I voted today – with my heart.

I cannot believe I am writing a political post!

I have just got back from casting my vote in the EU referendum and although I wasn’t surprised I am a little annoyed about how busy it was, there was quite a queue to get in at 11am!

Why was I annoyed? Of course I believe people should vote, people should care, it is our democratic right and we should use it! That is obvious. I am annoyed because when I last voted in the European Parliament elections I walked into the Polling Station and straight out with not a soul to be seen except some very bored officials. Only 35.5% of voters turned out in my constituency (35.6% in the country overall). It seems to me if more people had taken an interest in the EU and lobbied our EU representatives to petition on our behalf we wouldn’t be in this mess now.

I am not at all political, I have no strong political views on either side, all the parties seem to have a mix of good ideas and bad. When I vote I look at current manifestos and vote with my heart. When we were first told about the EU referendum, I thought that my decision would be easy, but everyone is divided, my social media timelines seem to be split 50/50. Tensions are high and the campaigns have been sensationalised with a lot of scaremongering, who knows what to believe. So in the end I went back to my gut feeling and I am afraid I have followed my heart.

I am writing this blog to remind me of the reasons I have voted to remain in the EU. Tomorrow we shall wake up and know the results. It is scary, the effects of this vote are huge for my children. Remain or leave, they have to live with the consequences.

My heartfelt reasons are these.

1. Economy

Remember before you shoot me down. I know little about politics, I know even less about economics.

Apparently we give the EU a tonne of money, no-one can agree on a figure. We also get money back from the EU which makes what should be a simple subtraction sum even harder. Is the money spent wisely?

If we didn’t have to give all this money, we could ‘save the NHS’ and lots of other promises…but who gets to decide whether all this extra money goes?

1. Our own Politicians? Really? They have a back catalogue of dodgy financial management – and each time a new government comes into power they change everything back again, great way to spend money – not!
2. Financial experts? Erm… they all seem to be telling us to remain.

 

2. Laws

I must admit I like the idea of a Big Brother who won’t let us stray too far from the path. Maybe we would have more control but that (as my point above states) this is open to abuse. Again who do you trust more? Our politicians?

 

3. Immigration

The UK is built on immigrants through the centuries, it seems to me that the only thing that has changed is there is more and more intolerance. After the second world war there was a huge shift in immigrants across Europe. Those immigrants then are the pillars of our society today.

The ‘Immigrants’ pay taxes (ahem – and don’t claim benefits like so many local people, who find they are ‘better off’ not working – again is this their fault or our politicians?) I personally find them hard working, diligent and will do anything for a regular wage to support not only themselves but often their families back home. There are immigrants in top jobs down to people who are doing jobs that I know many of us (including me) would not like to do.

 

4. Security

Yes I am scared, I spend a lot of time in London and although the terror threats do not stop me carrying on with my daily life. I worry all the same. Surely surely surely we are better to have allies than enemies? Isn’t that common sense? Working together is surely the best way to combat extremists. Why alienate ourselves?

 

5. Tolerance

Many people are much more learned than I, and will easily shout me down and ask me about the Fisheries, Border Control, trade agreements – it seems that this week everyone has an opinion on everything.

I feel the problem is at home, not in Europe.

People in Britain just seem to complain, complain when we are abroad that it isn’t British enough, complain when tourists come here that they can’t speak our damn language. We happily donate to Oxfam, Comic Relief and Red Cross as long as those people stay over there, and don’t cross our borders. Complain that these people are taking our jobs, the same jobs we wouldn’t or couldn’t do anyway.

Whatever happened to tolerance? – there is too much hate and discrimination here. We are all different, embrace it. There will always be extremists there is no need to tar everyone with the same brush. I am proud to be British but I am also rather glad I was lucky to have been born here and not have to fight for a better life, I have never been to a war torn country or felt that leaving my homeland was the best option. What’s more I have lived abroad, through my own choice – it was terribly exciting, and I loved every minute of it. Why can’t other people have those opportunities in the UK, as long as they pay their own way of course?

I know nothing about politics or economics

I know nothing about politics or economics but I want to have faith in human nature. From what I see the EU is flawed and has many faults but it’ll be easier to change it from the inside out rather than as an outsider who can only look in.

So for these reasons I have voted to remain in the EU. I do love it that we are a democracy and despite the lies and propaganda on both sides everyone has a free choice. I write this blog at a time when it is too late to change anyone’s mind. It is to remind me of my reasons in the coming weeks.

If we as a country vote to leave the EU, I hope to God that we will all pull together to make this country work apart from the EU. It will be VERY hard. As a nation we are not used to working together for a common goal, we are always looking for  someone to blame for it all going wrong.

If we remain, we also have work to do. We need to work as Europeans as well as Brits and make the EU work for us. We need to vote in European elections and petition our European MP about things that matter to the UK to make it better.

The polling station was packed, as it should be, it is our democratic right to vote – use it or lose it – we may have just lost the chance of voting about anything that happens in our continent again.

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One comment on “I voted today – with my heart.

  1. Pingback: We are leaving & so is our PM | sammioneill

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