Why I’m voting to Remain

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Leytonstoner contributor and young dad Tim Sowula on why he’s most definitely in

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Tim Sowula:
Tim Sowula: ‘This isn’t the time to run away, place our future in the hands of brazen liars and opportunists, and just “hope for the best.’
I try to keep my social media posts about food and football – but I care so much about the European Union referendum that I want to explain why. You don’t have to read it, I didn’t have to write this, but I wanted to because the EU really matters.

First off, a bit about me. I’m a north Londoner originally – born and bred in Kentish Town (in fact I used to write for sister title Kentishtowner for many years) but moved with my wife and daughter to E11 a couple of years back now.

A somewhat irregular contributor now to this title, eagle-eyed readers may know I’ve voiced my opinions here on everything from the Wanstead Tap to Oven East, Mora to the Cycleway.

Anyway, I’m going to vote for Britain to remain in the European Union. But ‘remain’ sounds too passive, lazy, reluctant. I don’t want to vote to hang around in the EU – this can be, should be an affirmative action. I am going to vote for greater prosperity, security, to continue our journey towards a better shared future, rather than jump out and head to a fictional past.

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My opinion has not been influenced by facts: nothing is really true in politics, and we only believe the ‘facts’ that endorse our gut instincts.

So I’m going to avoid any statistics: I’m going to point out why I’m pushed to vote for the EU, and why the EU should pull us all towards it.

I am voting for the European Union because I am disgusted, sickened by the conscious stream of deliberately misleading information – lies – coming from the Leave campaign. The general debate feels like a race to the bottom, but the Leave campaign are taking their tactics from the murkiest depths of the cesspit of modern political campaigning.

Managed by a group of right-wing political mercenaries, these most brazen, unelected and unaccountable Pinocchios of the Westminster elite, themselves virtually immune to any damaging consequences of their campaign, are feeding piles of shit to the British public on a daily basis.

The arrogance of this, the hysterical threats to public broadcasters who are required to show balance, the lack of responsibility that comes with deliberately lying to people who may trust you, on an issue that will affect their lives, their futures – but not the futures of those telling the lies – I think is beyond disgrace. Why would anyone vote for them?

Regardless of whether something is true or not: with today’s media its easier just to tell a convenient lie, provoking everyone who knows better justifiably and angrily to object, thus giving more oxygen to the original steaming turd of a lie in the first place.

And thus we see more and more outrageous, outlandish, negative lies. This cycle is so reductive, so demeaning to the British public and the importance of the debate, it’s no wonder ordinary people can’t stand politicians, the process of politics. That the whole country has been dragged in to Westminster’s psychosis over Europe is deeply depressing.

That every opinion of experts, world-leaders, specialists is immediately, hysterically dismissed as ‘Project Fear’, a conspiracy, debases the whole notion of expertise. So it comes down to who do you trust. But why would anyone trust Nigel Farage, the mercenaries and has-been Tory MPs? What expertise do they have? What authority or credibility do they have?

Because ultimately, their trump card is a lie. It’s not about the UK ‘taking control’ over our daily lives, our destiny, our sovereignty. It’s about who takes control within the Conservative party. The people of the UK don’t have control, won’t have control – we’ve never had control over our politicians and the policies they make. We get to put our hands up once every five years in a horrendously flawed and unrepresentative voting process, and that’s it.

Thanks in part to the actions of many of the same right-wing Westminster mercenaries, we lost the small chance to have a greater share of control in the proportional vote referendum in 2011. That those same people are now demanding that the UK ‘takes back control’ is a gross hypocrisy that they should be ashamed of, if they’re capable of shame.

So I’m going to explain why I am voting in a positive way: I am voting for EU because I believe in a strong UK in a strong Europe, both interdependent and supporting each other. It’s a relationship: it’s not perfect, it’s not efficient it’s not necessarily fair or equal, but the sum is so much greater than the parts.

I’m voting for the EU because I believe in social progress; in peace, in scientific endeavour – all of those things are represented and furthered by the existence of the European Union. In terms of politics, the establishment of a stable club representing more than a dozen neighbouring states, in a region that had seen hundreds of years of bloody conflict causing hundreds of thousands of deaths is an incredible, unprecedented achievement of human civilisation. Why risk that? How would a little England represent progress?

I’m voting for the EU because we should be proud of the EU, cherish and protect it. To walk away because it doesn’t work very well is the laziest, most reductive, arrogant, backward-thinking policy that I believe would just embarrass the UK. Leaving the EU isn’t taking control, it’s losing the plot, losing influence in our biggest markets, losing the confidence of our neighbours and closest allies. States must focus forward not retreat in to a rose-tinted vision of a fake history.

Lastly, I’m voting for the EU because it represents the best guarantee of prosperity, security and influence that the UK can have. Without the EU we’re a little island. The world has moved on and we can’t let lies pull the UK backwards, suppress our economy, damage the present and the future of ordinary people living here, and weaken the security of our entire continent.

We have one chance on June 23 to be bold, to be brave, to lead. This isn’t the time to run away, place our future in the hands of brazen liars and opportunists, and just “hope for the best.” That’s losing control, draining the tank of the UK economy and throwing the keys to a group of people who can’t even drive.

We have to keep control, keep looking forward, not back, and vote for the EU. Please.

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Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts below. Follow Tim on Twitter @timsowula
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