Europe – Brundecided

Should we remain in the EU?  Should we leave Eurovision?  Will we be kicked out of the Euros?

Daily Mail Euros Wallchart
Daily Mail Euros Wallchart

Europe is dominating the British media at the moment. If it is not The Euros (European football) its debate about a crucial vote on 23rd of June, as to whether Britain should exit the European Union (EU) branded as Brexit, or whether to remain (Bremain).

brexit-jigsaw-750x320I am a person who usually decides on things quickly, but this vote has me bench-crossing frequently. The Media predicts that we are split 50-50 on this decision. And there are advocates for and against, across the political spectrum.

I lived in other European countries for 18 years of my life and took full interest in the politics of the country I was in and voted where I could. I have voted for my MEP regularly from the beginning even when the majority of British never bothered.

The main problem, as I see it, is that Britain has never taken the EU seriously, putting it on par with Eurovision. Britain has taken part in Eurovision since the late 50s. It later became obvious that the winners were not those with the greatest talent, but those with the most political clout, voted for by neighbouring partners.

While most countries send their best performers to Eurovision, Britain, after feeling let down, started sending unknown singers or our once-good, but now has-beens. Any talented British act would lose kudos if they took part: you wouldn’t catch The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Adele… going anywhere near.

Similarly with the EU, and to our great expense, we have left it to fringe MEPs (Members of European Parliament) to make decisions for us. Many did not even bother to turn up in the beginning. Embarrassingly anti-EU MEPs such as Nigel Farage (enigmatic speaker and far-right-winger) got voted in and used luxury Cunard cruise-liners (he brush passed me to board so I know) to travel to Brussels meetings and verbally insult ‘Beaurocrats’.

EU flags

As the EU has grown, encompassing many more countries that we didn’t sign up for – (Just like Eurovision – since when has Australia been in Europe?) more economic demands have been made of Britain. With increasing numbers of EU immigrants arriving daily on our small island, especially in the South East and Europe’s borders straining with refugees and economic migrants, plus suicide-bombers blasting-off worldwide – now everyone is sitting up and is being forced to make decisions.

I have seen, in person, how the division between the rich and poor is growing wider throughout Europe. Those heading the top of the EU political committees, being wealthy bankers, do not need to be elected. So if you don’t like what they are doing you cannot vote them out. This is my main worry with the EU. (Unfairly, even in Eurovision those countries who put up the most money automatically get to the finals, although this doesn’t automatically make them winners).

I believe in Democracy and do not want to become some sort of United Colors of Benetton that could easily be taken over in the near future by gangsters in a type of Mafia (I share exit thoughts here with left-winger, the late Tony Benn).

Since WW2, Churchill (a Conservative that I agree with here) felt that there should be a United Europe, especially with regard to defence and security. But is this EU working towards this aspect?

In India everything stops for tea.
In India everything stops for tea.

If we had taken the EU seriously at the beginning, it might today, have been something that we feel proud of.

As it stands now, I feel that we share more similarities with Commonwealth countries like Canada than we do with, say, Italy.  Commonwealth countries who we have historically traded with from India to Australia, not only share our similar views on democracy but share English as their common language. The World Wide Web (thanks Tim Berners Lee) has made it easier to communicate and the world is, metaphorically, shrinking.

On the other hand, most of the EU’s ‘green’ ruling that British politicians have dismissed as ‘beauracracy’ I am supportive of.  Because of these rules, Britain is leading the development of a communal ‘Big Science’ and we are producing alternative energy sources, our carbon omissions are down, our seas are cleaner, we recycle, we have more freedom, we are striving for equality of people and an end to repression of peoples because of their race, religion or sexuality.

Conchita Wurst - winner for Austria of Eurovision 2015
Conchita Wurst – winner for Austria of Eurovision 2015

I also loved the fact that Conchita Wurst won last year’s Eurovision for Austria and quite enjoyed Croatia’s song this year. If you don’t regard any of those wins as political then think again!

My dilemma now is: Is it better to REMAIN and hope that Britain will work within to strive for change, or is it too late?  Versus:  If Britain decides to LEAVE to keep our identity, will we come out of the frying pan and into the fire? What extreme unsaid right-wing policies might be implemented if we do?

So are there any others out there still undecided?

I welcome any comments or debate – but please don’t be rude!

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21 thoughts on “Europe – Brundecided

  1. A very thoughtful and thought-provoking piece. I made up my mind early on how I was going to vote and everything I’ve read or heard since has confirmed it. Neither prospect offers a rosy future, but, as someone said to me last week, we’ll survive and get on with it either way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am entirely decided, and the decisions are based on my children who will have to live with what we decide. My children have only ever known us being in Europe and we live in a wealthy, prosperous, tolerant and environmentally conscious (to a degree) country. Before we joined Europe this most certainly was not the case, so in spite of those ‘enforced regulations’ (most of which I happen to think are reasonable), we’re doing pretty well.

    For those who would like to consider the alternative to Europe, I would urge you to read George Monbiot’s piece in the Guardian this week http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/15/european-union-eu-britain-sovereignty – it is a ‘warts and all’ view of the options, but provides sight of what could be ahead should we leave – something the Brexit camp have failed to articulate throughout the campaign.

