Lifestyle: altrocklife’s thoughts on the EU referendum

Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, considering that tomorrow I’ll be casting my vote in one of the most important referendums in British history. Yes, tomorrow is judgement day, and we will be deciding whether Britain is going to Remain or Brexit the European Union.

I’m not writing this post today to tell you how to vote.  I’m not claiming to be a political expert with all of the answers, and I don’t particularly want to be drawn into an online debate about which box you should draw your X in.  However, I would like to talk about my observations of both campaigns, as well as the importance of voting.

To be honest, it appears to me that both sides of the argument have engaged in fear tactics and blatant lies in order to try and scare the general public into voting their way.  At the end of the day, the average Brit won’t have any sort of extensive economic, political or immigration-related expertise, so will have to rely on materials from both campaigns to make their decision.  The main sentiment I’ve seen recently is that, whatever way people vote, they’re voting that way because of independent research they’ve conducted and despite the official campaigns.

The campaigns have also been extremely emotional, drawing on peoples’ fears, their patriotism, and igniting anti-immigrant, xenophobic attitudes.  Emotions were running high especially after the murder of MP Jo Cox last Thursday, which is believed to have been politically motivated.  Plus, endorsements to both sides of the debate by celebrities, politicians and other big names has created a “names game”.  It almost feels like both campaigns are collecting endorsements like they’re Pokémon cards. (Sorry for the slightly outdated reference)

I also think that both sides of the debate have been stating their opinions and predictions as facts, which is deplorable to me considering nothing is guaranteed regardless of the result of this election.  Whilst the Remain campaign could argue that if we stay, we’ll just continue on as normal, after all the unrest and aggression towards the EU during these campaigns who’s to say that everything will go back to how things were? Plus on the Brexit side, no country has ever left the European Union after joining, so predictions from experts aside we really have no idea what will happen when we do eventually sever ties and leave.

Plus, voters – especially young voters – have had it drummed into their heads just how important this vote is, so I don’t want to add to the condescending tone and “remind” people how important this referendum is to the future of Britain.  However, I would like to reiterate that this vote will decide the future for those of us aged under 50.  Those voters over 50 won’t have to live with the long term consequences of either remaining or leaving the EU, whereas us young’uns will be dealing with whatever happens for much, much longer.  So, if you’re under 50, make sure you cast your vote, whichever way you decide is best, so your granny doesn’t end up deciding your future for you.

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