I envy so many of my friends. They are clear and resolute in their decision about the forthcoming referendum. Many, like Rupert Beale, are convinced that we would be mad to leave the EU. Rupert argues the case here, for example. Others, like Mark Lambert, are equally clear that we are better out; see Mark's facebook page for many arguments. (See Update below!)
And then there are the politicians...
I have found the paucity of the political debate particularly depressing, if I am honest. It is almost all predicated on economics and self interest, as though these are the most important things.
Rupert Beale, to his credit, makes some appeal to the common good, but I am not wholly convinced.
For me, the choice is difficult, but I see the issues at stake differently. (It's all the others who are wrong, of course, as the mother watching the parade said, when her son was marching out of step...)
But for me, the main reason to consider voting to leave the EU is the relentless ambition to construct a European Empire. I think this an ill-founded and dangerous ambition. I also dislike the profligate waste (typified by the Strasbourg -Brussels-Strasbourg move every month at vast expense - but there are many other examples, and all beyond hope of reform, as far as I can see) and the contempt for tax-payer implicit in that. And I have a natural preference for smaller and more local power structures.
On the other hand, the thought of giving succour to the Little England (and sometimes racist) views of so many on the Out side is wholly repugnant. More serious still is the fear that a UK exit would lead others to seek to leave, and the potential balkanisation of Europe with all the risks implicit in that.
My preference is for a reformed EU - a reversion to a trading group, shedding the ambitions to political and fiscal union. But that seems a pipe dream - and certainly a vote to remain seems to me to be in practice a vote for the direction of travel.
But on the other hand, would a vote to leave give us any influence? It is conceivable that it would: that both the British political establishment and the EU would be so shocked that they would work to cobble together some real reform... But I doubt it.
So what to do?
I really don't know...
I have clearly misrepresented Mark (albeit inadvertently) - see his comment below.
UPDATE: White Pontifical Vestments Project - Good news. We are alllllmost there. We have hit our goal. Now I want to exceed our goal… with your help. I am so very grateful to all of you who helped...
5 hours ago