that at first Cameroon smugly thought that "Remain" had it in the bag but now he's running scared andhe knows that if "Leave" wins that will be his legacy.

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  6. Despite many misgivings I am too committed to the ideals of the union and I have nailed my colours irrevocably to remain part of Europe. I believe whatever the outcome nothing will remain the same. Europe will alter: hopefully for the better. We will have altered: unfortunately I am less confident that it will be for the better.

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    1. Like me you do not seem entirely wholehearted about remaining.

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  7. It is hard for me to comment on it all as David Cameron is the only politician I know and of course the poor woman murdered. We have too much on our plate across the pond to follow Brexit. Money has to be the common denominator, though I don't really know that. What does the Queen want to happen? That's whom I'd follow.

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    1. The Queen has always been studiously neutral about elections and political matters throughout her long reign but as the head of The Commonwealth I am sure that she has privately shaken her head about the march of The European Union.

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  8. I have been oscillating in my decision....
    And its bugging me.
    Tomorrow i am strimming the field for hours
    It will be my referendum thinking time

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    1. Well I hope the thinking time helps you to arrive at an image of where you will place your little cross.

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  9. I believe it's not my place to comment re the Eu...whether the UK should remain or leave.

    But I will comment on the very tragic, unnecessary death of Jo Cox. So very sad and so very, very wrong'

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    1. Please comment on the EU all you like Lee. No problem.

      And yes Jo Cox - killed by a nutter with a chip on his shoulder. What a tragic way to go.

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  10. Your last sentence says it all. You've been involved in EU too long to leave. the other sentence that is key is that modifications have to be made in the system. Globalization has allowed people to move to any part of the globe.

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    1. Globalization - it's like a spinning top in reverse. It began slowly but now it's spinning wildly.

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  11. Well, you know how I feel, and I think your analysis is spot-on. I also wish the Remainers would make a stronger argument for the changes they'd like to see in the EU. And I recognize the immigration concerns, even being an immigrant myself. (I've never heard of a "99," I must admit!) But at the same time, Leaving seems to me an impossible attempt to step back into an idealized past.

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    1. You may not have heard of a "99" Steve but I bet you have heard of a "69"!

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  12. Steve, you are so right in the fact that the leavers want to step back into an idealised past. Times, and people, have changed and the old Great Britain no longer exists - nor does much of the industry which supported us as an independent country. I visualise Britain foundering if it's a leave vote, and can imagine the Scots holding another independence referendum, winning, and then applying to join the EU !! Possibly followed by Wales and Northern Ireland.
    Wasn't the original concept of the Union to live, and work together, no more wars, and create a united land mass to rival that of the U.S.? Somewhere along the way this has been side-lined and it seems it's now about power and petty bureaucracy, with Frau Merkel calling the shots...

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    1. Frau Merkel calling for the shots..."Vaiter! Vaiter! Get me zwei Jaeger bombs. Ein fur mein friend Frau Cuppa Girl und ein fur me - Predidente von das USE! Schnell!"

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