    My biggest concern is that the emergence of Boris, Farage and Trump is accompanied by a backlash against 30-40 years of liberalism where it is now ok to be ‘slightly racist’, ‘slightly bigoted’ and rather self-centered. In my view it is not ok.

    It is interesting that people who grew up with those attitudes so prevalent in their own formative years, are predominantly the ones who want to leave (and there are close associations with climate change denial/disinterest attitudes as well). Those who wish to remain are largely younger citizens who do not hanker back to the days when ‘Brits were Brits, and foreigners knew their place’. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and do not wish to return to an isolated small-minded nation of unlikables with an extra sheckel in my pocket gained at the expense of others.

    I will vote to remain partners with Europe, however uncomfortable that may be from time to time, and share wealth and burdens in a collaborative approach. Europe will need significant reform, and I believe this referendum will stimulate further reform whatever the outcome, if we remain we can shape some of that reform.

    Sorry for the essay. I didn’t know I felt like this until only a few months ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Scooj for your welcome essay. You raise some very interesting points especially about selfless voting for future generations. Like you I do not think that it is okay to be ‘slightly racist’ and feel that climate change is an important issue. However most of the people I have met personally that want OUT have been young people! The ones I spoke to feel that a Brexit would lead to lowering of house prices and less competition for jobs. That might just be here in the Southampton which is a predominantly young place. I know that many older people long for a return of good old Blighty as we knew it, but that has gone and they know it. We embrace different cultures, transgender and treat those with disabilities with equality. Thanks for the link to the Guardian article

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  3. This is such an interesting post: likewise, the comments. Needless to say, most of us here in the US are less informed about the issue than we should be. With our media obsessed with the political campaigns here, there’s hardly a word spoken about Brexit — in fact, I’ve not heard the word Bremain.

    What I did smile at was your used of “Brundecided,” and your mention of holding this opinion, and then that. I’ve been going through the same thing as I ponder a presidential vote. As I told a friend last weekend, I won’t vote for one, and can’t vote for the other. I’ve never voted third party in my life, and never have submitted a write-in vote.
    My only hope is that, as we move through the coming months, the Election Fairy will bless the candidates selected, so that either choice will be a wise one. What are the odds? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have great sympathy with you. Trump appears regularly on our TV screens and leaves us baffled, but then we blow our own Trump-ets here. After such a history of suffrage I feel that it is always important to cast a vote though – even if it might be to spoil the voting slip. Politicians can get complacent when only 29% turn out to vote and don’t feel that they have to be accountable. I tend to go with the lesser of the evils, or sometimes it may be a ‘tactical’ vote. Whichever way I decide I do admire the freedom to be able to do so. No doubt on the day I will rely on my subconscious mind to take over. I have never regretted any vote cast.

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    • Thank you for your link to this interesting blogger, whom I am now following! I heard about this incident. The boat that belonged to the tune blaring out “in” crowd was Bob Geldof’s boat full of celebrities. The main rival ‘out’ boat had UKIP leader Nigel Farage on board. The main demonstration came from British fishermen. They have lost their industries of work and are due to EU fishing quotas. They agree there should be quotas but resent Spanish fishermen being able to fish in their usual waters. In and Out is not really about Rich versus Poor – but I found Bob Geldof (a man I usually admire) protesting against fishermen pretty embarrassing. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/15/nigel-farage-bob-geldof-rival-eu-referendum-thames-flotillas

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thought you might also like to read Cherie’s reply – I had no idea that the Labour MP, Jo Cox who was assassinated a few days ago, was also in the flotilla on The Thames that day. How tragic! :

        “Thank you Southhamptonoldlady!

        We learned some of what you posted that day on the bridge and yes, I agree that the referendum is not as simply as “rich vs. poor.” From what we listened to in conversation and on your British television stations, I’d say immigration is what is fueling a great deal of the movement.

        Until the horrible murder of Jo Cox, the Leave may have passed but many will vote In out of sympathy for what happened to her, don’t you think? I understand her husband and two children were there in a small boat that day that we witnessed the protests.

        Anyway, thank you so much for visiting my blog (which is 9 years old…)”

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  4. Really thought provoking piece. I have been reading about Brexit–I like the Guardian and the Telegraph. The issues you are facing seem similar to many of the issues in the US and Canada–immigration, bureaucracy, etc. It is tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have decided how I will vote. If I say my decision I would feel obliged to argue my view. That would take me a further three thousand words, so, I won’t make you all suffer that. Just one observation though. The world is really a small place and not just the countries of Europe need to work closer together for a safer, more prosperous world. There are so many problems in this world that need to be worked on together. So, maybe I have let out which way I will vote!!! Ha! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For me, the deciding factor is one that neither of the opposing camps has thought to mention. What group, supposedly formed for mutual benefit, would leave the refugee problem to the two members least able to bear it, for far too long; and then bribe a non-member to take back unwilling returnees?

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  7. I really do think it is. It is something that transcends politics and economics – in my mind something truly important for the betterment of mankind.

    In my mind remain is the only option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheri. Last night there was a ‘great debate’ on the Referendum which was picked up on world-wide news. There is also a cross-party vigil for Jo Cox as it would have been her birthday today.

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