Seriously, the EU Campaigns Need to Lighten Up

09/06/2016 12:11 | Updated 09 June 2016

There is a good chance I will collapse into the sofa with a flannel on my forehead and refuse to read political news for a week the second this referendum is over. That will probably not be long enough for me to drag my thoughts out of the fog of depression that has enveloped our TV screens each day for the last God knows how many weeks.

It's no secret to any of my friends that I'll be voting to stay in the EU (or indeed, to anyone on my Twitter feed.) But it is also no secret to anyone that every side of this EU referendum debate has left me more depressed than reading The Bell Jar with Morrissey screaming about his teenage angst down my ear.

I'm voting IN because of the basic fact that we do not know what would happen if we vote Brexit. Our economy is safer in the EU and there's a good chance that jobs would be less safe if we left . I believe there's greater chances for people of my generation in the EU. There's a few other reasons, but that's the crux of it.

You will notice that I managed to summarise this in three sentences, with precisely no references to war, the apocalypse or genocidal maniacs. I also managed to summarise it without launching into a barrage of insults at the opposing viewpoint (which would admittedly be difficult, given that I do have a rather pronounced fondness for everyone's favourite blond-haired master of eytmology.)

If it is that simple for me, a frequently politically-despairing teenager who eyes the back-and-forth between politicians with the same keen interest she used to eye the whispered exchanges of school gossip, to put into words without resorting to grandiose claims of delusional danger, why on earth is it so difficult for these educated, intelligent, frequently rather fantastically articulate (particularly a certain someone with blond hair who seems to have near-constant access to a mental Latin dictionary) politicians to do the same thing?

I'm not naive. Anyone could see that the second a referendum was called insults would be thrown across both parties in a manner similar to that of a baby who's just discovered their ability to fling food across the room. But can we please give the constant prophecies of doom, the hysterical tantrums of self-righteousness, and the ridiculously braying sanctimony that frequently meanders from anywhere near the topic of the referendum a rest? (I cannot be the only person who longed for Cameron to tell that arrogant little girl blessed with a blissful lack of self-awareness in his Sky interview to sit down and shut up.)

Now, a collective groan goes up every time the EU Referendum symbol appears on the BBC news screen. We sit, our forks poised halfway to our mouths, waiting for the toll of doom, the long, sonorous ring of whatever terrible fate we are now being warned of. Somewhere, lost in the wormhole in which we vote to leave the EU, the first bugle of World War 3 sounds sadly on the air. Somewhere else, wandering down the pathway in which we vote to remain, there is an anonymous cracking of the soil as Hitler's hand lifts from his grave. Down both paths, the world shakes, crumbles and promptly implodes into an apocalypse, wiping every last trace of life from the face of the planet. It would be the proverbial rock and a hard place, except if we believed the claims of some on both sides, should we vote for the option they dread, there will be no rocks or hard places left.

For the love of God, in amongst all this doom, gloom and whatever other dismal term one can conjure, give us a bit of cheer. We urgently need a little bit of light-heartedness in this debate. Yes, it is a serious issue. But by God, if I see another warning of how the bottom is going to fall out of the world on the 24th June, I may be wishing for it to happen all the quicker. Yes, there are serious issues and-I believe-there are dangers of us leaving the EU. But give us the facts, rather than dressing them up in more doom-laden prophecies than a conspiracy theorist keeps hidden under their mattress.

Really, is it any wonder I've resorted to this for a little bit of humour?

Give us the facts. Give us warnings. But please-can we stop with the constant cloud hanging over our heads?

If you believe some of the more extreme claims on both sides, depending on what we choose on June 23rd, it might be one of the last times we get to see the clouds, anyway.