First things first…I am afraid this is another post about Brexit. Sorry. But, having seen so much in the press and on social media over the last week suggesting that the British public might actually do the unthinkable and vote to leave Europe I felt compelled to add my thoughts to the confused soup of contradictory opinions and biased claims. Even if only a couple of people read this, I hope that perhaps something I say below might trigger a thought in some other tired parent out there who is still unsure over which side to vote for. So, apologies in advance for being overtly political, but I just feel this is too big a deal to stay quiet.
By now we have probably all seen a million Facebook and social media posts about the upcoming Brexit referendum, mostly arguing the case to remain or the case to leave far more eloquently than I can. (In fact over at www.tireddaddy.co.uk I have compiled a list of some particularly interesting articles that have caught my eye – please do click on the link at the bottom of this post to have a browse if you feel so inclined).
However, the point I want to make today is not something I have really heard talked about much, and comes very much from the perspective of being a new dad, with a baby son who is going to have to live with the decision that we make Thursday. The choice that we make will have huge ramifications not just for us, but for our children and our children’s children. This is a BIG deal. The scary thing is that even as a relatively engaged and educated person, I am finding it really hard to get any straight facts. I honestly don’t think I am qualified to make an informed decision as I have no idea about the economic ramifications of a leave vote and it would seem neither do the people leading the Leave and Remain campaigns judging by how contradictory and confused their arguments are. As far as I can see it this referendum is a case of ‘democracy’ at its very worst. Yes we are being given a vote, but with no real information and relentlessly negative party political agendas being pushed at us every day, can this really be called a fair vote? Can this even be called democracy. Hmmmm, I am not so sure.
And this leads me to the real point of this post. I don’t trust any of the people at the top of our government. The issues with our electoral system are well documented, and the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people who reach the top of the UK political tree are career politicians concerned as much with furthering their career, helping their college mates and lining their pockets as they are with genuinely helping the country.
This is why the fact that we are part of Europe is something I am truly thankful for! Europe, and the much maligned layers of European law and bureaucratic box ticking that are involved in being part of Europe, are as far as I can see it one of the only safety nets we have against the terrifying egos of these potential political monsters. If we vote leave on Thursday, I am terrified what Boris, Farage and co will do to our public sector, workers rights and potentially worse without anyone to keep check on them (unless of course the Queen steps up!)
Seriously though, this is why the USA has in place a system where despite being president, Obama was unable to achieve half the things he set out to do. It is a failsafe. In that case not necessarily for the best, but if Trump gets in, we will be thankful for this system.
My fear is that without the protective layer of checks and bureaucrats offered by Europe, there is nothing stopping the UK getting more and more extreme (to the right or the left), and who knows where we could end up…. Look at Turkey. Syria. Or even dare I say it Germany in the 1940s. Were they in the EU now, these things simple could not have happened. I am not claiming that Boris and the Leave campaign are Nazis, far from it, however by opening the door to more extreme thinking in politics, over the next 10, 20, 50 years, we could well find ourselves in a place we really do not want to be.
Anyway, I have probably not been very eloquent and am sure there are factual errors in this post, but I hope it has made you think a little about what could happen if we leave… not in the next 10 years, but over the next 50. This may not matter to us, but for our kids and their kids, we could be opening a door that will be very hard to close…