This week the United Kingdom goes to the polls in what is arguably the most important vote in my lifetime. We are being asked the simple question “Do We want to remain a member of the European Union.
For years we have seen the conservative party squabble interminably over the issue and both sides of the campaign have invoked “project fear” in an attempt to win our vote. The remain side has stoked up out fears over the economic effect of a decision to quit the EU. The leave campaign has stoked our fears over immigration with highly provocative claims that immigration has left the UK at breaking point.
Through it all the only truth that I can see is that a political elite are attempting to convince us that we should vote in a way that they thing will be best for them and their vested interests.
As is so often the case, for many of us we end up asking firstly “who do we trust the most.” For me and many others the answer to that question, as was the case in the last general election, was none of them. We are then left to vote for what we think is the “least bad” option.
The problem is that whilst remaining may be slightly less bad we are no clearer as to how the outcome of the referendum will affect ordinary people than we were at the start of the campaign. Both sides of the argument treat the British people as if they were errant 7-year-olds who need to be told what is best for them.
I would find it very difficult to vote “Remain” because that would see David Cameron and George Osborne “win.” I would desperately love to see those two lying cheating scumbags with a bloody nose. If they lose the vote then they have undoubtably lost the man=date to lead their party and hence the country.
Voting to leave might achieve that situation but it would mean siding with Nigel Farage and Boris Johnstone. The likelihood is that a vote to leave would probably end up seeing Boris leading the conservative party, something almost as scary as Cameron continuing.
As someone brought up in Northern Ireland I am already part of one unwanted club. The United Kingdom. Do I want to see us as part of another exclusive club run by the wealthy elite. Not really!
My biggest problem is that I see myself as a citizen of the world. I find the concept of international borders a bizarre one. Rou Reynolds of rock band Enter Shikari sums it up when he says “Countries are just lines drawn in the sand with a stick.”
In my view why should some stupid line drawn on a map hundreds of years ago dictate where I am to spend my life. Why do those same lines give us the right to stop people fleeing war, famine and natural disasters in search of a better life. The whole thing is beyond bizarre and disingenuous. The reality is that land across the world is “owned” by those whose ancestors took it from their neighbours by force of arms. In our supposedly advanced and civilised world how does such a bizarre and unjust system survive.
It survives because of vested interests who pretend to look after the rights of its citizens. It survives because of a false sense of nationalism that is drummed into us from the day we were born. It survives because some countries are stronger than others or are more prepared to use force to support their political aims. In short it comes down to naked ambition and a system that rewards those who exploit others.
The world’s economy is backed by a system of promissory notes backed by gold that in most places was taken from land inhabited by the weak and underprivileged. Mother earth is raped to line the pockets of the already wealthy still further whilst the poor in countries blessed with huge natural resources are often left to starve.
In years gone by riot and trade unions were the means by which the collective will of the majority curbed the excesses of the 1%. Sadly in the UK at least these are now toothless tigers as the masses buy into the status quo and shrug their shoulders because “thats just how it is.”
I reject the status quo, I want a world where all of the people are equal. I know that my view is a utopian dream but that doesn’t make any less desirable. Sadly the outcome of this weeks referendum will not take us any closer to a fairer world. The whole debate has simply stoked up more bitterness and division in the country and as a result I don’t want either side to win. Either way my views are nor represented and it is for this reason that I do not think I can bring myself to vote on Thursday.