Gotta Catch ’em All

level41Earlier this Spring I came out (kind of), I announced to the blog-o-sphere that I am Ingress player.

I’ve always been a Gamer, in one form or another.

From that first glimpse of Pong and my Grandfather’s Atari 2600 (which he sold to Soggy… for those in the know).

We had various arcade games on a machine in the family’s fish & chip shop and family games on our ZX Spectrum in the Eighties.

Right through Baldur’s Gate and Diablo in the Nineties; and onto the console wars of the 21st century; I can’t think of a time when my life has not, in some way, been influenced by Gaming.

I LARP, I’ve participated in and run LARP events, tabletop roleplaying sessions.  I’ve played MMOs (finally), single player campaigns and even designed campaigns and systems that nobody will ever play (seriously, I wouldn’t be a genuine roleplayer if I hadn’t! <insert wide grin here for those roleplayers that haven’t delved this deeply into the obsession>)

I’ve written previously about more contemporary games but Ingress was the first to break the mold and invade reality.

That statement probably comes across as somewhat louche from those who know me as a LARPer.

The thing is, LARP is a game which relies on the suspension of disbelief – its very medium is a corruption, ignorance or corruption of reality… some (but not all) particpants cite escapism as their reason for playing.

IngressProfileIngress augments reality.

I’d say a good 90% of my work colleagues are oblivious to the fact that our place or work serves as an anchor to a great many XM fields that ensure the populace of Brighouse are under an alien influence that encourages Art, Love and Creativity.

Unless you’ve been living in a media-proof bubble, you’re already familiar with the company that developed Ingress – Niantic.

Niantic are the brainweasels behind Pokémon GO.

For the past 4 years, Niantic have run Ingress as a successful, GPS based augmented-reality game.

They have encouraged gamers like me to go out into the world, register places of interest that we come across as “XM Portals” and then compete with people in our local areas to control those portals, in a game that has proven both engaging and infuriating over the 3+ years I have played it.

And yet, since shortly after BREXIT, I have neglected Ingress in favour of Niantic’s latest game-child.

I simply have to be the very best.  I have to catch them all!

pogo1Pokémon GO has taken the GPS entities registered by myself and fellow Ingressers (118 places of interest photographed, geographed and registered to date personally) and converted them to either Pokémon Gyms or Pokéstops.

But why?

Why has this fad hooked me in?

Ingress was, by and large, ignored by the mainstream and adopted by Techies (and a few Corporates like me).

In 3 years of playing Ingress I hae become aware of 11 players in the town I work in.

Only 6 of those are what you would class as serious, hardcore, daily players (shout out to agents DMH10, Doodified, Ikibau and Pepian and yah-boo-sucks-to-you to Astral Ranger and DeckardB26354).

Towards the end of last week I took a stroll out on my 30 minutes lunch break (as I usually do) and encountered 15 people playing Pokémon GO.

Fiff-fucking-teen! In a 30 minute (OK, I’ve overshot to 41 recently) period.

15 people playing Niantic’s latest offering, oblivious to the Shaper invasion of Ingress.

My reality wasn’t just augmented… it was skewed!

pogo215! Wow!  Whilst playing Ingress I’d bump into a fellow player – by accident – once in a blue moon.  Most Ingress meet-ups are by design and I shun most of those due to the high number of cheating fuckmonkeys on my team locally.

15 in one day is amazing but why the sudden interest?

Allegedly, Pokémon GO is the most downloaded mobile game ever – EVER!!!1!one!

I never paid much attention to Pokémon in my – erm – late twenties.

Whilst Pokémon was encouraging kids to be the very best, I was building a career as a senior software developer, playing Diablo 2 and dressing up as a Low Elf and fighting the “Dark Alliance” with rubber and latex weaponry.

(OK – by “fighting the Dark Alliance” I mean, being humiliatingly butchered by them – but that’s not the point!)

To date, I’ve shunned Pokémon as irrelevant to my needs.

botpMy own youth was influenced by Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and Mosschops.

What should I care for random cutesy anime creatures that only seem to speak their own name when I had Thundercats, Transformers and the Masters of the Universe?

Shit son! What constitutedanime” to me in my teens is now classed as “hentai“!

No, the early 21st century’s cartoon pocket monster shenanigans was obviously just a way to part breeders from their money – so that junior could have the latest faecachoo – just like Hasbro did to my parents with transformers when I was a kid.

But now I see what I was missing out on.

You see, Pokémon GO appeals to the Gamer in me.

pogo3Here I am, just under 3 weeks away from my 41st birthday and I’m addicted to a Pokémon game.

