There is only one day to go in the EU Referendum, both campaigns have been woeful . We have not had one version of Project Fear, we have had two, and politicians from all parties are equally guilty of this. It has often felt like a civil war within the Conservative Party with both sides of it being equally as disgusting as the other. Add in Ukip and the more extreme right-wing and it becomes pretty much the most cynical, awful, disgusting, lying campaign fought in the UK ever. It has been even worse than the Scottish Referendum, although the lies have been recycled pretty well.
Up to this point I have been pretty much a very reluctant remain voter, I have taken on board the SNP mantra but the last few days I have started to feel very uncomfortable with that. Following the party line, even though I’m not a member of any party, has always been uncomfortable for me. Blind loyalty to political parties has pretty much gotten the UK into this mess in the first place.
So where does this leave me? Well still pretty much confused in so many ways. I have followed both sides of the argument as time has allowed. I have tried to filter out the shit and fear as best I can. Many argue that this debate and argument is between two posh and elitist sides of the disgusting Conservative Party. In many ways it is, I accept that. I have read the Bleu Book and I understand the alleged benefits of trade and jobs, I understand that in some areas on food, the environment and health and safety the EU has done ok. I get that free movement of people means that your rights follow you around the EU if you decide that is where your future lays. I get that.
I don’t accept the arguments on Fishing, I think the EU has pretty much killed the Scottish Fishing industry and it has been used as a bargaining tool by UK Governments over the years to the detriment of fisherman. I am also not convinced by the Common Agricultural Policy that pays huge sums of money to mainly already wealthy landowners, or worse pays farmers not to grow food. I have read the arguments that the EU costs less than Westminster to run and I don’t accept the arguments that EU immigrants are coming for social security benefits, but I am concerned that the strain on housing and public services due to under investment by Westminster Governments means that we just can’t cope with increased migration without major investment and that is not going to happen.
However, I am concerned that, like Westminster, the EU is a gravy train. Over 5,000 employees earn over £71,000 per year. Over 2000 earn as much as the UK Prime Minister and 250 receive over £160,000 plus per year. Add in very generous pensions, there are expenses for private education for children of MEPs to allowances that would make a Westminster MP blush and that takes some doing.
But overall the argument comes down to democracy for me. How democratic is the EU really? While the EU has a democratic structure and is representative, there is a serious lack of transparency, especially around the debates in the council. Failure here does lay with the member Governments and their failure to both explain the EU decision-making processes and to hold the EU Commissioners to account publicly in parliament committees. But it all feels so distant from me; it’s something that feels hidden away. How much of us have any real information about TTIP and how this will affect us! How many of us were comfortable with how Greece were treated! I wasn’t and it left a real sour taste in my mouth.
I can’t forget or forgive the EU intervention in the independence debate, they told us we would not be allowed in. That won’t change in the future whatever the outcome of the vote or any future independence referendum. The EU does not accept independence movements in the main and Spain will use its veto if we ever vote for independence, any arguments saying they won’t I don’t accept. I also believe in Scottish Independence and when that time comes and we have a vote on whether to apply for EU membership I will vote against.
As I have blogged before the EU is failing, it is failing every one of us, it has a failing economy and just as elitist a system as Westminster. Basically I feel that we lose if we stay and we lose if we leave. The money we pay or what we receive doesn’t come into it at all, we don’t even know the truth but I know that right now things in the UK and the EU are bad and we are being asked to vote to remain in a system that has made it bad. We are being asked to vote for the same failed politicians who got us into this mess and I can’t accept that. I have argued that the EU protects us from the worse ravishes of the Tories, but it doesn’t. The EU can’t stop austerity, attacks to public services, under investment or privatising of public services. In fact the EU supports the same neo liberal economics that pretty much impoverished us all, the same economics that have allowed the wealthy to get wealthier.
If we vote leave we won’t be better off, I get that but if we vote remain we won’t better off either and we won’t be protected either. The EU threat that it won’t trade with us doesn’t bother me, I don’t accept it. Will they impose levies, they might and so will we. I do think in the event of leave the Tories will fall pretty quickly as they continue to tear themselves apart. I do believe that a leave vote will result in serious strain on the union to the extent that we will leave it behind, along with N Ireland and maybe Wales. I have never been a fan of the EU, the EU have made that even worse in recent years so my vote on Thursday…..
Is looking like a leave vote.
Remain have just not done enough to convince me that I am better in than out, either way I am shafted so I would rather be shafted by a system of democracy, no matter how flawed, which is closer to home, that I mostly understand and that I can vote against the Government of the day. The EU is distant, as corrupt and inept, as elitist and as broken as the UK. It’s time to go.