I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Europe


Amidst all the scaremongering and speculation, it's instructive to step back from the frenzy and consider who wants us to leave the EU and who wants us to remain.

For Brexit: Boris Johnson, George Galloway, Nigel Farage and UKIP, Michael Howard and Michael Gove, Liam Fox and Iain Duncan Smith, Zac Goldsmith, Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen, ISIS, Donald Trump, The Queen, the Telegraph, the Mail, the Express.

For Remain: David Cameron and George Osborne, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, Natalie Bennett and the Greens, Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England), Stephen Hawking, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, most UK businesses, all EU member states, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Mirror.

Well, I know what I"m voting for, and have known for a long time.

Most young people instinctively feel part of Europe rather than identify with some archaic, let's-go-it-alone-and-damn-the-foreigners type of isolationism. But many are not even registered to vote. Please, you must do so! It's so important for the future. Even if the European project has its problems and difficulties, it's maintained the peace in Europe now for nearly sixty years.

9 comments:

George said...

Thanks for providing the roster sheet on this issue. It tells me everything I need to know. Neo-isolationists like Trump and his European counterparts have little more than fear to justify their positions. Reason is sacrificed on the altar of perceived self-interest. For better or worse, the world continues to move toward more economic and cultural integration, and, at this point, it's impossible to "put the genie back in the bottle." Good luck. Here in the U.S., we're all watching, even as we struggle with the political rise of an idiot who has virtually no understanding of economics or history.

The Solitary Walker said...

Neatly said, George, my friend. It's a credit to a liberal and fair-minded society, in which every shade of opinion can be expressed without fear of censorship and repression (or imprisonment or torture or worse), that Trump is given a hearing — in the true spirit of democracy — rather than succumbing to the overwhelming instinct to slap him round the face and put him back in the playpen. If only that playpen weren't so dangerous...

sackerson said...

Obama's cheerful intervention was, I think, a veiled warning not to assume that if we vote to leave we'll escape the impositions that go with TTIP. Reading between the lines I think he was saying that if we go it alone we'll only get at least as bad a deal of our own out of the US.

I'll be voting to stay in the EU - with no illusions, although you're right about unity playing a role in maintaining peace.

I should add that I think the referendum is a silly idea. Anyone who thinks this (be they pro or anti EU) should consider voting to stay in - to maintain the status quo that should not have been challenged.

I should also add, where would Brexit leave England if Scotland had another referendum and went independent? It'd be even chillier here than it is already.

Nick said...

"It's maintained the peace in Europe now for nearly sixty years." Well, not quite, Robert. From time to time in my daily life I see shell and bullet holes 40 years more recent than that.

Incidentally, it's worth reading Larry Elliot's piece in this morning's Guardian on-line about some of the economic/financial/democratic difficulties the EU currently faces (or more accurately avoids facing).

As for stay or leave, I'm happy to leave it to my fellow countrymen (young and old) to figure that one out, and to take the consequences of their decision, whatever it is; I have no dog in this fight (i.e. no vote), having lived outside the UK for 25 years now.

Regards

Nick

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, of course you are right, Nick. And thanks, Dominic, also for your comment.

Amanda Summer said...

I would be concerned about anything advocated by Putin, ISIS and Trump.

And thank you for the in depth definition of mise en abyme in your previous post - my head is positively spinning!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Stay in I say Robert. Agree with what you say entirely.

The Solitary Walker said...

Hello, Pat . . . and Amanda . . . endlessly falling!

Susan Scheid said...

Ah, if only the young people had listened to you. In hopes of better times.