Head to head on the European Union, the fate of Britain rests in the balance. Days are flying by and 23 June is coming up rapidly. Campaigning to maintain our membership is an Ace card that we hold whist the Joker in the pack are the quitters. Sailing away in a ship of fools is not the British way.
Sitting here writing at my desk, the computer screen in front of me has a set of adjustments. A simple menu can be called up. I can adjust the Brightness, Colour (Color because the screen is American), Contrast and Language and if all else fails press the Factory Reset. My screen is quite democratic in giving me the choice bright or dim picture. This thought came to my mind as the overwhelming impression of the EU referendum campaign so far – it’s one of great contrasts. The contrasts couldn’t be sharper. If it was a international boxing match it would look like this:
Those in the REMAIN corner are generous, open minded, optimistic and self-confident. Those in the LEAVE corner are angry, insular, muddled and negative.
If I next consider the range of Brightness and Colour presented to the British electorate: Arguments from the REMAIN campaign are attractive, bright, clear and vivid. Arguments from the LEAVE campaign are dark, dim, dull and gloomy.
The language selection button can be brought into this colour display analogy too. For REMAIN supporters any one of 23 languages are on the menu in addition to English. For LEAVE supporters it’s English or English or English. In reality its thundering gibberish too.
In my past, in the 1980s, I designed cockpit displays for aircraft so this subject has a deal of familiarity. The last time this choice on Europe was put in front of the British people was in 1975. As then, with this referendum vote there is no reset button. There is only one chance to get it right.
The fate of Britain rests in the balance at this pivotal moment in our long history. Europe and the EU have achieved so much good in the world in the past 40 years it’s inconceivable to me that we would throw this away without a sound plan for what to do next. Yet, here we are standing on the edge of an immense cliff. Britain holds exceedingly good cards in its present position. Ticking REMAIN in the EU is a sure bet for peace and prosperity. Ticking LEAVE is a risky adventure where the younger generation will pick up the bill.