The title of this blog is actually also the song title of one of my favourite songs by The Clash and I think very apt for how some people may be feeling this week as the EU referendum looms on the political horizon. Whatever your opinion (if you have one and let’s face it, most of us do) it’s safe to say suddenly there appears to be a lot of financial, economical and immigration experts in our midst. The truth of the matter is most of us have very little knowledge on the whys and wherefores for going or leaving and feel as if we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
As the campaign gathered momentum I realized I’m an ‘INNY’. Is it because most of the ‘OUTY’ brigade cite immigration as their reason for leaving? I’m not denying the tone of their argument has appalled me but also the fact that their fears appear to be on the whole unfounded. There are far more pressing issues than the movement of people throughout Europe and anyway, statistics have proven that Immigration is a good thing for our country.
Patriotism has evolved into something rather unappealing for me; it often smacks of defence of an archaic system that no longer serves this great country, an ugly outpouring of narrow minded nostalgia. We are no longer an Empire and all the better for that. Our ability to tolerate, embrace and welcome different faiths and cultures is diminishing fast amongst a large percentage of the population and it pains me to witness this. We now live in a global village, the world is indeed a much smaller place than it was before and we need to accept this fact and work towards making the world a better, fairer place for all. We can’t do that alone, on our tiny island that has become so dependent on the support of Europe. I’m not wanting to turn this blog into a political rant but you will have to forgive me, it’s difficult to avoid when writing about such an important issue concerning the future of this country!
I’m angry too. Angry that we have been given this huge responsibility when our capacity for understanding the whole system is limited. It feels a little like a surgeon asking the patient how to perform his operation!
I’m sad about this pivotal moment in our history. About the huge divisions it has exposed between us. Friends are being made and lost on this I’m sure. The campaigns taking place have become little more than mud-slinging. The fiasco on the River Thames being a particular low point as a millionaire ex-pop star had a nautical stand off with a bigoted, privileged politician about fishermen and their plight. Did either of them have a clue about what they were arguing about? I’ll hold judgement on that…..just about.
The horrific murder of a young aspiring MP made the nation gasp in horror. Not on our shores? I’m afraid so. From our very smug standpoint of tut tutting at the ridiculous gun laws in the US after the appalling attack on the LGBT community in Florida, we were suddenly in a position to know how they felt. We are incredulous that something like this could happen here but happen it did and there is no way back from this. It has exposed the underbelly of vile racism, reared its ugly head and threatens our society; a distasteful, subliminal message that has been drip fed in the media. We are better than this. We can’t let this define us. We have to remember that we are supposed to be a tolerant, welcoming nation.
If you do happen to be an expert on all things EU, I’m pretty sure you would be voting to stay on Thursday, given the information I have been able to glean from the many articles I have pored over recently. If you are voting to leave, I sincerely hope you have very firm reasons for that and have come to your (somewhat questionable) conclusion with a clear, unbiased head that has no room for racism, bigotry or misguided patriotism.