Monday, 22 February 2016

In or Out

We're being asked to vote on something that the vast majority of us have no clue about, which leaves it down to narrow-focus pressure groups with axes to grind and vested interests to persuade us to vote the way they want us to by use of distortion and marketing techniques.

I'm leaning toward staying in, not because I'm wedded to any ideological point of view, but because I can't see what's going to change if we leave, and that's just my personal view. We will still need to trade with the EU, a condition of which is to abide by many of their rules, regardless of whether we're in or out. Better to remain in and change the things we don't particularly like; most European voters have the same issues with the EU that we do, so things must change in the long run.

Migrants? We seem to be doing a reasonable job of keeping the number coming in relatively low compared to Germany, France, Greece, etc. We can't be forced to do anything we don't want to and other countries don't seem to suffer from not obeying EU rules (take France as an example). Even if we're censured we just pay a fine and carry on keeping them out regardless.

The NHS is run in the most part by migrants from a previous influx, but not from the EU. The NHS is being pressurised by the vast number of procedures we can now perform (and are being demanded as a right) compared to years ago. Add to that the fact that the Baby Boomers are getting older as well as living longer. That's not sustainable and is nothing to do with migrants "swamping the NHS". It's simply down to too little tax, incompetence and efforts to privatise everything in sight.

Refugees? Not being in the EU ain't going to change our commitment to the UN Charter.

Many complain that we get less back from the EU than we put in. Well, isn't that also true within the UK? Money gathered from rich areas in the south is invested into poor northern areas to regenerate their economies (the Northern Powerhouse project) and lessen the gap between rich and poor areas. It's just on a bigger scale in the EU.

EU nationals migrating for better job opportunities? Again, doesn't that already take place within the UK - wasn't it Norman Tebbit, the arch Eurosceptic, who exhorted the jobless to get on their bikes? I agree there is an argument that big business needs a highly mobile, European-wide and yet cheap workforce, and that is conducive to population migrations on a scale that may not be manageable and could be a big negative factor for the unskilled the man in the street. Big business has a vested interest here and so they will support this.

The EU is undemocratic? The EU is comprised of an elected chamber and an unelected 'civil service'. I can't name one national civil service that's elected. Europe is more democratic than the UK!

Sovereignty? I translate this into MPs' desires to be more relevant and to aggregate power.

Finally, how can one simultaneously argue for Scotland to remain within the Union and yet argue for the UK to leave the EU? It just doesn't make sense unless you factor in xenophobia.

Parochial, self-interest group scaremongering seems to be the order of the day with sensible debate and analysis on a wider landscape being the casualty. Just remember that the last argument you hear before voting is invariably the most persuasive, so it's just as well you're not reading this in a few months time. Just analyse the facts, sift out the bullshit (if you can), question, question, question some more and vote according to your conscience. In essence though it's a gamble, as the hidden variables are myriad and accurate prediction impossible.

Democracy is the exercise of self-interest.


  1. I disagree with your definition of democracy.
    It is to me this:Democracy, or a democratic government, is "a system of government in which all the people of a state are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly.

    UK in or out ?
    That is a difficult proposition for the UK is not the same country that it was prior to joining the old E.E.C. One may look back with regret, however leaving the E.U. will not recover all that has been lost or changed within the UK.

    Better to remain within the E.U. and help it to reshape it's self, for periodically the conglomerate has to grow in many different ways socially, politically and Spiritually too.
    Personally I think that the E.U. has taken in too many of the less developed north eastern countries. It would have been better to have left them to mature & find their own feet and to understand how democracy works first before allowing them in.
    For I can see trouble brewing at some future date....

    1. It certainly isn't the same country - and most of the difference is due to the EU bringing us forward in many areas.

      Fully agree that it has been expanded too quickly for its own good - it's not exactly a union of equals at present and that needs addressing.

      As for the definition of democracy - your definition is identical to mine, if you think about it.