You see, it offers everything I need to feed my gaming gland.

Those intelligent bastards at Niantic and Nintendo have hooked me in faster than any schoolyard skag-dealer.

Pokémon GO has 3 whole areas of progression/leveling and if there’s one thing gamers love, it’s leveling.

There is a genuine psychological dependency on character progression.  It’s more addictive than nicotine (which in turn is more addictive than heroin – I can only attest for the veracity of the former statement however).

On top of that, players are encouraged to “catch ’em all”.  I’ve already caught 73 of a possible 150 creatures.

Even better, I can name my Pokémon whatever I like, no profanity filter, just a character limit.

pogo4Like Star Trek: the Next Generation, the mental health benefits of Pokémon GO have been recognised already.

The game gets people out into a pocket-monster-augmented world and interacting with people they never would have thought to interact with previously.

I’m used to that from Ingress – seriously, my local fellow PoGoers seem terrified as I approach them with a toothy grin and demand:

Hi! Are you guys playing Pokémon or Ingress?

This is a genuine phenomenon.

Everywhere I go, I see people playing the game.

And not just the Ingress-paranoia of “Ooh, look, do you think they’re playing Ingress?”.  No this is groups of people, of all demographics, capturing monsters and battling gyms.

pogo5It must be 2 weeks now; 2 weeks of buggy software, overloaded servers and an almost constant Launch App – Attempt Capture/Gym Battle – Force Stop – Launch App cycle… and yet I’m still hooked.

I hit level 20 today, I believe the level cap to be level 50. Now that the server issues seem to have stabilised the game is a real pleasure.

It’s taken me 3 and a half years to get to where I am in Ingress (3 months from level 15 – the cap is 16, I’m 18 months from level 16).

And yet I’m 2/5ths of the way there after 2 weeks!

So there you have it.  I’m a 40-something Pokémon trainer and Gym Leader (until the local Instinct/Valour cock-knockers take out my Vaporeon) and I’m proud… Bring on the wearable!

Expert Opinion

33 weeks ago the country voted, in an advisory capacity, to remove its cannula, jerk out its catheter and make a break out of the door marked “BREXIT”.

Almost 21 days have passed since the nation decided to jump of the EU bandwagon and reach away from the stars (of the European Union) and I feel no better about the decision.

As I’ve written before, I voted to remain in Europe.

Because of that I have been accused of so much rampant Liberalism that I have:

  • Rejoined the Liberal Democrats – may as well be hung as a Lion.
  • Signed numerous knee-jerk petitions.
  • Discussed valid “Leave” & “Remain” arguments post-Brexit.
  • Been accused of “Ageism”, “Socialism”, and of being too sensitive.
  • Been told to person-of-non-specific-gender-the-fuck-up and pull together to help the nation castrate itself.
  • Seen friends and families tear themselves apart over something that none of us have any control over.

I am still angry.

I am still disappointed/disenchanted.

I am still here & just as powerless as I was pre-referendum.

The nation of my birth is still in Europe and the people who campaigned for us to leave have still got no clue as to how we will survive post-Europe.

And so, as much as it makes no difference to the political process that was set in place months ago, we carry on and the people who, like me still give a fuck, scrutinise the arguments, write to our MPs and generally try to voice our “reason” to the world.

Which brings me to the point of this article… I’m no political pundit.

I’m no expert, I’m just a guy who’s spent 4 decades living in the foothills of the Pennines trying to defend himself against a thuggish world that don’t “get” people who actually understand “why” we rub the rocks together – as opposed to just rubbing the rocks together because “Durr! That’s what we do Doofus”.

So I suppose I am an expert.  Just not a political expert… anyway… SQL Server, business analysis, the works of Brian Lumley, the impact of British post-punk musicians on popular music and contemporary occult philosophy – I’m your guy.  The potential effects of British public opinion on the world’s economy – less so.

Which is just as well.

We are now balls-deep into the “Post Fact” age.

We’ve seen the two major political parties in the United Kingdom hosting leadership campaigns built on the back of popularity and gender, as opposed to actual policies.

The United States presidential election has been conducted no better and the aforementioned referendum actively discouraged the public from listening to the reasoned voices of experts.

pobgoveAt the beginning of June, almost a month before the nation went to the polls and decided to remove it’s nose, the former secretary of state of education – Pob Michael Gove stated that the British public had:

had enough of experts

Interestingly enough, he also stated that we should “count him out” of future leadership elections.  Like the other politicians involved in the Leave campaign, he backtracked on that pretty quickly once one the referendum was over.

