Thoughts on health, happiness and sustainability

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I voted to remain

Appropriately, I’m publishing this from Vienna where I am attending WordCamp Europe, having travelled here on the train through Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic.  It seems there is no better place to appreciate the wonder that is Europe than travelling effortlessly through it landscapes, across its borders to attend an event full of wonderful people from a wide variety of countries.  It’s no secret that I love Europe, and I always have done.

That did not however stop me from giving a lot of attention to the EU referendum.  I forced myself to listen to both sides of the debate and try to think rationally about the reality, even if I didn’t always like what I was hearing.  After much deliberation, I placed my vote in the EU referendum, and I voted to remain in the EU.

It was not a foregone conclusion at all, and I swung back and forth many times over the past few weeks.  In the end, I’ve concluded that there is no right answer and that there is no moral choice, but that remaining in the EU seems to be the lesser of two evils from my perspective.

A few of the reasons for my vote to remain are:

  1. The European Union does have some positive ideology behind it, even if the reality is far from it, and I hold onto a glimmer of hope that great things are still possible within the EU.
  2. There has been little reassurance as to how EU citizens already living in the UK would be treated if we left the European Union. Therefore, a vote to remain is a vote to protect many of my friends, colleagues, and other good people whose lives could be torn apart if we leave.
  3. As George Monbiot has said, the EU might be a festering cesspool of corporate influence and is in need of radical reform, which we’re unlikely to get, but our own government is even less trustworthy, even more aligned with corporate interests and likely to take us more in the direction of the US if we’d leave.

I just wish that there had been a more positive option to vote for and a more intelligent public debate about the reality of voting either way, so that we could have had the opportunity to place informed, educated votes for a positive future.  It seems that we not only lack any rational design process in how we develop our relationship with other European countries but lack even any intelligent conversation about how we might approach our future in Europe as a design challenge.

In the end, I just let my conscience be my guide, and although I know that remaining in the EU is a million miles from perfect, I’m relieved that I feel at peace with my own decision.


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