Cameron has returned with his much-lauded deal. Not the deal he wanted of course, just the one that all the other EU members told him he could have. Something to wave around, spout off about, and pretend it has any solid basis. We were never in the Euro anyway, so why all the fuss about that aspect? NATO membership is not unique to EU members, just ask America and Turkey, so why the emphasis on defence? More hot air about something about nothing, and back to situation normal, short of some benefit restrictions that will only affect the poorest immigrants.
Now the sides are lining up, and the polls are in a frenzy. Various celebrities and politicians are joining the In or Out camps, and they can’t even seem to decide on a proper name. Is it ‘Stay of Leave’, ‘In or Out’, or ‘Yes and No’? Nobody seems that sure. The date for the vote clashes with the Welsh parliament elections, but nobody seems to care about that. They are only Welsh, after all. The Scottish Nationalists are not only firmly supporting the ‘In’ vote, they are insisting on another Independence Referendum, should the vote not go the way they want.
I voted against the EU in the 1970s. Despite never meeting anyone in my life since who claims to have voted for it, we were told at the time that we had been defeated, and we were staying in. I wanted a recount, and still do. This new referendum comes at a time when antagonism towards the EU has never been higher in Britain, yet I have a sneaky feeling the vote will be to stay in, and the polls don’t open for months. I welcome my chance to vote against being in this shambles. I have my reasons, and they are mostly political ones. I despair at membership of this capitalist club, this merging of nations with nothing in common, other than multi-national conglomerates, greed, and self-interest. I have never been comfortable with the European mentality, that suggests we are all similar, due to geographical proximity. I have enough issues with feeling like a part of the UK, let alone Europe.
The trouble is, I have to be on the same side as some very undesirable bedfellows. Racists, Right-wing thinkers, Right-wing extremist groups, Nationalist parties like UKIP and the National Front, old-school Tories and aristocrats. These are not the sort of people I feel comfortable to line up with, whatever the cause. Flag-waving patriots, old colonialists, newspaper barons, and holocaust deniers. Far from being the sort I would generally have any time for. Try as I might, I search for a reasonable voice to join my cause. A thoughtful alternative, Leftist thinkers against the EU, or someone I respect who agrees with me. But it is a difficult search, believe me. I have found an ally of sorts in the Communist Party here. They are urging to vote ‘Out’. But they sadly have little influence, and even less members than a big golf club. The Socialist Workers Party has also joined the ‘Out’ campaign. Once again, they have less influence than a TV chat show, but at least their thoughts are in the right place.
So, the Communists are for ‘Out’, and the Socialists too. Maybe I am on the right track, after all.