With a little over a week to go until the biggest decision the British public have faced, and are likely to face in their lifetime, I thought it only right as an aunty to ten munchkins in Blighty; to proffer my concerns for their future.
There has been much weeping and wailing and beating of breasts (on both sides of the vote to be honest), some truth stretching, a smattering of blatant lies and a healthy dose of scaremongering. The promise of war if we stay, the promise of war if we leave and the very real possibility of a zombie uprising. Both sides have wheeled out the big guns to show their support for the different sides of the argument:
In favour of REMAIN:Actress Keira ‘don’t f*ck with my future!’ Knightly, giant brain Stephen Hawking, lord of everything and otter impressionist Bendybrick Cumberbund, bastion of enterprise Lord Alan Sugar, a role-call of two hundred artists/actors/directors/authors/a myriad of generally creative folk swathed in chiffon, wafting around in turbans. President Obama.
And non-celebrities: pretty much every independent financial, economic and scientific body in the whole wide WORLD. Almost.
In favour of LEAVE:
EIGHTIES cricketing legend Sir Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham, uuumm, Vicky Pattison (?) who said, ‘I hate to jump ship when everything’s going to shit but when you see all of the problems that are going on in *Greece, **Germany and ***Turkey, it’s clearly not good for us’, professional c*nt Katie Hopkins who advocates shooting refugees in the sea and is a c*nt, Marine Le Pen (not worried about this at all), Donald Trump (not worried about this at all), Vladimir Putin (not worried about this at all), Sir Michael Caine and tweet-stealer, Cheggars.
And non-celebrities: Niche product billionaire (JCB) Lord ‘I’m alright Jack‘ Bamford, the four major media tycoons who have their head offices registered at off-shore addresses to avoid paying the correct taxes into the British economy. Allegedly.
But there is so much more to consider than simply siding with your favourite celebrity, before making your decision. Not least of all how much you value the extremely important EU laws that the Leave campaign have been using as examples of the completely bonkers regulations, foisted on us from Brussels. Or not. Sadly, it is true that I know of several friends who are languishing in giant Euro-prisons specially commissioned for fruit-based crimes (and paid for by YOU no less, with your tax dollar). But why? I hear you cry. Well, because they bought either just one banana – as a healthy lunchtime snack – or six/seven bananas to take home for the entire family. There are also compounds specifically designated for vacuum offenders (beware if you’re a fan of the strong suck), and also for hardened criminals who have acquired electrodomestics on the kettle black-market; feeding an ever-growing demand by those obsessed with water boiling ten whole seconds quicker than is written into EU law tomes. So amongst the many important Leave arguments, they have a particularly valid and worrying point about the militant bloody banana policia patrolling every single supermarket in all twenty-eight member states, making sure we buy only three or five at any one time and appliance gendarmerie outside every Argos. None of us want to shop under that pressure, looking over our shoulder all the time, speaking in hushed tones, ‘just two please’. I know you’ve all experienced this. They’re right – WE DON’T WANT THIS! We want our FREEDOM!
There is also of course, the case against the completely undemocratic nature of the evil control centre in Brussels. Which I understand is furnished in the manner of the lair of reclusive megalomaniac Karl Stromberg, complete with shark tank and trick elevator to send unwitting autocrats who disagree with any of the aforementioned rules and regulations, to their gruesome death. This abomination has been mostly highlighted by several members of our completely democratic and duly elected House of Lords. Bloody bureaucrats, looking after our basic human rights.
And what of those bloody pesky migrants? Coming over to steal the incredible quality of life that Britain has to offer and all the money too!
You will also find no British criminals in any British prison or reform facility as all criminals are from ‘other places’. If that’s not a reason to leave, I don’t know what is.
But most attractive of all a ‘free’ UK, with Boris Johnson at the helm, and a cabinet made up of Ian Duncan Smith, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage, Liam Fox amongst other notable popular public servants, and Rupert Murdoch pulling some strings. What a team! Rule Britannia! I mean, what could be risky about that? They weren’t universally hated and/or ridiculed a few months back…….. And none of them have ever supported any austerity measures or cutting financial support for the most vulnerable in society. Nope.
And on the REMAIN side, what have they got? Not much, only:
Fair working rights for everyone. But that’s of no consequence really, I mean no-one really wants their daughters to earn the same as their male colleagues and we definitely don’t worry about protected maternity leave or guaranteed minimum wage for all. The European Working Time Directive includes the regulations regarding holidays, working hours, breaks, etc. But, like, whatever.
Huge pots of ERDF funding to plug the gap in all local authority budgets left by central government, to fund social projects, poor area regeneration, arts and culture programmes, after schools clubs, sports facilities and only a few other bits and pieces. But honestly, I like those parts of town that have gone to rack and ruin. They’ve got character, and I was never one for exercise.
A great green agenda and a commitment to take better care of the planet. Remember our scabby British beaches? I miss those! Swimming in a grotty sea was a challenge, and what didn’t kill us made us stronger. Aaahh, memories. Kids these days don’t know they’re born!
Low cost of those goods we’ve grown up with that as a result, we’ve really quite frankly begun to take for granted. We need to learn to appreciate brie again, and who needs affordable good quality wine from the continent, when we’ve got a growing wine production industry expanding in the south of Blighty. In a couple of years they’ll be able to produce all the prosecco to feed a nation of thirsty 30/40-something women on a Friday and Saturday night. Don’t you worry about that. We prefer to pay higher prices for travel, we’re all loaded! I’m definitely not that bothered about getting around anyway and I don’t need free phone coverage and the healthcare covered by the EU healthcard. I just won’t break a leg skiing or get sick filling my face full of paella and sangria. Or smash it open getting cracked up in Shagaluf. Simple.
All the benefits and none of the disadvantages of being a member of the EU but not Schengen zone or single currency. And? What’s your actual point, Remain?
Subsidies for agriculture. Basically farmers are lazy and if they simply worked a bit harder, they wouldn’t have to rely on that.
And the UK definitely doesn’t get back £10 for every £1 invested in EU membership. A rebate and an EU return in British exports and the 3.5 million jobs that accompany that, no trade or tariff barriers. And almost half of all inward investment comes from Europe. But that’s not really so important. Like keeping those bloody European immigrants out.
I know what I want for my future, but more importantly for the future of the young people in my life. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to register and cast my vote. There or not, I care about my country and I care about my loved ones there and I want nothing less than every fine opportunity there is, to be readily available to them as it has been for me, growing up in the United Kingdom as part of the European Union. I wonder how many of those Brexiters could quote a personal negative experience as a direct result of being a member state. And I’m not talking about a friend of a friend has a mate whose wife has a boss who said that once someone told him an ambulance driver said ‘hola‘ instead of ‘hello‘. I bet not many. And equally, which will be first in line to bitch when none of the promised magic happens and they lose their job because they’re not protected by anything, their daughter has been ordered to wear high heels to work and getting paid half the going rate for the job, and they’re paying £20 quid for an average bottle of plonk that set them back a fiver in the time before the great ‘getting back of control’………
Nothing is perfect, I know that (except Santiago Cabrera, oh, and cheese) but it’s much easier to make the improvements you want if you’re on the inside and part of the club. Much easier than if you have to subscribe to the rules you hate any which way, you’re an impotent outsider and all you can do is pout and stamp your feet.
It’s not just your future, it’s your kids’ and their kids’. Vote wisely.
*Note: Greece is there not here
**Germany is pretty OK actually
*** Turkey isn’t in the EU
But thanks anyway Vicky Pattison.