Of course, it is not really about these issues at all. And nor is it about the security of our borders or our access to a free market or the protection of the City. It is about, as Cameron himself has said (I suspect without understanding what he was saying) “the kind of country we want Britain to be”.
I want Britain to be a country that cares; that is not merely tolerant of diversity but embraces it; that recognises its responsibilities to its citizens and to all humanity. I want a country that is democratic, that rejects austerity, that fights against the increasing privatisation of our public services.
I do not want a country which turns in on itself; which equates the success of the City with the success of the country as a whole; that mistakes corporate profit for the public good.
I believe that what I want and what I don’t want can be better achieved within the European Union.
Not because the European Union is without fault; far from it. I have more issues with a Europe which is reformed according to Cameron than with its previous structure. The British (Tory) position at the negotiations and the associated posturing was selfish in the extreme, manifesting a total lack of statesmanship and great deal of nationalist ideology. Fortunately, the vote at the referendum will not be about Cameron’s deal. It will not be about the ridiculous rants of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. It will be about us and our sense of ourselves, about “the kind of country we want Britain to be”.
There are frightening indications that some of us want our country to be a one (Tory) party state, which will be able to deny us the rights that have taken centuries to achieve. Public services and social justice are already under serious threat and such developments will only be accelerated by Brexit.
It’s an ugly word. But it’s an even uglier concept.
Today from the everysmith vaults: According to Twitter, some people have managed to get hold of the new Chris Forsyth album, The Rarity of Experience already. Over here, it's not scheduled until 4th March. So I'm just playing some recent shows thanks to NYC Taper. Oh, and Michael Chapman too. Remember him? Brilliant guitarist.