Monday, 6 June 2016

EU In or Out?

...or doing the EU Hokey-Cokey, part two.

Right. I am now officially fed up of this bloody campaign.

I am fed up of these stupid, overfed, overentitled, immature morons treating this referendum as if it were some silly little game played out on Eton's fields, a game that will end with a 'well played, old chap' and a handshake, and nothing more.

I am fed up of the culpability, moral blindness, and sheer vanity of the politicians who have been most prominent in the media.

I am fed up that you do not understand whatsoever that you are playing with the very real lives of very real people, and all you can do is muster up false outrage, false claims, and false rhetoric. You splutter at the claims of the other side: it is false spluttering. You rebut a lie with another lie, and it is nothing more than a game of Risk played on a very real field of conflict.

You are a disgrace to us all.

Instead, I have talked with people in all sorts of places, and had real conversations about the real issues - and some of them are staunchly in, some are resolutely out, many are impossibly conflicted, yet all of them share this: We do not trust you, we are weary of you and we think you, ALL of you, probably couldn't find your respective bums with a map.

The conversation is going on, but it's frequently quiet, as if we feel we should not be involved, that somehow someone will be along in a minute to tell us off. And especially, it is conducted with perplexed, troubled voices.

Let me go off on a tangent for a moment and explain why I haven't been writing as frequently on here as I would like.

At the beginning of April, my dad had a bad accident that saw him hospitalised in Faro, Portugal, pretty much as far south and west as you can get in Europe. My mum was with him at the time, and my sister and I flew out several times to help out. The first time, I jumped on a bus, then a train, then into a plane, and within four hours or so I was at my dad's bedside. I stayed a few days, even managed to sample a few of Faro's restaurants and bars in between visits to the public hospital where dad was being looked after. My sister, quite brilliantly, dealt with the insurance companies and helped mum with her hotel stay. Mum showed a resilience and core strength that I think may well have surprised her, and dad, with those crucial first few days of care from the dedicated and overworked team at Faro Hospital, started pulling through and showed his power and determination to get through. Indeed, he returned to the UK several weeks later, and finally came home nearly two months after his accident, and is making an amazing recovery.

So, my point?

It's this. My father's treatment would have been ruinously expensive without the EU. The resources that were in the hospital, the training that the doctors and nurses received, would  have been much less available without the EU. My sister and I would never have been able to travel so freely had we not been in the EU.

It's also this. The grit and determination my parents exhibited are the very qualities we can all proffer, whether we stay In or go Out, and we will bloody well have to show them if the vote goes the latter way.

Yet these little freedoms we enjoy  - they were fought for, for us, by our own kith and kin. They were struggles won, and yes, it is absolutely right to say that there are many things that are rotten in the state of Europe. But these are struggles and battles to be contested and to be won by all of us, united. This is the real game, not the one waged by the buffoons on their playing fields. This is our country and our Europe - and our world. Let us not lose it by walking away, because I fear that if we do, some future historian will point at that exit and say, 'and that was the first domino to fall. After that, as we all know...'

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