Whenever I listen to either of the two sides in the European referendum, I instinctively want to vote for the other side. This because the side I pay attention to for the moment gives me a rash, and forces me to repress an urge to take a long and hot shower. This feeling lasts until I start to listen to the other side, and feel the same way about that one.
If one listens to the leave side, one has the curious experience of listening to hard-right politicians proclaiming how much they could increase the spending for the National Health Service, or how much they could do for the poor – if only the shackles of Brussels were lifted.
If one listens to the other side, then one must resist an urge to build a bunker because surely Vladimir Putin is just waiting off-shore to invade on the off-chance that we’d dare vote to leave. The fingers are hovering over the nuclear launch buttons, and we’re seconds away from nuclear holocaust. And if that’s not enough, then the fall of man and the ending of Western civilisation is upon us. And if that’s not enough, we will all lose our jobs and savings and homes.
The European referendum is being conducted in the most incompetent and terrible manner imaginable, and I get the sense that many people will vote to leave simply because they want to stick two fingers up in the air to the powers that be. It is that dire.
When I ordered my Swedish passport, I thought I was just being overly prudent. A mini-dad that looked at all the possibilities, and prepared for whatever eventuality would happen. I didn’t actually think we’d vote to leave. Not really. It seemed like the British people would do the sensible thing and vote to stay.
However, that was before this campaign. There is a deep anger among many people I know that Westminster is taking the population for fools and easily scared children. The Leave campaign outright lies to us, and the Remain campaign acts like the only saving grace of Europeanness is the bulwark it is against a collection of horrors just out of sight.
That’s why I’m not at all certain about the outcome now. My silly little preparation with the Swedish passport has become frighteningly real. On the 23rd of this month it looks like I’ll be forced to choose my nationality – and if there’s one thing I will not do, it’s to put roadblocks in Mark’s path. If Britain leaves and is blocked from things like Erasmus and research grants, I will not hesitate one second in using my bi-nationality to make him Swedish too.