I’ve changed my mind.
Not on the grave shortcomings of the EU. Still less on the utter foolishness (not to mention the constitutional impropriety) of calling a referendum in this way, on this topic, when the real issue that precipitated calling it was merely a split within the Conservative Party.
No: what has changed my mind is quite simply the exponentially increasing awfulness of the Leave campaign, and the results that this is now leading to.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been deeply unimpressed with most of the Remain campaign; but the lies, vitriol, xenophobia and even racism of leading lights in the Leave campaign represent a new low for British politics. Its hateful rhetoric has consequences, which have been horrifically visible in the last week. I can no longer sit by and let this take place. So I join so many others in standing in solidarity against it.
Some, especially on the Leave side, might attack my change of heart. They might use words like “flip-flop”. If they do, I don’t mind. My conscience is clear. My mind has been changed by the way that they, the Leave-rs, have driven us into the appalling situation where xenophobia is rendered publicly ‘acceptable’, and serious – and even deadly – street-violence is among the consequences.
Such rhetoric as theirs should never be rewarded. Imagine how grim it would be to have the leading Leave-rs crowing over victory, given that this would be how they have achieved it.
I hope and believe that Britons can and will choose better than this. That we in the UK ARE better than this.
So there is, I believe, only one path left to us, and it is a clear one.