UK EU Referendum ballot paper

We get the governments we deserve, it is said. This may be unfair on those countries whose democracy is too thin and fragile (if it exists at all) to make this possible.

But in the case of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the EU referendum vote begs certain questions in regard to the seriousness of the issue of governance and to the way we, the governed, do politics.

Map of European Union

Thomas Mair, the killer of Jo Cox, when asked in court to state his name, gave it as ‘Death to traitors, freedom for Britain’. You couldn’t find a stronger way to identify yourself as British.

In all the debates on the European Union, we have heard over and over again that ‘we’ are the British. For some, ‘we’ are also Europeans. For others, Europeans are the ‘they’ against whom we identify ourselves as British.

hazelnut

Ignorance is not bliss. Neither should ignorance be confused with not knowing the facts due to lack of available information.

There is plenty of information to be had about most things in this data driven age. Ignorance is more about not feeling confident when it comes to telling the difference between objective information and information which is partial, if not a downright lie.

The murder of Jo Cox would have been a tragedy even if she had not been such a good MP, or an MP at all. Whenever a healthy young person dies our hearts go out to the family; but when it is a politically-motivated murder of a Member of Parliament because of the things she stood for, it is an event of national significance.

Ursula Haeckel, whom I met for the first time a week ago, has written the following letter to the Guardian. To me it speaks volumes.

The talks were organised by the European Movement and I was invited as a speaker on behalf of the Green Party .

There are left-wing and right-wing arguments for staying in, and left-wing and right-wing arguments for staying out. The mass media have concentrated on the right-wing arguments on both sides: sovereignty, economics, democracy and whether Boris Johnson dyes his hair.