I want my country back

Never mind the country. I have reached breaking point. I am full. I see posters stating that 'I want my country back' and 'Vote leave' everywhere I go. I see 'proud to be British' posters and 'no room' signs. I am full up with them.

I would like my country back too. But the country I know was one that learned from it's brutal beginnings where we invaded and enslaved cultures, one that realised that having a commonwealth meant responsibility as well as power. A country that saw joining a club to stop wars was a wise move. A country that could see that other cultures add to a whole to enrich it not destroy it. A tiny island that knew that bluff and bluster and xenophobia won't help us, it will make up look silly and aggressive like a yapping lap dog.

Copyright: dnkstudio / 123RF Stock Photo

I want my friendly country back, the one that can laugh at itself when we meet a foreigner who speaks perfect English while we wallow in shouting and pointing. I want the country back, the one that welcomes the lost and the scared. A country that is happy to help and knows that in the long run it's better to be friends than enemies. A country of people bright enough to see that bigger is better, that joining the right people is the right thing.

But what of those long weeks of strikes, the misery, the racism, the 'no dogs, no Irish, no blacks' signs? The days before statutory annual holidays from work? The piles of rubbish in the streets? The army manning fire engines? The power cuts? The 'women don't need as much pay as men because they won't be the main breadwinner'? Do I want that country back too? And do I want to return to a time with no free travel around so many countries right on my doorstep?

Yes, that's me.
I think that all of us, all of the people who 'want our country back' are fooling ourselves. We can't grab those past sunshine filled days and expect to slip comfortably in them like familiar slippers. We are moving on, the world is moving on. Staying in Europe, being involved in important decisions that will affect the whole world is important. We need to look ahead not back.

On Thursday I will vote to Remain in the EU. I am scared that I am in a minority, surrounded by a sea of people who 'want things how they were' without even knowing what that means.

Check out some of the myths about the EU here. And think before you vote. But whichever way you vote - if you are eligible, please do get out and make your voice heard. Afraid as I am of leaving the EU I am also afraid of apathy and my path to the future being chosen by a small part of the country. EU referendum day is 23rd June 2016

Copyright: vepar5 / 123RF Stock Photo

Download a guide to voting - showing opposing views and both sides of the campaign, here http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/203410/EU-Referendum-voting-guide_England-and-Scotland.pdf

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