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Should We Stay or Should We Go?

23/06/2016 08:49

I approach voting the way I approach most things.

A long period of avoiding thinking about it at all.

Followed by a last-minute panic.

That's what I'm doing right now.

Trying to make sense of it all.

On the one hand, this; on the other; that.

Politicians arguing ad hominem against anyone with a different point of view to theirs.

Amidst the vitriol, there must be some sense on both sides.

Mustn't there?

Nearly everyone I speak to has the same, passionately held view: Britain is stronger in Europe.

It's better for business.

It's better for society.

'Only racists vote out'.

But the polls are inconclusive.

Whatever polls are worth.

I live, admittedly, in a bit of a bubble.

My London network of media and literary types is hardly representative.

So that must mean a lot of you, like me, have left it to the last-minute.

Britain joined the EU in 1973.

There was no referendum.

Today, Britain will have it's say on whether to leave.

But the bookies are betting it won't.

And so am I.

The behavioural principle of loss aversion states that we prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains.

Leaving Europe is a risk.

And I don't think we are prepared to gamble.

Not when the stakes are so high.

Nobel prize-winner Daniel Kahneman demonstrated that the majority of human decision-making is automatic, intuitive, emotional.

We vote with our hearts.

And our love affair with Europe runs deep.

Plus, I don't think anyone seriously thinks the darker side of immigration, unemployment, or economic fallout is a result of our membership of the EU?

Do they?

I guess we'll find out.

I feel like I haven't answered the question.

Should we stay, or should we go?

It's not for journalists to tell you how to vote.

Only to give you the information upon which to base your decision.

I haven't really done that either.

We have until 10pm.

I'll probably turn up at 9.45.

As I say, I leave things to the last minute.

See you there?

Or in the pub after?

Decisions are hard.

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