I must admit I am not as starry-eyed as many appear to be about staying in the European Union, and at this point in time remain undecided as to how I may vote.
There are many areas of the EU that concern me a lot. I can’t forget EC President Jose Manuel Barroso saying it was unlikely that other member states would admit Scotland into the EU after a Yes vote in the referendum in September 2014, even though no one had actually put that to the test and the UK Government would not ask the question, or if they did they were certainly not giving out the answer. That intervention was wrong in my opinion and was all about supporting rUK in an internal matter.
TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) remains a major concern for me. The idea that Governments can be sued by multi national companies in secret courts is beyond belief, the idea that services must be opened up to the highest bidder puts the very idea of public services at risk, TTIP will also effect our privacy, jobs, food and environmental safety. The list goes on and we are not actually getting a say on it as it will not be put to EU voters in a referendum.
The treatment of Greece during their financial crisis left a lot to be desired. Greece were bullied, and irrespective of their internal policies that added to their crisis, the people of Greece were made to and continue to suffer cuts that the Tories would be proud of even today.
There appears to be a lot of corruption in the EU, the estimate from the EU itself is 120 billion Euros a year with little sign of this being addressed anytime soon. We have seen jobs for the boys and girls; esp. the Kinnocks (Labour Party) who have become millionaires on the back of the EU and continue to milk it even today. Just have a wee look below:
Their generous package of salary and perks included:
A total of £775,000 in wages for Lady Kinnock and £1.85 million for her husband, adding up to £2,625,000.
Allowances for Lady Kinnock’s staff and office costs of £2.9million.
A £64,564 ‘entertainment allowance’ for Lord Kinnock.
A total of five publicly-funded pensions, worth £4.4million, allowing them to retire on £183,000 a year.
A housing allowance that allowed them both to claim accommodation costs although, as a married couple, they lived in the same house in the Belgian capital between 1995 and 2004.
One rule for us and another for those failed politicians who can take as much as they can and there is little we can do about it. Just because they may have been elected or appointed doesn’t mean we have to make politicians rich.
EU accounts continue to remain unsigned. Farming subsidies are huge and make up 59 Billion Euros and mostly favour the French with farmers paid huge amounts of money to not grow things.
The refugee crisis has been handled very badly by all Governments and was in part caused by those Governments in the first place; all of this makes me think I could go for a NO vote.
The things that keep me open-minded are the economic benefits of trade with other EU members, free movement of people (just because we underfund our services doesn’t make this a bad thing) , environmental protections and the human rights act which offers some small amount of protection from the ravishs of our right-wing unionist parties are also a plus.
I also don’t agree that Scotland being forced out by an English vote would bring about a successful second referendum, I don’t think Scots are that enamoured by the EU either, but I do think that Scots understand that the EU does offer a tiny bit of protection. The SNP, and like minded YES voters, need to be very careful with this one, I don’t think that a NO vote in Europe will mean a YES vote for independence. I also think that the argument that you can only reform the EU from within is rubbish as it shows no sign of wanting to reform and will push ahead with greater integration in future.
David Cameron has made a huge mistake in calling this referendum and he knows it. This is all about the right-wing little Englanders in his party and the general shift to the right in England. I know the polls are saying it will be a vote to remain but I don’t think it is as cut and dried as that, even if the NO side looks like a membership list of right wing extremists. IDS, Patel, Farage, Johnstone, Gove, Grayling, Redwood and lets not forget the leading Tory himself Galloway. Could you find a more disgusting bunch of politicians anywhere, even North Korea?
So at this point I remain undecided, I am tempted to vote YES to spite the nutters in the Conservative Party and their right-wing friends, I am tempted to vote YES in the hope that it is a close call and that Scottish votes keep England in against it’s will, now that would be interesting (independence for England anybody).
No doubt it will be a long four months to the vote, no doubt the media will distort and lie as they did during the Scottish Referendum, no doubt we will have to find the truth for ourselves but as I said, right now, I am undecided. What about you?