Time to take a good long look before EU leap

Well, here we are, three days away from Britain's most important democratic process in 40-odd years.

Monday, 20th June 2016, 6:43 am
Updated Monday, 20th June 2016, 8:48 am
LEP Columnist Barry Freeman

No pressure folks. You’re only being asked to shape the life experience and opportunities of millions yet unborn. So think carefully in that booth (and for pity’s sake, no matter how you vote make sure you ARE in that booth).

Think carefully about what you have seen and heard from both sides of the campaign. Then forget the lot, because this has been without a doubt the vilest sequence of political activity yours truly has ever clapped eyes on. The Remain lot, Conservative-led (with Labour wilfully media marginalised) and thus unable to make an argument based on the EU’s (at root) progressive social agenda, fell back upon clutching wildly at figures.

Market-derived projections, shock, horror, always plucked from the wilder end, and all just as reliable as – say – the market-derived projections pre-2007 which failed to detect the global economy hurtling towards a cliff edge.

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The crash was the moment, of course, when most people with IQ between their ears realised the all-seeing eye of the market was actually blind as a bat.

Remain, in this context, simply waved the jabberings of incompetent capitalist witch doctors in our faces for months on end then wondered why we shrugged our shoulders. As for Leave...

There really is little worth saying today, after all the thousands of words said since Thursday lunchtime. But, for what it’s worth, theirs has been from the outset a campaign belonging to a different age, and they should be thoroughly ashamed.

Relentlessly negative, dishonest, racially provocative and, as we now see, ultimately, dangerous.

Amplified by a salivating thug press, I’d argue the rage and division created will be a lingering, perhaps growing, problem in public life for generations, regardless of this week’s outcome.

So what should one think about in that booth?

Well, why not fall back on your own experience? Your own encounters with Europe and the EU, those of your family, your friends, both at home and on your travels.

Indeed, if you want my advice I’d start that process now. Turn off the telly. Put down that paper. End this bitter campaign early for yourself.

Talk to people. Listen. Think.

Then play your part.