Despite my best efforts,I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I simply cannot get excited about the European Union or the in/out referendum. Let me be very clear from the outset, that is not to say that I dislike the EU, or am indifferent as to the outcome of the referendum. It just does not ignite the same passion within me the way that Scotland does, or the 2014 Independence Referendum did.
Now, the EU, like Westminster, which I freely admit I dislike, in fact loathe, is a bureaucratic behemoth sorely in need of root and branch reform. I would argue, that there is a significant difference, between the EU and Westminster, as regards their respective attitudes to reform. On the one hand, there are many within the EU, including at the top, who recognise the need for increased accountability and further democratisation.
One the other hand, and in sharp contrast to the EU, the entrenched establishment at Westminster, believe that their's is the best, the most exalted, the finest, unsurpassed democratic institution in the world. And they resent and resist any attempts to reform or improve it with every fibre of their being. That the Westminster system of government, with its archaic monarchy, grotesquely unrepresentative first past the post electoral method, and the pantomime House of Lords passes for democracy is risible.
Clearly, I fully understand the historical conditions that laid the foundations of what has become the European Union have today. It is undoubtadely imperative, that the countries of Europe are bound together, economically and politically, to act as a bulwark against a repeat of the horrors of the dark past. Sadly, the disaster zone that is the Middle East, and the ensuing refugee crisis, has brought the need for a strong, permanently, unified Europe sharply into focus.
Whilst I do not pretend that I am in anyway an expert in economics, I believe the wider financial benefits of remaining a member of the EU probably outweigh those of Brexit. If the United Kingdom is a net contributor to the EU, then that is only as it should be, given that the UK boasts the second largest economy in Europe and is ranked fifth in the world. Britain's economy is reliant, indeed thrives on our fellow EU citizens, who come to live and work here. Those are the facts, despite what the racists and xenophobes say to the contrary. I also rather like having the option to go off and work in another EU country, if I chose to do so.
Though it it may be without any great enthusiasm, I shall be voting to remain in the EU (I've no excuse, as I have a postal ballot), because on balance I believe that is what is in the best interests of Scotland and the UK. We can but hope, that the reforms that the EU is crying out for, will come to see the light of day. Now that I could get enthusiastic about.