I admit I am pretty indifferent in many ways to the EU, more in than out personally and I do think, without knowing all the complications, that a no vote may well be a mistake, at least in the short term. If it where a no vote we just don’t know how the EU would react, unlike Cameron I don’t think the EU are that desperate to keep the UK as a member state, and our influence may not be as vital as they would have us believe. If it’s a no vote do you think that the USA will have a so-called special relationship with the UK, no, but that I must admit I don’t care about.
The in and out campaigns are going to ramp it up. The In Campaign includes (Lord ) Rose former boss of M&S, (Sir) John Major, Gordon (Vow) Brown, Tony (War) Blair, Chuka Umunna (LabourTory MP), Tory Dominic Green, Will Straw (entitled child of a former Labour Minister, there are lots of them, look at the Kinnocks) and Green MP Caroline Lucas. The No side have Nigel Farage MEP UKip, Matthew Elliot of the Taxpayers Alliance, (Lord) Nigel Lawson, Kate Howey MP (LabourTory) . They are also being funded by major Conservative donor and City millionaire Peter Cruddas, John Mills, Labour’s biggest private financial backer, and Stuart Wheeler Tory donor.
I suppose first things first, who appointed those people. Who gave them the right to lead any campaign and to tell us what is right or wrong. Neither side are inspiring, in many ways they are as awful as each other and both support the very vested interests that have made the UK such a thoroughly elitist and right-wing nightmare right now. I am surprised that Caroline Lucas is having anything to do with the stay in group and suspect that whatever happens she will be tarnished with any association to them, she has made a huge mistake there. Overall neither side are inspiring, all have self-interest at heart, well maybe not Caroline Lucas, and all have dictated to us for too long or are unelected.
Now I admit that I think that there are many things wrong with the EU. It is very top-heavy and appears to be a job for the boys set up, it is not as democratic as many would have us believe and it tries to keep everyone happy, well the elite happy, which results in a mish mash of regulation that looks more like a burden than a help. How the EU have handled the refugee crisis has not been good at all and the EU treatment of Greece was a disgrace that everyone should be ashamed of, the Greek people were bullied and threatened with ruin when we should have been bending over to support them. The Greece situation demonstrated to me that the EU is neither fair nor equal, would the EU have treated Germany in the same way, I think not.
There are things I like about the EU though, I am more for the free movement of people than against. The ECHR is a vital protection for all of us, one that the Tories want to take away. We do get access to structural funds that play a very important investment role in Scotland and something that Westminster would just never do, Scotland is not London after all. Although we do get a lot less than England and Wales for example who both get 6 Billion and 2 Billion respectively.
One of my big worries, and many will share this, is that the media will be shocking. While they may not be as pro one side or downright lie as much they did about the YES Campaign during the referendum, and we won’t have the all out war from the Unionist Parties that we all experienced during the referendum, we will be guaranteed lies and scare stories from the usual suspects, and we will have to rely on the good blogs out there for honest information.
As a political saddo I will follow the campaign closely, will no doubt blog off and on about it but right now I think it could go either way. As I said at the start of this grump, I am more a yes than a no but one thing could swing it for me, TTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). This stupid agreement, if it goes ahead, and in my opinion, will put our public services and our democracy at risk. It will allow companies to sue our governments in secret (Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments, it will weaken our food and environmental laws bringing them more in line with the USA. If the EU votes for TTIP without a referendum of EU citizens then my vote may well be a no because we will be shafted either way.
Interesting times ahead.