I’ve come to the point where one of the chief reasons I want us to vote Remain on Thursday is so we don’t have to talk about the European Union again for another year at least. As a Europhile, it pains me to say this, but after the last few months it is how I genuinely feel. If we vote for Brexit many horrors await us, but a big one of them will be having to be obsessed with Europe for another two years at least. I don’t think I can handle it – I might go off and become a shoe salesman or something.
I don’t just mean that the Leave campaign has been ugly either (and it has been) – there has been so much to lament all around. I knew that people did not know all that much about the UK’s relationship with the EU. Yet I was not prepared for the avalanche of ignorance. This is the chief reason the points put forth by each campaign have been so outlandish – they are shouting into a vacuum. Why not say that leaving the EU will cause house prices to dip by 18%, or that Turkey is about to join the EU, when most of the British public have no idea of the veracity of either claim?
Having a go at the general public feels a little unfair as well. At least they are under no real obligation to understand the implications of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Many in the media have not only flashed their deep seated ignorance of UK-EU relations, but demonstrated a terrifying lack of adult level (never mind commentator level) basic lucidity. I don’t know how many articles I’ve read over the past few months pitched along the lines of “both David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn are on the same side of this debate, so I have no idea what to do!” How about growing up a bit at long last and making decisions on issues based on their actual merits or lack thereof, as opposed as using politicians for signifiers?
It has made me realise how much the politics of today rests on sand. Voting according to one’s class is kind of sad, but at least has an inbuilt logic to power it; voting on something only because Michael Gove thinks the opposite is pretty thin gruel.
I just want the whole thing to be over. I never thought it was going to be particularly pretty, but I didn’t expect to find out as much about the state of the nation that is deeply unpleasant as has been unearthed. I feel like British politics needs the equivalent of a stay in a posh spa for a fortnight after the last few months.