So we are faced with a dilemma, do we stay in or not? Within that, there is also the question of what role we will play, what is our influence and is it really worth our while being a part of it. Opinion is divided, as always with all sides putting forward sensible and coherent arguments.
Currently we are in, and we are pressing ahead with our participation with ultimate commitment. We are making choices that will affect our position within the hierarchy, and deciding what resources to commit to the project to ensure it is successful and we are a successful part thereof.
Now let's look at some facts.
It is very possible that we will get screwed over by other countries that are a part of this. It has been happening since it's inception and will continue to happen whether we are a part of it or not. One could call it corruption, or bias, or just a simple fact of what happens in a "club" such as this. The fact that the bias is so blatant in some cases it is astonishing, and it would be fair to assume that it should have been stopped by member countries some time ago, but it still remains.
It also remains that the higher power of the organisation has considerable influence over member countries, which some people find positive and some negative. Whatever your opinion, there is no doubt that the influence exists and it is simply a case of how each country manages it as to how much they allow it to affect them and the choices they make. There have been times when we have seen countries fly in the face of authority and we have had to sit by a watch it happen. It has been infuriating but simply an unfortunate fact of life when dealing with this many countries all vying for their own needs as part of a collective.
It is not what we originally signed up for. Initially it was seen as an offer of equal opportunity to each country to give and receive their fair share and not expect to be bound by hidden connections between countries and underhand tactics. But the reality is that is has grown immeasurably and now is a beast that is too big to control, and our influence within it has diminished significantly.
There are the usual protagonists that seem to control events, and we can be a part of this with our new status and being taken more seriously within it all. Questions will remain over our level of influence but there is no doubt that we can now compete more favourably with other countries.
Alternatively, is it too much of a drain on resources with such little return that it is simply not worth persevering and flogging what increasingly seems to be getting closer to a dead horse.
So how do we decide whether to stay in or not? Over the coming weeks there will be arguments for both sides. We have to separate the facts from the guff and make an informed choice based on our future within the organisation rather than our questionable past.
I think we should stay in. The Eurovision Song Contest is a great event and we should definitely be a part of it rather that watching from the outside. Even if we continue to score hardly any points, it is worth watching just for some of the outfits, they are amazing, especially the sequined numbers. And if we never took part again, we might miss out on seeing the next Riverdance or Celine Dion - and that could be too much of a risk to take.
Good luck Joe and Jake.