As a consequence from the political debates on current affairs including this Blog Site and others, including Information in public media and TV, one should try and draw its own conclusions, when it comes to a very long-lasting decision one is being asked for to give a vote on.
Most people do not run a proper evaluation process and try to digest what is being presented to them but in the end rely and decide on their emotions. This is very positive in many ways, because at least this excludes manipulations, which are perhaps unwanted and detrimental. The catch 22 is, that we all only know all consequences of political decisions after it has been made and as most of the collateral damage and all kind of injustices are inflicted more onto civilians (loss of life, loss of hope, loss of homes, …) than onto the political elite.
Therefore I appeal to anybody to try and create a more balanced view between what is ‘on offer’ in the ‘negative (NO) camps’ , who are fighting the current status quo and in the ‘positive (YES) camps’, who need to make the case to stay in the Union. Neutrality, autonomy, independence and will to seek the best possible truth are the most important ingredients to do so.
My personal background, when thinking about the EU with or without the UK consists of three main truths:
- Most of my family/friends network would feel that I lost all my values and convictions, if I would express genuine support of the ideas of UKIP, as they would all think, that I have given up on all beliefs and idealisms I have grown up under and as well changed my mindset from positive to negative.
- Looking at the current political climate and seeing the big collaborations and elite playing games with the people and lying, nevertheless I could tend to forget all about this credit and friendship from people around me and become completely calloused about what they think, if I could completely convince myself, that this is right. I think most of you on this blogsite would very much welcome this change of tone.
- As 1.and 2. are mostly exclusive and contradictory positions, I have finally decided to go into more detail, as this debate is too important to all of us.
My way to tackle this evaluation:
Group and summarise most important points on 5 different ‘universal’ issues: Public Safety, Education and Prosperity, Social Equality, Current and future Environment, Independence and Sovereignty
B. Diagnose the narrative and current rhetoric from different factions per Issue and understand repercussions / possible ways forward.
C. Understand the immediate feeling towards yourself regarding the Issue.
D. Draw a logical conclusion which comes near to your personal and private perception of the current reality per Issue.
E. Understand consequences and what can/must be done after the Vote (for the whole evaluation).
Public Safety: Europe as a common living space (and environment) for European citizens.
Europe as a whole is unstable and has become less safe. The many factors we can blame this on are generally well known (war on IRAK, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.).
The current refugee/immigration crisis is an immediate consequence and in parallel the horrific terror attacks committed by ISIL. What are the means one could apply to lessen this risk:
-Stronger Police force and change of gun laws more like in America. è This fills me with DOUBT, and one can argue that this is needed. But nevertheless this is a national issue and not governed inside the EU.
-Less protection on private information more like in Germany è This fills me with FRUSTRATION, but UK would never give up their security rules, as it is excluded from the ever deeper integration. People who do not trust the Pro-EU factions in the UK might be alarmed.
-Improved intelligence services throughout Europe è The EU should be understood as framework and umbrella, which helps to reduce safety risks. We must insist that this debate does not go away. This is key to have better means for identity checks.
-Immigration Control more like in Australia è UKIP tries to find the most vulnerable people and communities to instil FEAR. The UK government is addressing this point and simple answers are easy to give, but do not solve the problem of the EU regarding people, that are already in refugee camps inside or outside the UK territory but UK protected. The crisis can only be solved with money and expertise foreign aid workers, military and diplomacy.
A point system might work for people who come for works purposes and are educated, but they are not a safety problem. Certainly the national governments need to find methods to distribute immigrants in a better way.
-Stop of Schengen agreement more like in other European countries è This is outside this topic, as with or without Schengen, safety in UK is still the same. One cannot feel safer in Britain as border control stays the same.
Better cooperation with Russia and support of the Assad regime to solve the crisis in Syria è This would mean a complete change of principle, because we would work with dictators. This does not cause FEAR for me, but it does for many people, because they consider Russia rather as a threat and enemy and could therefore not grasp a plan for working together and building of diplomatic relations.
