Today’s clue, NLD . No guesses, not even wrong ones! I’ll give you more help. I’m counting down, because I’m counting the days down to the end of the chemo. (Nine to go, and there’s another clue there.) I could have counted up, but I didn’t.
And as for the referendum….Frankly I’m jaundiced. This is a huge decision, and it’s turned into a circus.
“If we leave the economy of the UK, Europe, the world, and quite probably the entire Solar System will collapse. ” , “If we remain, we are binding ourselves to an undemocratic tyrrany, we will never escape.” Okay, I exaggerate a little but, but cobblers to both of them. If we leave there will be huge uncertainty. It will sort itself out eventually, but no-one knows how long. We will lose some international companies, nobody knows how many, we find out too late. As for the tyrrany, we elect our MEPs, has everyone forgotten. The EU commissioners are all elected by their own country. If you don’t like what they do, then vote ’em out. They are politicians, they probably deserve it anyway. But if an elected government of any kind does something you don’t like, then it may mean they are stupid, or corrupt or just plain wrong, it doesn’t make it a tyrrany.
I honestly don’t think either side really believe what they are saying. They are both on Operation Fear, and both are quoting false statistics. “£350M / week goes to the EU”, but don’t mention that a lot comes back, a lot of the rest builds up places like Romania, so their people don’t have to come here to work. “If we leave, we destroy our economy.” Maybe we will, but in that case why did Mr Cameron go on a negotiation around Europe threatening to leave if he didn’t get concessions. If leaving is so bad, why did he even consider it?
“I’m voting XXXX because I hate [Nigel Farage | George Osbourne | enter politician’s name here]”. Wrong! This decision is for decades, probably longer. Farage, Cameron, Osbourne, Corbyn, Gove are here for a few years. You should vote for the future you believe in, not against someone you hate.
“We should vote for what is in our best interests.” Sounds good, lots of politicians say it, but is it really so good? Bill the Burglar does what is in his best interests when he breaks into your house and nicks the TV. We should do what is right. That’s what citizens of civilised societies do (well, should do!), and in the long term it is our best interests as well. “Wir sind Mitbewohner in einem sehr kleinem Europa-Haus. Wir müssen zusammen leben, neu zusammen sterben.” (We live together in this small house called Europe, we must live together, lest we die together.) The question is: what is best for us and for our neighbours?
What are our politicians doing? The Tories seem to be busy destroying their own party. Whoever wins, can you see Gove and Cameron serving in the same cabinet? And if Labour is mostly Remain and Corbyn says he is Remain, why does he sound so uncertain about it? Whatever the result, will the (new?) PM have a majority in the House next week?
I don’t think the EU is the answer to the maiden’s prayer, but it’s the best we’ve got. I think I’d be very careful before throwing it away, rather than staying in and working to change it (and it does need change).
I’m worried about NI and Scotland as well. Right now there is no real border between NI and the Republic. The only signs don’t say Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland, they say Speed Limit in Miles or Speed Limit in Kilometers. That will have to change. Maybe they can keep the passport free travel, I’m not sure, but all commercial stuff, including your weekend shopping will have to be checked by customs. That’s what used to happen on the Swiss border when I lived in Zürich. It will massively mess up the economy of both countries. And it will give the SNP the perfect case for a new referendum, only this time the Carlisle border will also be an EU border, with full customs checks. I just hope the English don’t put too much duty on haggis, or I’ll have to take up the illicit cross border trade in wild haggis. I actually like the UK. I do feel patriotic towards it. I want to make it better, not lose it in this stupid way.
And it doesn’t actually make much difference to immigration, except to distract people from asking questions like “How can we make it work better?” and “How many can we take and still make it work?” Most immigration is from outside the EU. Leave or Remain, we can have a Aussie points system tomorrow, if that’s really the answer. And be honest, there is no way Turkey is joining in the near future. Check out this site for a legal view.
So I’m voting Remain, though I don’t like a lot of the Remain people. In the end I think I’d rather be inside trying to fix an imperfect EU, then be the stroppy kid who picks up his football and goes home, because he fell out with one of the other kids.