I am grateful to have wonderful family and friends. I love hearing about your thoughts and beliefs, about the things and the people that matter to you: important parts of what makes us all human. Politicians seem to do a fine job of reducing the complexities and nuances of humanity down to such basic and blunt terms as how much money each of us has or what our 10 and 11 year olds score on a spelling test. Money is necessary (and wouldn’t we all like more of it?) but I don’t know a single one of you who would say you make all your big life decisions based on money alone. Neither do we encourage our children to measure their significance based on whether they know about subjunctives (or whatever it is we are asking them to know today).
There is an important decision to make in the next month and it’s helpful to look at the facts and opinions of others. But (and here’s my grumble) it is really beginning to grate on me when the talking heads say “we will be X much poorer/richer” as if that somehow settles it. Whether what they say is true or not, we are all so much more than wallets, purses and bank accounts, just as our 10-year-olds are more than their spelling test scores. Over the course of our lives we make many choices that put us out of pocket (having children is a great example), yet we accommodate the cost somehow and adapt. Based on the money-dominated reasoning of politicians on BOTH sides, it is frequently implied that we, of course, should choose the path of least financial risk. Ridiculous. Some of the best decisions in life are the ones with the highest risk (not just financially). Getting married, having babies, buying a house, leaving your job, emigrating, even getting divorced… You do your best to plan ahead money-wise but, in the end, they are choices based on your beliefs about the future and the things you love in life, of which money is just one part.
Reducing the in/out decision down to mere money is to trivialise the decision. We are deciding whether to stay married, not whether to change our electricity supplier.
So, in addition to the money questions, I think we should ask ourselves more worthy, positive, future-orientated questions. What are your hopes for the future? Where do you see our country in 20 years time? What inspires you about being part of the EU? Those whose minds are already made up have nothing to lose by asking such questions. Those who, like me, are torn, have everything to gain. We are so much more than just units in an economy. Neither side need make this solely about money in order to get a worthy win.