Pushing the duplicity of politicians to one side, the thing that excites me now – and I mean genuinely piques my interest is that the world has changed… not just on a socio-political level… not just economically but inside.

It’s like the world is The Doctor and all of a sudden we’ve tuned in and The Doctor isn’t a crazy, bescalved, curly haired, grinning jelly baby freak… no the world is now some kind of sleek Cricketer with a hot American wife and a penchant for wooden spoons (and soup dragons).

A friend of mine recently said:

I think we have entered into a world of post fact politics. It is like people live in a world of magical reality.

And I think he’s really hit the Mankey on the nose with that statement.

The general public are now not only encouraged to ignore but are actively ignoring “expert” opinion… even I nearly wrote “so-called ‘expert’ opinion” just then.

Heck, I’ve even railed against experts in my “Church of Pfizer” posts.

“But why is this exciting Armaitus? The country of your birth is in turmoil, the economy is in ruins and the Sith elite have just taken power whilst the Jedi council devours itself from within.”, I hear you cry.

Well that’s an interesting question 700-plus-per-month-average-readership-people and one that I’m super happy to answer…

torqwoomada

I Torq-woo-mada

My friend is absolutely correct, we’re entering a world that – albeit unwittingly – accepts a magical reality.

The western world’s – or at least United Kingdom’s and United States’ – paradigm has shifted from a pro-science, pro-expert factual basis to one that I am led to believe is referred to, by the rest of the world, as “WOO“.

When writing about the Church of Pfizer, I was attempting to put forward the proposition that Science was treated by the general public as a Religion.

The majority of the IFLS crowd wouldn’t know Science from Scientology; sheesh, wrap a fictional-factoid up in a handsome enough meme and your median common denominator would lap it up as Science regardless of whether it had an empirical evidential basis or not.

For the latter part of the 20th century and into the early cyberpunk years of the 21st, we’ve been living a transition from a scientific paradigm into something new – an Idiocracy of sorts.

There’s not much of a leap from the I-Fucking-Love-Scientific thinking of the Church of Pfizer to the pseudo-scientific thinking of those of us who choose to live in a magical reality.

To best explain this I can think of no better piece of work than Ramsey DukesS.S.O.T.B.M.E – An essay on magic.

You can see the author talk about the relevant elements of this piece of work here:

The basic principle that the pseudonymous Mr. Dukes puts to us is that you can perceive the general direction that Culture is taking along one of 4 paths.  He goes on to depict this using the following cultural compass:

dukescompass

He goes on to explain:

Thought is compounded of four elements which I call intuition, observation, logic and feeling.

Any practical method of thinking demands at least two of these four elements, one to serve as an input of impressions and the other to process them.

Artistic thought uses feeling and intuition, Religious thought uses intuition and logic, Scientific thought uses logic and observation, and Magical thought uses observation and feeling.

It really is worth (in my opinion) seeking out the works of Ramsey Dukes , he explains magical thinking in terms that are easily understood, without getting bogged down in any particular dogma.

In the context of what is happening in the world today, we appear to be moving from a Science/Religious direction towards a Science/Magic direction.

If you go back as far as the industrial revolution, you could choose to see the world shifting from an Art/Religion direction towards a Religion/Science world view.

Rather than thriving on the blind dogma of the Church of Pfizer, we are now being encouraged to cast out the words of Experts and go with “gut-feeling” and “why-the-hell-not”.  We are encouraged to make emotional decisions rather than decisions based on so-called facts.

None of this stops the truly Scientific world from turning.  Sure it may well influence the scientists that turn the Scientific world but no more so than, say Newton, was influenced by his ardent belief that Christ died for our sins – or Omar Khayyám‘s scientific advancements were influenced by the Koran.

Ramsey goes on to explain why he feels that magical thinking is a likely follow on to the scientific dogma that has been prevalent through my lifetime in the video below:

But why do I find this exciting?

Simple.  We’re living the change.  A genuine paradigm shift is happening, right now!

I know we’ve been told to stop them doing it but they are, they may well be doing it right now… This could be the year that they immanentize the eschaton!

Dawn of Dystopia – No Hands on the Tiller

nohands_borisTL:DR – Wah, wah, boo hoo. Armaitus is unhappy for “reasons” yo… ooh look, the no-hands kitten…

I’ve seen a number of posts, over the last few days, railing against the current “Suck it Up” slash “Keep Calm and Carry On” culture. Hell, I’ve re-blogged some of the more eloquent posts that I’ve read.

