Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Sleep-walking towards the Brexit Referendum

The campaigning for the forthcoming Referendum is still not at fever pitch, nor anywhere near it. How very odd. I mean, it's so important.

The outcome will commit the government to a course of action it may be reluctant to take, but will have to proceed with: extricating Britain from a dense sticky spider's web of EU arrangements that have been in place for decades - some good, some not so good, but few of them the sort that can be severed in one slash with a flaming sword called National Independence.

If you gather from this choice of words that I have moved closer to saying 'I want Britain to stay in' at election time on 23rd May, you'd be right.

Oh, I do see the emotional appeal of taking back all of our affairs, and dealing with Europe - and the world - as a completely independent country. But I haven't heard any solid facts concerning how it would work out.

I suspect it wouldn't go so very well. I'm old enough to remember the manifold complaints made against the 'British workman', who was characterised as dull, truculent, work-shy, and slipshod in every way. So different from the eager and hard-working Eastern Europeans that I've actually come across. Immigration mustn't be overwhelming and needs to be controlled - this is such a crowded island - but it does bring in fresh blood, fresh attitudes, fresh talent, and avoids having to rely on home-grown slackers, spongers and thickheads.

And I don't want to be trapped in Fortress Britannia, watching my pensions shrink as the economy falters, with some dreadful people in charge. Or the same people as now, but battling with the problems of being out of Europe, rather than in it. And there will always be problems to cope with. No referendum will make them vanish. Really, you do wonder whether this particular referendum is truly wanted by anyone, apart from a minority of flag-waving oldies.

There's worse to consider. With Europe no longer our close friend, imagine finding out just what is the true nature of our much-vaunted 'special relationship' with the United States of America! With perhaps a heartless Trump-led Republican Party in office there! What an awful thought.

Overriding all this is are global problems and the best way to deal with them. It's obvious that eventually all countries must put aside selfish national pride, and work together in combination. I'd be ashamed of Britain if we insisted on being aloof, an exclusive bit of rock with electrified razor-wire fences all around the coastline, with no policy but to preserve what we had. I'd be worried about those fences: would they be to keep people out, or to keep people in? Would 'citizen loyalty' and 'right-thinking' become political issues that could send you to prison? Isolation tends to breed some strange and dangerous attitudes. Would we get a much less tolerant Britain?      

A quick poll around the pub table last night revealed a six-to-one vote in favour of staying in. I hope that's a fair reflection of what the real thing will produce.


  1. In the end I think fear of the unknown will win the day.

  2. I can't imagine that the Brexit camp are particularly pleased to receive the backing of Donald Trump!


This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford