Ever since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU was announced, I have been asking myself whether or not the British public are well enough informed to actually make an educated decision on which way to vote. Unhappily, my conclusion is that there is not anywhere near enough knowledge for any of us to make a truly informed choice. The ultimate decision is one which will come from people’s instincts rather than from anything else.
This whole process has exposed the underbelly of British society, where selfishness and greed appear to be more important than goodness, altruism, tolerance, and inclusivity. I find this very sad indeed, because, for me, life should not be based on isolationism but the exact opposite.
What I find particularly offensive is that many Brexit campaigners, especially those leading the campaign (Messrs Gove, Johnson, Farage and a number of rich but indistinguishable wannabes), seem to think that Britain is still in its Imperial heyday, that the world will automatically fall at Britain’s feet when it is no longer a part of the European Union. They are wrong, very wrong, and very very misguided. The United Kingdom is no longer a world power, and the British economy is failing because of the austerity introduced by the Tories and hurtfully enforced by right-wing monsters such as Iain Duncan-Smith. The irony is that we have an austerity Prime Minister and Chancellor campaigning on behalf of Remain, and probably doing significant damage to the cause.
I have been dismayed to see that David Beckham has been attacked on social media and in the press for supporting the Remain campaign. One of the arguments repeatedly used to attack him is the fact that he is rich and therefore selfish, that he doesn’t know what the country wants or needs. How does that follow? Aren’t Gove, Johnson, Farage, Duncan-Smith and their earning huge amounts of money every year in multiple jobs? Do they know anything about normal life in the UK? No. Brexit is just yet another venture by these entrepreneurial politicians to enrich themselves at the cost of those very people who are supporting them. Because, mark my words, once EU protection of labour disappears in the UK, the Living Wage will disappear, more jobs will emigrate to countries outside of the EU, as will more of those Brits who might easily have been employed in Europe under the Freedom of Movement. And the proposed removal by Brexit of the European Human Rights Act will make the regime in the UK even ore oppressive and intolerant.
Which brings me to the main point here. The issue of immigration is a red herring. Immigration does not put a strain on the UK’s welfare or health or school systems, especially not immigration from the EU. It brings money and skills into the UK which would otherwise not have been available to us here. It brings a richness of culture to our country we are lucky to have and should embrace and cherish. It reinforces the fact that Britain is an amalgam of many nations, and always has been, that there is no “pure” British race. The bigotry displayed by many in the Leave camp is distasteful and is a the crime. Those who say that being anti-immigration is not racist are lying.
Over twenty years ago, I lectured at a think tank in Paris. The subject of my lecture was how the rise of the Internet was affecting global commerce. I spoke in favour of global taxation, in favour of a global currency, in favour of one single world nation. What I said was considered revolutionary by many, but now, as then, I maintain that position. We need peace on this world, not collectives fragmenting into nations all to eager to make war on each other again. Because leaving the EU is not very far away from declaring war on an international league of nations whose goal has always been to make life better for everyone, especially the poor and needy.
Think very carefully before you vote. Supporting Brexit is a vote for intolerance, a vote for exclusion, a vote to enrich the rich. A vote for Remain, and that’s what I will be voting, is a vote for tolerance, inclusivity, a vote marking your willingness to put aside your interests for the interests of all of humankind.
Audrey22nd June 2016 at 16:06
Change a few key words and you could be talking about the US Presidential election.
richard pierce22nd June 2016 at 21:56
I guess it is almost the same thing. R
Steve Gregory23rd June 2016 at 16:45
I have voted to Remain for slightly different reasons but it ends up as the same thing. I would recommend that you listen to this weeks episode of Dead Ringers on Radio 4 – makes good points and is also very funny. Cheers. Steve
richard pierce23rd June 2016 at 16:47
Do you know how proud that makes me to be your friend? You probably have no idea, but it has. R