If you’re in the UK and haven’t been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you will be well aware that on 23 June 2016 everyone of voting age in this country will be able to have their say on whether we stay in or leave the European Union.
It’s a big decision and, unless you’re predesposed to one side or the other, very difficult to decide which way to jump. I’m very much undecided at the moment; so firmly sat on the fence that I’m at serious risk of getting splinters.
The campaigning has hardly started, of course, and we haven’t even had an official decree of which two campaigns will be deemed the authorised voices of the “outers” and “inners”. What’s happened so far, however, is a bit disappointing. The “inners” seem to be basing their campaigning on why it would be the end of the world to leave. One day, they were saying that it would take two years for the UK to negotiate “brexit” with the EU. A few days later this was five years and then shortly after that 10.
Of course, no-one knows how long it will really take but that doesn’t seem to matter to “Campaign Leave” — if it sounds awful, they’ll just say it and then when that’s worn off they’ll make the same point again just with bigger numbers to grab a few more headlines.
They might be correct in what they say, however this scaremongering is simply baffling any of us who are trying to make sense of it all.
The “outers” aren’t doing much better. Their campaigning seems to consist mainly of calling the opposition “Project Fear” and saying that the latest figures quoted and comments thrown about by the “inners” are a load of rubbish.
They could be correct too — but who knows?!
My plea to both sides of the argument is to stop what seems to be the default position in any vote — the need to slam their opponents without bothering to give positive reasons on their own position.
I hope that some time between now and voting day, we can start to see some clear factual reporting of what’s correct and what is not and perhaps we’ll all be able to vote with a clear idea of why we’ve gone for one particular option over the other.
It’s either that, or come 23 June polling booths up and down the country won’t be as silent as they normally are, but instead will echo to the sound of tossed coins falling on the floor.