-Governance and rules to limit freedom of speech more like in Germany è This fills me with DOUBT, and one can argue that this is needed, but not as critical as in Germany, as UK is governed first pass the post and therefore extremist parties stand little chance to assume real power. Therefore this might not have been recognised as quite as critical as in Germany.
The same Level of detail must/should/could be elaborated for the other four topics. Only a very quick thought on these for now….
Education and Prosperity: This is where the most benefit comes for EU member countries, because better exchanges of experience helps the society as a whole and puts forward the UKIP requirements on more experience instead of mentoring power and establishment circles.
Social Equality: It fills me with anger, when politicians speak about food banks and poverty of the working classes in the 5th richest economy. Can one really believe that this is a problem of the EU? UK has a different currency, its own taxation, minimum wage, etc. An EU wide recruitment process without changing the in work policies of the different countries might help to provide the right skills in the right place, but this might as well mean more preparedness to leave the country. The crash in America and the banking crisis required action regarding control of banks and stricter rules for the Stockmarket. I am DOUBTFUL what a different government outside the EU could achieve in the short term to improve the situation. A vote of OUT could at best achieve, that UK is split and gets rid of the Scottish debt. Despite UKIP proposals regarding UK critical industries, such eg. Fishing, Oil and steal, the EU could rather help, as it is designed to become a single market instead of encouraging competition inside the EU. The main competitors are outside the EU (China, America, India). People from the eastern block provide cheap labour, which needs to be solved via local taxation and wage regulations. The current benefit system is tackled in the negotiations. It is to be trusted or not to be trusted, if Cameron really secured the right deal. The difference in the health systems (NHS versus Insurance based) will stay and the UK cannot become part of the deal, with the disadvantage that specialist doctors might rather look for better opportunities outside the UK, but this is left to the decision of an individual. Certainly there are currently no striking doctors in Germany, France or Spain.
Regarding Infrastructure and housing, these require mid-term solutions, but rather to be solved on a national level. Might the European Union representatives like e.g. Nigel Farage represent the UK in order to get agreement on fundings.
Current and future Environment: the Energy policies in Germany and in the UK are very different to each other, but both seem to fail for different reasons. Most policies on climate change are world-wide and are outside of EU Control. This fills me with a lot of ANGER in principle, in my mind a more technocratic decision making and leadership is required. Currently positive Inputs are only possible via interest groups. These need to be strengthened (they already exist locally, but have not enough clout). The powers/decision making process inside the European Union need reform, but this need to be requested and agreed in principle on a national level. I suppose the British renegotiation might be a very small, but at least first step in the right direction. Change of structure and organisation can only be achieved if everybody does not feel like a lonely voice but uses existing powers to steer in the right direction. Yes a more plebiscite type direct democracy is required, but this must replace the existing way and not be installed in parallel.
Independence and Sovereignty: The EU functions (with a lot of problems) despite not having one single constitution like the US, but EU legislation respects the specifics of each country. The German system is more similar to America than the rest, but the principle of human rights and dignity of human life is true in all countries. The goal to have ever closer union will affect all countries and yes, it is unclear how far the UK can be excluded. This causes DOUBT, but what are the consequences? There will always be national parliaments and in the UK a different currency e.g. a change of the voting and/or party system is certainly not achievable over a time of a decade or two. Why worry now?
E Conclusion: Brexit will personally not affect me too much, apart from potential financial gains or losses. For the moment I could not decide if I would vote NO or YES as Cameron has not finished the negotiations, but I definitely believe that Britain needs the European Union as much as the European Union needs Britain, such that the European space can continue to prosper in a similar way all over and no nation drops back into archaic/second world/underdeveloped populations. Any nation can easily become the victim, caused by whatever. Having a common framework safeguards our role as helping nations instead of needing development aid from second world countries or neighbouring nations, which have overtaken us in the near future and we can then furthermore lead our lives as human beings (law abiding citizens) with a good conscience and be mostly proud of our achievements and (with certain amendments, e.g. second world war) our heritage. I am not certain, what deep down Nigel Farage is driven by, he would be much better do for Britain if he would support/educate MP’s throughout the party spectrum instead of spending his time to tell people how much he despises the European Union.