I’ve changed to backing REMAIN: Here’s why

I’ve changed my mind.

Not on the grave shortcomings of the EU. Still less on the utter foolishness (not to mention the constitutional impropriety) of calling a referendum in this way, on this topic, when the real issue that precipitated calling it was merely a split within the Conservative Party.

No: what has changed my mind is quite simply the exponentially increasing awfulness of the Leave campaign, and the results that this is now leading to.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been deeply unimpressed with most of the Remain campaign; but the lies, vitriol, xenophobia and even racism of leading lights in the Leave campaign represent a new low for British politics. Its hateful rhetoric has consequences, which have been horrifically visible in the last week. I can no longer sit by and let this take place. So I join so many others in standing in solidarity against it.

Some, especially on the Leave side, might attack my change of heart. They might use words like “flip-flop”. If they do, I don’t mind. My conscience is clear. My mind has been changed by the way that they, the Leave-rs, have driven us into the appalling situation where xenophobia is rendered publicly ‘acceptable’, and serious – and even deadly – street-violence is among the consequences.

Such rhetoric as theirs should never be rewarded. Imagine how grim it would be to have the leading Leave-rs crowing over victory, given that this would be how they have achieved it.

I hope and believe that Britons can and will choose better than this. That we in the UK ARE better than this.

So there is, I believe, only one path left to us, and it is a clear one.

Vote Remain.

10 thoughts on “I’ve changed to backing REMAIN: Here’s why”

  1. thank you for having the courage to change your mind publicly – was pleased to see Natalie Bennett at the Parliament Square vigil on Friday.
    Totally agree with your reason for changing your mind.
    There is not doubt that if Brexit won, we would have Farage elevated into a national political giant… but who would he stamp under his feet and what would a far right Boris cabinet look like?

    This would be a nightmare for all greens whatever their views on EUnity

    Love not Leave

  2. So you have switched not because you think that the remain arguments are any good – “I’ve been deeply unimpressed with most of the Remain campaign” – but because you don’t like the people leading the Out campaign and feel that to abstain (or presumably to vote out) in these circumstances is to “reward their rhetoric”. So from a position of condemning the whole referendum as being based on purely internal Tory party divisions, you have moved to a position of endorsing one faction of Tories against the other.

    The whole point here is that the question of whether or not Britain should remain in the EU has perfectly good answers that are not based on Tory ideology of any flavour. To make your answer to the question solely on the basis of the Tory picture is to accept their premises – the premise that industrial capitalism is the way forward for the world, the premise that continuing growth for ever is a good idea, the premise that in essence nature is something apart from humankind that we have a right to exploit and control for our own benefit, or for the benefit of some of us at the expense of others.

    In essence you are endorsing tactical negative voting – voting to keep the bad guy or idea out, rather than voting for what you actually believe in.

    Of course it is difficult in this case because there is only a binary choice, and no way to discriminate between an anti-immigration leave vote or an anti-capitalist leave vote. No way to discriminate between a pro-de-growth stay vote or a pro-growth stay vote.

    In the current ecological emergency I cannot see any eco-green case for voting to stay in the EU, but I can see an eco-green case for voting out. I can also see the case for your previous active-abstain position. I am puzzled, not by your change, but by the direction of that change. Given the unpleasant nature of some of the leave arguments doesn’t it become even more important for genuine greens to put their money where their mouth is and vote to leave so that there are alternative voices to be heard in the new post leave situation.

    1. “Given the unpleasant nature of some of the leave arguments doesn’t it become even more important for genuine greens to put their money where their mouth is and vote to leave so that there are alternative voices to be heard in the new post leave situation.”

      I’m confused…where does it say on the ballot that after the referendum all those on the ‘losing’ side forfeit the right to ever again engage in any political decisions on any subjects whatsoever?

      1. It doesn’t say that on the ballot paper, it is implied in Rupert’s choice to vote tactically and not with his heart. He implies that a vote to leave (or even an abstain) is somehow to endorse the unpleasant side of the Tory leave campaign, so he has decided that he must vote to support Cameron and Tory business-as-usual whilst holding his nose. Not a pretty pose.
        More specifically the strength of the post-leave movement will be moderated by those who can say “well I voted leave, but not for your reasons”. Those who voted stay for whatever reasons will be simply told – “you lost, that’s democracy, live with it”.
        Of course you could always lie about how you voted – but that is your personal (a)moral choice.

  3. Well said Rupert. I’m sure there are many more like you who feel increasingly uneasy with the hateful and negative single issue campaign run by the Leavers. #remain #compassion #empathy #understanding #prosperity #logic

  4. I honestly would vote where the evidence is, and there’s enough that suggests to me that reaming is a better option; Neither option is perfect, and the EU has its faults and room for improvement, but leaving all the same isn’t really the answer for me and I feel we should stick by it and actually elect an MEP who isn’t a complete tosser with a negative attitude towards Europe and a complete conflict of interest. As for the attitude of the out campaign itself, there are a lot of very questionable motives in the leading positions of those leading this campaign and its associated parties (BNP and UKIP) and an increasing number of people are finding this akin to the Nazis in World War Europe, And I can’t rule it out logically. Learn from history, don’t repeat it.

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