Gambling with the future


In two days, the campaigning will be over and it’s up to us to pass judgement.  This has been an unusual campaign, for me at least.  Most elections I vote for my tribe, you vote for yours and the rest make their mind up either on the day or in the three or so weeks of the campaign beforehand.  It is they who hold the fate of the elections in their hands.  The rest of us spend our time trying to convince ‘the undecideds’ to lend their support to our tribe.  And it is ‘lend’.  Because we have to do it again the next time.  But this campaign?
I was undecided at the beginning.  I have huge problems with the EU.  I loathe the way they treated the Greeks.  I would like there to be greater democracy and  more accountability. But it is this way because NATIONAL governments have set it up.  And they have to be pushed to change it.  As a long term admirer of Tony Benn it has been difficult for me to support an institution which has many deficits.  And it has.  And so has UK parliament. What other country in Europe has a second tier that consists of Lords, Ladies, Archbishops?  All either appointed by past or present Prime Ministers or born to rule over the rest of us.  And there’s nothing we can do about it until we get a government elected on a platform to abolish the House of Lords.  For me this isn’t a choice between good and bad.  More like bad and bad.The campaign has seemed most times like an internal Tory battle.  Do we  prefer David or Boris?  It’s like a choice between death by poison or strangulation.  Why have Labour been so quiet we’re told?  They haven’t been but the BBC and the other media are much more interested in presenting the campaign as a clash of personalities, a blood feud if you like. They did this with the Labour Party before the local government elections and they did it with this campaign.

In 1974 I was a child and so didn’t follow the referendum then closely.  But looking at it historically the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, largely stayed out of the debate.  If only Cameron had done the same.  Many people can’t stand him and what his government, this one and the Coalition one, have done in six years.  They can’t wait to give him a bloody nose, metaphorically speaking.  If Britain votes to leave on Thursday he should take his share of responsibility and go.  By identifying himself so strongly with the remain campaign a defeat will be a personal message to him.  And if doesn’t go voluntarily he should be dumped.  Personally I’d like him to go whatever happens.

And the Leave campaign?  What a line up!  Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel.  Am I to believe that these are the people who are going to save the British working class from low pay, expensive housing, inadequately funded public services?  Next week all these people will go back to the House of Commons and go back to voting for Tory policies that do anything but improve the position of the weak and vulnerable in our society.  Who would I rather trust about where my rights and interests are concerned, the Tory right or Labour and the trade unions.  Between Johnson and Corbyn there is no contest.

So, I find myself in the unusual position of not being sure if I’m doing the right thing at the ballot box but weighing up the pros and cons and seeing the likes of Farage and co shit stirring about immigration and Turkey has left me very clear about what I won’t be voting for.







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