Is anyone else hearing the Hokey Cokey in their heads a lot lately; in out, in out, shake it all about? That’s the effect this Europe referendum is having on me. The thought of Cameron standing outside number 10, gloating in that supercilious way that makes him look like an overheated sausage that needs pricking with a fork, is enough to make any self respecting Labour supporter vote for brexit. But isn’t that childish? As my mum always says, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
Then we have Jeremy Corbyn telling us to vote in, but in a way that hasn’t convinced many of us he really means it. Maybe it’s because Jeremy is just as ambivalent about Europe as we are and he’s not very good at hiding it, because let’s face it, Jeremy isn’t exactly renowned for lying through his teeth. Sometimes I think I won’t vote at all. We all know this referendum is a Tory construct, stemming from their desire to shoot the UKIP fox, born in the era when it looked as though UKIP would eat up more Tory votes than Labour ones. As a result, many of us are now losing sleep over whose ego we want to inflate the least; Cameron’s or Johnson’s. Wouldn’t a low turn out invalidate the outcome, whatever it turns out to be? And is that such a bad thing if we are genuinely too conflicted to make up our minds?
Ultimately though, I know I should just sweep all this pettiness aside and just vote for what’s right. If only I could figure out what that is. The basic premise behind the EU, I support. Its founders envisioned a peaceful prosperous Europe, and to be fair, it has delivered more often than not. We should also never forget the way the EU stopped every Tory wet dream from coming true, but recently the EU has veered off track; exemplified by the way it brazenly humiliated an impoverished and desperate Greece for daring to challenge the austerity orthodoxy. No wonder us socialists want to give the EU a good whooping in the ballot box.
If Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t labour leader I’d definitely been voting out. Not because he wouldn’t be there to guide me to vote in, but because his election win has given me hope.
If the incredible summer of 2015 has taught me anything it’s that institutions you’d lost hope in can change, but you have to be in them to change them.
Just ask the 250,000 plus labour members, supporters and affiliates who elected Corbyn as leader in September.
by Michelle (Chelley) Ryan