Tuesday, 31 May 2016

My reasons for voting Remain

Bank holiday Monday passed uneventfully, as neither of us felt inclined to travel far and face the prospect of busy roads and crowded beaches. There'll be enough of that when we go to Nerja next week. We just walked up the Taff to Llandaff in the afternoon for tea, and back again. Now, leaves on the trees are fully out and the grasslands alongside the river carpeted with buttercups and daisies. Already the aconite and bluebells have gone, though here and there the aroma of wild garlic is still pervasive in the warm air. The tree canopy is alive with birdsong - thrushes, blackbirds, robins, tits, wrens, starlings. This is British Spring at its best, even though it seems late arriving after a spell of colder than expected weather.

Tuesday morning my referendum postal vote arrived, and was quickly filled in and dropped in the post box on by way to a bereavement visit in the afternoon. This was for me a moment of sacred duty. I voted to remain in the EU. Despite annoyances with the European Commission, its vast unelected bureaucracy and the seeming ridiculousness and irrelevance of some of its legislation, I still think the experimental process of governing such a complex entity as Europe should be trusted.

Getting it right may take a century, but constant multi-layered thought and discussion about what best serves to ensure the peace, security, welfare of millions is utterly preferable to armed conflict and insurrection. Born in the spring when the Nazi Third Reich was defeated, I was nurtured on the idea of a new european peace and unity from my youth. Britain's isolation, any further curtailment of our country's accountability to its neighbours in the community of nations, cannot, I believe, in the long term be beneficial. Why abandon a work of democracy in progress, without precedent in history?

Remaining may have consequences we aren't comfortable with and need to take issue with, but the objective of continent wide peace and security is worth striving for. The only thing that really worries me is the underlying presumption by both Brexiters and Remainers that economic growth and increased prosperity are to be somehow eternally guaranteed by one strategy or another. We don't know what the future holds whether prosperity or adversity, but facing whatever lies ahead together, not separately, is to my mind the greatest asset we can have.

I had a message from Hamid to say that he's not been successful in finding anyone to give him legal support. Nobody down in Portsmouth seems interested in taking up his case, and tomorrow he gets evicted and loses support payment. What's going to happen to him then, neither he nor I have any idea. It seems he's been in touch with the Red Cross refugee and asylum seeker organisation there, but this hasn't yet promised any outcome. With such poor English, he is going to be vulnerable out there on the streets. He's received no notification of collection for deportation and I wonder how well that is going to be coordinated after a Bank Holiday weekend. It's a worrying time for all who have his interests at heart.

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