Yes, another article about the EU referendum. No, I’m not going to try and convince you, with my numbers and slides, what I think you should vote for. I would have hoped it’d be clear by this point, incidentally- but I’ll get to that.
People are saying there are lies on both sides. It’s being framed as a colossal struggle against vast amounts of hyperbole and spin. Fair enough. Both camps are making stuff up to back their point; as is constantly being pointed out. But here’s a newsflash: both sides in a political battle always do this. There are people for Leave and Remain that are both in the wrong in claims they’re making and the numbers they cite. But that really isn’t the point. Just because some people make a flawed or erroneous argument, doesn’t mean the point they’re defending is itself wrong. There is actually a staggeringly comprehensive amount of good data on the subject, readily available. We’re really more informed than we’ve perhaps ever been.
Really, the most ridiculous thing about it all is that we had to come up with business statistics to argue why we should stay in the EU in the first place. It’s like trying to justify to your parents why you volunteer at Greenpeace, by presenting a financial business plan citing projected gains from your future contacts in the clean tech industry. It is to completely miss the point of the endeavour, in tenuous pursuit of the meagre money involved.
“It’s like trying to justify to your parents why you volunteer at Greenpeace, by presenting a financial business plan citing projected gains from your future contacts in the clean tech industry.”
The cancerous cynicism that insists the EU is just a tyrannical sham is both a self-fulfilling prophecy (it will hardly serve you if you do everything in your power to ignore/stunt it) and a narrow-minded reading of balance books. It ignores the cultural sway that European unity has (for most continentals, at least) on how people think and behave toward each other. It ignores the fact that, heck, Britain currently has its cake and eats it, as far as its special arrangements with the EU go. Yet still, the public are being persuaded into throwing it away.
Then again, Britain has a history of losing a good thing; despite repeated warnings, despite the correct course of action being clearly on offer; due to little more than imperial arrogance and parochial British jingoism. America did rather well out of it, though.
UKIP and the like scoff at the notion that European Union equates to European Peace. Considering the framework was begun at the end of the second world war, I would say we’re hardly in a position to know any different. Isn’t it just a little co-incidental that nearly 70 years of unprecedented peace in Europe matched the beginning of the European Coal and Steel Community? In the world prior to big conglomerations like the EU and UN, powers like France and Germany gave each other a bloody nose on a regular basis. Just sit for a moment and imagine that happening in the world we live in today.
Now of course I’m not saying this because I think war will happen as soon as cracks appear in the EU, nor do many others making this point. The thing to understand from this, that should be clear to any child of history (as it would have been to anyone at the turn of the Fifties) is that building commonality is progress. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think it is working; make it better, don’t abandon it. There’s not gonna be an “EU:2”, that you can opt-into somewhere down the line. This is it. To turn our backs on the EU project is stupid, short-sighted and, above all, backwards.
So like I said, the choice should be obvious. Which will it be: Forwards, or Backwards?