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Bremain 18 June 2016

Posted by cooperatoby in EU, Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

Of course I’ve become infuriated and dismayed by the referendum campaign, and doubt that even Jo Cox’s incomprehensible murder will bring campaigners to their senses.
Of course also I’m something of a Brussels insider – but this is a rational choice, by a political refugee from Thatcher, you might say.
I’ve been dismayed by one of my oldest friends teetering on the brink of voting ‘out’ because he sees the EU as undemocratic (people who live in glass houses…) or – an argument even harder to counter – not up to the job of world unification (but it’s the best approach we have). I’ve been annoyed by facetious French calls that Britain should just go away and leave Europe alone (playing with fire). And I’m intrigued to wonder how much the referendum result will matter: whichever way it goes the Tory party will be riven down the middle so the sniping will go on. I’ve been given pause for thought by being called a ‘transnationalist’ in the ESF community, as if transnationality was something odd, rather than being the raison d’être of it all.
Multi-level governance and subsidiarity are complex arguments to make. It seems to me that the popular sentiment against ‘Europe’ is a matter of displacement, a sleight of hand by the UK’s own politicians. The government has hollowed out democratic accountability, stripped local government of its relevance though centralisation and privatisation, so that people have lost their sense of agency. The country they “want back” has been stolen from them not by Brussels but by Westminster.



1. katalin - 19 June 2016

hi Toby,
you say Bremain, I say EUbrain! indeed the EU’s situation is heavily challenged by UK and other polls or opinions stemming from sovereign nations. The EU and its institutions should better be aware of the average level of education on European matters from the overall European population… it is appalling. When local personalities talk about Europe, they usually slightly distort facts and figures to fit their campaigning strategies, and very few people can contradict them! Of course transnationality is the ‘raison d’être’ of the EU, but it is in none of the political roadmap for which people are called to vote…it becomes therefore another ‘undemocratic’ and ‘burdensome’ European issue that they dislike… At the end of the day, they all love Europe, they don’t really know why, but we should really put more efforts in showing the good things Europe does in daily life, for every one of us.

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