On this day, I am wondering how I will feel on Friday morning. At present I am feeling quite anxious and depressed. That feeling has been induced by the lack of proper debate in this campaign and the frightening tone of much of the slogans and images from the Leave campaign. It has to be said that the Remain campaign has lacked commitment, not just from Cameron and Osborne and co but generally. I am sure this is because the powerful media seem to dominate and reduce everything to ‘sound bites’.
I am struck by how the media has portrayed this debate. Obviously the bias from the Sun, Mail etc. has been there on a daily basis, and has represented us as a nation of xenophobic anti foreigners and football supporting louts! I really don’t feel a member of that country! In this part of the country, Surrey, I am surrounded by rich people, very rich. These people seem to have it all, large houses, large cars, horses, etc. etc. Here one finds the slogans pinned to large gates at the end of even larger drives: ‘We want our country back!’ Whose country is it? I guess these very wealthy people think that they own everything and no one else is entitled to their country. In other parts of this country the opposite end of the wealth scale also chant the same slogan ‘We want our country back!’ So that means they think it is a very different country to those in Surrey, which they want back? Or is it the same country? A country that existed decades ago. A world where England ruled huge parts of the world. Not Britain you note! How these desperately poor people, who blame Brussels for their poverty, think that world will help them, I fail to see. One Leaver spoke in Newcastle, on Channel 4 news last evening. “Decades ago there was a fishing industry here, now there is nothing!”. Come Friday, when we ‘Leave’ does he believe that this government will magic up a fishing industry in the north east? I despair at the lack of awareness of such people.
The problem is that no government in this country has ever wholly believed in the European project. If you travel or live in any of the major countries in Europe, France, Germany, Spain, Italy…you get a very different feel from the news reports. The media is European and one hears daily about news in other countries in the EU. In the UK one only hears about the disasters and the failures. News from Europe is exclusively bad news. The rags also only publish anti European news and sentiment. So it is hardly surprising that ordinary people in the UK do not see themselves as part of Europe. In this debate one would think that we were already out of Europe because even those who are supporting Remain talk of Europe as separate from here. We are in Europe and should be European, at least until Friday morning. Then who knows?
Whatever the outcome and it looks bad for Remain as I write this, the campaign has unleashed the worst of this country. None of the best has been potrayed. We have seen a decent caring MP murdered in an ordinary street in an ordinary town. Even politicians in the USA, where such things are more common, were shocked! Other Remain campaigners have suffered abuse and even death threats on a regular basis. This country is already OUT as far as it goes whatever the result. The xenophobia and hate has been given a real platform and that will not go away.
So, when you vote, all of the vast thousands who read this blog!, think of what sort of country you ‘want back’ and then you will have to live in it and so will I……..unless I can find a place to escape!