Brexit rouletteby Richard Dawkins / June 9, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
“Are you an Inny or an Outy? A Keeper or a Brexiteer?”
“Well, at first I wanted to leave, to punish David Cameron. But then Boris came out as a leaver and I can’t stand his hair so I’ll be voting to stay in Europe.”
That is approximately the level of discourse which will momentously decide Britain’s future.
My own answer to the question is, “How should I know? I don’t have a degree in economics. Or history. How dare you entrust such an important decision to ignoramuses like me?”
I, and most other people, don’t have the time or the experience to do our due diligence on the highly complex economic and social issues facing our country in, or out of, Europe. That’s why we vote for our Member of Parliament, who is paid a good salary to debate such matters on our behalf, and vote on them. The European Union referendum, like the one on Scottish independence, should never have been called.
I really did hear the following remark yesterday on television: “Well, it isn’t called Great Britain for nothing, is it? I’m voting for our historic greatness.” Actually it was originally called Britannia major to distinguish it from Britannia minor, the French province of Brittany. Later, “Great Britain” signified the union with Scotland, and distinguished the geographically larger of the British Isles from the smaller, Ireland. It has never meant “great” in the bombastic sense you imagine will justify your “patriotic” vote