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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Deserting Europe, or taking one for the team?

I think I'm going to vote for Britain to leave the EU, which will surprise most of my friends and colleagues. I'm surprised myself, but having spent the last two days extensively reading, watching and discussing, I'm convinced that for me, I'd feel like a coward voting to stay.

I don't think this is the best decision for me personally - I don't welcome more financial uncertainty, austerity and huge governmental fuck ups etc. However I am certain that voting to leave the EU is the right decision for Europe and the right decision for the rest of the world. One day it will benefit Britain, but I doubt we'll see that for a while.

I'm faintly stunned to find myself reaching the same conclusion as Donald Trump, but then the smoke and mirror media show has so thoroughly clouded the issue that I stopped worrying about who thinks what. The dangerous possibility that UKIP sympathisers will gain some kind of stronghold over the nation's psyche should we leave, is very real. I have no issue with immigration anyway, but according to George Eaton in the New Statesman, immigrants to Britain contributed £3bn in taxes in 2013-14, whilst receiving just £0.5bn in benefits - so everyone can all just calm down on that front and stop reading the papers.

The first and fairly critical point to raise, is that the EU is NOT Europe. We're not 'voting to leave Europe' - we're voting to leave a neoliberal agreement that "can trace its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community" (Telegraph). It is designed to benefit large corporations, such as those terrifying institutes, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs - amongst others - who are sponsoring the Remain campaign.

If this information isn't enough to alarm you, I invite you to dig around the internet and read up on I.G. Farben, a conglomerate of German chemical manufacturers. By pressing ahead and putting profit before people, the result was that they funded Hitler's campaign back when he was running against three candidates - because his politics suited their plans for monopoly. I recommend reading the second half of The World Without Cancer by Edward Griffin - on whose life there have been several attempts - which goes much deeper into the history of IG Farben, as well as the deliberate and vile consequences of their actions - with which the world is now dealing.  

Environmentalists look askance when there is talk of leaving - as did I after having researched that it was the EU who insisted we ban a certain type of bee-killing pesticide, which the delightful British government were loathe to do. I found about three environmental reasons to remain in the EU, but the TTIP tentacles are too much of a threat to both human, animal and environmental rights to ignore. The TTIP agreement was set up between the EU and the US and - if I'm understanding this correctly - essentially means that corporations can sue governments who impose laws that damage profits. It is of course a trade agreement and will negatively impact almost every area of our lives - such as restraining our freedom to limit sugar in drinks, give workers longer breaks and allow animals bred for meat to range 'free' and not be pumped with chemicals. The implications of a TTIP agreement are far reaching and terrifying.

I hope that by leaving the EU, Britain will provide at least some challenge to the absolute power wielded by those such as the aforementioned Goldman Sachs - voracious even by banking standards. Sadly, I'm sure that should we find ourselves flying solo tomorrow life is going to suck for a while. I for one will have to fight off assumptions of underlying racism and idealism - and one glance at the people set to govern the country, should we leave, indicates that my generation will be left even more screwed than before.

The real joke is of course the fact that the public vote might not even count - the government still has the final say over whether they decide to give notice to the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty constitution. Makes you wonder what all this EU nonsense has been distracting us from!

I don't call this deserting Europe, I think it's taking one for the team.

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