Tag Archives: referendum

Three Steps to Decide – In or Out?

If you aren’t sure which way to vote in the forthcoming British referendum on whether Britain should withdraw from membership of what used to be called the European Economic Community, then follow this simple process to help you make up your mind.  If you follow the advice here and come to a conclusion as a result, please leave a comment. I’d like to know if this piece helps you to make a decision.

  1. List out the 10 things you dislike most about Britain and British society at the moment
  2. Prioritise the 10 items in some way
  3. For each and every item in your list, answer the following questions as honestly as you can:
    1. Is this problem caused by the public (a social / societal problem)?
    2. Is this problem caused by / a result of our government’s behaviour?
    3. Could the government realistically solve this problem?
    4. Would staying with the EU make these problems better, worse, or no change?
    5. Would leaving the EU make these problems better, worse, or no change?
    6. Are these problems caused by EU membership?
    7. In the event of an exit,  will the effort and expense of untangling the nation from the EU help solve this problem?
    8. Similarly, in what way will spending time, money and effort building new partnerships with Europe and the rest of the world after throwing away the ones we had affect this problem?

If these steps don’t lead you to a conclusion and you are being swayed by public argument and the media barrage, then I have the following advice to offer:

  • Figures in isolation are meaningless.  For example, if we are spending 1 million per day on being part of Europe, this is a useless piece of information unless you can compare with something else: 1 million on Europe per day, 10 million per day on Trident, 100 million per day on the NHS.  You should only gauge the value of the money spent in relation to other important spending.  Furthermore, each side of the argument will be adept at massaging figures to emphasise a point.  My figures here are illustrative and fictional.
  • Ask yourself who stands to gain from the argument being offered?  Is the position they are striving to achieve in your interest, or their own?
  • Refugees are not the same as migrants.  Refugees are seeking refuge.  Usually from war, persecution or natural disaster.  They aren’t out to get you.
  • Migrants are fleeing poverty or seeking a better life for themselves and their children.  They aren’t out to get you.
  • In or out, migrants and refugees won’t disappear
  • Do you trust the British government?

I’d love to read your comments, conclusions, top 10 problems.