I voted leave in the name of democracy


OK, so I voted to leave the EU.

It took a long time to reach my decision. I was pulled both ways. Pretty well all of my friends were voting to remain and it was difficult to find myself in opposition to people I love and who I had shared a platform with on more than one occasion, but that is where my deliberations lead me.

The national debate took place almost exclusively on right-wing terms. It was all about immigration and the money in your wallet, with both sides twisting the facts to suit their agenda. There simply wasn’t a proper informed debate.

If I was was a conspiracy nut, I might think that this was deliberate. With Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson leading the out campaign, people on the left were bound to go the other way.

But that made for some very peculiar bedfellows in the remain camp too, which included Goldman Sachs, Tony Blair and George Osborne, as well as Jeremy Corbyn and Yanis Varoufakis, and it was obvious that Corbyn was conflicted.

The arguments I heard from my peers were all couched in negative terms. Everyone agreed that the EU is profoundly anti-democratic, wedded to neoliberalism and austerity: but better this than giving the country over to the xenophobes on the right, they said.

So we were being asked to stay in the EU, not because it is any good, but despite it being bad, because some of the people who were voting to leave were doing it for the wrong reasons.

Really there wasn’t much of a choice. It was austerity on one side and austerity on the other. Neoliberalism, support for the banks, a fire-sale of our public assets: outside of the media sound bites both sides were offering the same future.

The difference being, of course, that we can vote out UK governments every five years, but this was our only chance to vote out the EU.

During the Greek debt crisis the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said “there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.”

That sums it up for me.


The Whitstable Gazette.
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6 thoughts on “I voted leave in the name of democracy

  1. Thanks for that,i didnt vote but did support the leave for similar reasons,despite making that clear a few people have reacted like ive gone round and shat on their floor.Remember being 17 years old(1974) fighting the NF and police in red lion squarei(RIP Kevin Gately) the first but not the last time i would come up against the extreme right now im being told im with them? dont think so.


    1. I’ve been called all sorts of names, attacked, vilified, been unfriended, but like I keep saying, it was a strategic decision. Most remainers were being strategic too, voting alongside Blair and Goldman Sachs. It was only what you thought the best strategy would be, and I still think I made the right decision, along with the the whole of the North of England.


  2. You two voted brexit in the name of the idiocracy. There is no need of an informed debate – if you have an enquiring mind and the internet. Disingenuous rhetoric.


    1. I read pretty well everything I could lay my hands on in the run-up to the referendum. In the end I decided it was a strategic decision. The main left argument for remaining was that we could reform the EU from within and I disagreed. That’s why I voted out. As I said, I’ve been called all sorts of names since I announced that decision, and you’ve just added a couple of new ones to the list. Thanks for that.


  3. I hear you CJ and I felt the same way too. I love how people cannot be civil about others DEMOCRATIC right to vote for who they want. I remember the old days when it wasn’t decent to talk about who you voted for, it was private. Now there’s social media and all the keyboard politics experts spouting endless recycled propaganda. Both sides had their own spin and they spun us all around and around with images of doom and gloom. Spinning with fear… that’s how many people voted. I am not a racist, I have no issues with immigrants in our country and think they bring value to our society. I didn’t vote out because I’m right-wing. I always say go with your gut, I did and so did many others. It’s a sad reflection on our society that so many can now come out and make these racist attacks on others. I think it’s a bit suspect that the referendum was during the Euros, there was already a lot of racist hooliganism being reported. It can’t have helped. It hasn’t taken much for the true colours of our citizens to be revealed, scratch the surface, the racism has always been there, now it’s been given permission to air in all it’s vileness.


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