We are ill-equipped to vote on our membership of the EU
Each month, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to discuss the level at which the official bank rate should be set. Each of the committee’s nine members has a strong history in finance, important given that the decision has such a fundamental impact on the economy of the country.
This Thursday, the populace of the UK will convene to decide whether or not Britain should remain a part of the European Union. Only a tiny percentage of those partaking have a financial background, nor will many be experts in social studies, two of the bedrocks on which this vote is being canvassed.
Clearly it’s too late for this to change. The voting cards have been printed and schools across the country have been given a day’s holiday to once again make way for plywood polling booths to be erected.
I feel that we have been handed a decision that is outside of most people’s skillsets, certainly outside of mine. Yet we have to make that decision anyway. I worry that we are being asked a deeply profound question that could have massive implications on our country. Yet as a populace we will respond to the question based on hearsay, emotion and selfish drivers. After all, if I were a member of the MPC, I may well vote based on my own savings/loans balance at the time.
Liz Hurley has been quoted in The Sun: “If it means I get my lightbulbs back, I want OUT.” With all due respect to Ms. Hurley, I don’t give a shit what she thinks about the UK’s phasing out of 60W lightbulbs, nor indeed about the part the EU might or might not have had in their demise. (As an aside, Liz, Brexit would not bring them back. They’re no longer available for scientific and climatic reasons, not ones of politics.)
But many people *will* give a shit about Ms. Hurley’s views, together with those of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ian Botham, Katie fucking Hopkins. And many will not even be aware of the views of people who have a more informed view on the impact of each possible outcome, such as those of Mark Carney, the MPC’s Chairman.
We have been asked to make a decision on whether Britain should remain in the EU primarily because two white, male Old Etonians can’t stand each other and will do everything in their power to win a personal battle.
In making that decision on Thursday, I implore you to listen to the people who might understand better than we do the impact of each possible outcome. Ignore the leading politicians, who are too wrapped up in egos to care about what’s right for the people. And ignore the celebrities who appear in newspapers, newspapers that themselves are campaigning for their own interests.
And if you are undecided, please, please vote to remain in the EU, allowing you the possibility of deciding at some point in the future.