As it stands we’re now 5 days into the Dawn of Dystopia that was brought on by the Brexit vote and I have to say I am no closer to “Person-of-non-specific-gendering the Fuck Up”.

The other day I posted about how I haven’t felt like this since being diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

The similarities between that situation and this are very similar.

  • Both events happened on a Friday.
  • Both events led to a hellish weekend of uncertainty and isolation as I attempted to transform myself to cope with a new reality.

That’s where the similarities stop.

By the Tuesday, post-diagnosis, I was with it. I knew how to administer my own insulin injections, measure my blood sugar and even had a plan to get myself in shape to deal with a lifelong medical condition…

“Fuck yeah! Let’s do this”

That was a valid viewpoint post-diagnosis; it isn’t a valid viewpoint in this case.

I’m at the end of day 5 and I’m no closer to being able to cope with the dystopic-despondency that I find myself trapped in.

I find myself surrounded by a myriad different personalities on either side of the debate. Some of the more toxic personalities are those telling me I need to “get over it” and start pulling along with everyone else.

The problem is, I still disagree. The Kwisatz Haderach in me sees a dark, grim future down that path.  A future of poverty, destitution and death for many people that I care about.

Not only do I disagree with the choice that 52% (of 72% of those eligible to vote) of the population have made but also the fact that we had this vote foisted upon us, by a workshy government, in the first place.

If this debacle has shown us anything, it is the sheer irresponsibility of the powers that be.

The Conservatives are juggling the cyanide tooth that is party leadership. The opposition have turned on the one leader that’s actually motivated the party in years, and are looking to replace him in a similarly ill-timed leadership battle.

The people who led the Leave campaign have been shown to be bare-faced liars, deceiving an ill-informed electorate. Not one of them willing to take the lead in leaving the European Union.

Worse still, there is no plan post-brexit. Our politicians appear to be more suited to having their hands in the till than on the tiller.

In the meantime the Liberal Democrats are using this as an opportunity to gain votes, and therefore power, on a podium of Europhilia – whilst the very worst elements of society are crawling out of the woodwork and using the new wave of patriotism, and national pride, to beat and abuse anyone who doesn’t meet their idea of British citizenship.

nohansForeign nationals, people of colour, people with weird sounding names, people who look a little bit European, people who stand up to bullies – all targets for nationalist hatemongers.

And that’s the national picture.

Closer to home I am trapped in an environment of sore winners, gloating brexiteers and people who genuinely haven’t got a clue what they are talking about – and yet, in typical Brit-Abroad mentality shout louder the more you point out the flaws in their arguments.

There is no escape.

The catastrophic (yet not legally binding) decision made by the British public has brought about events that are going to result in loss of life, or at least loss of quality of life, for large swathes of the population… or so I believe.

This weekend I tried to get over it by socialising with LARP friends. I really tried.

We drank, we laughed and I tried to swallow back the bilious outpourings that kept clawing their way up, as my psyche tried to purge itself of the days psycho-toxins.

I spent the rest of the weekend sat in a hotel room (I’m a lush, OK), literally numb – stunned by the Dystopian visions of my Kwisatz Haderach mind.

And that’s where I am. Even now there’s a dark swelling that I’ve locked away in my mind. Like the guy in Scanners trying to block out the minds of those around him.

That’s why I’m not up for social interaction right now. I’m trying to get my head around the colossal cluster-fuck that is my core environment right now.

My Herzberg Factor is barely at 2 right now… that’s a massive crash down from 5.

And for the record, when I do pull myself out of this malaise it will not be to pull together and work towards the “Will of the People”.

Nope, I’m going to fight this however I can – as is my democratic right.

So, I apologise in advance for continued dustiness. Normal service will be resumed at some point.

And a final point. Some of those who know me should know that I don’t do blame.

There is no blame here. People were asked to pick between one choice or another – honestly, this collapse (society’s or my own) would have come sooner or later regardless of how the public voted. I don’t blame Leave voters for the status quo, I don’t hate anyone because they voted a different way to me – I’m used to it, I voted yellow or green for years.

People decided how to vote in ways personal to them. Some logical, some emotional. That’s how it works. I may not agree with the outcome but I don’t hold that against the voter.

Happy Now?

Again, an article articulated far better than I could.

100% covers my thoughts on Brexit at this stage.

Katyboo1's Weblog

It is day four in the Big Brexit house.

I had hoped after Friday’s absolute catastrophe of a day that the country might somehow magically rally over the weekend. I mean, when you plunge your country into possible ruin on the promise of a golden future that will allow it to rise like a phoenix from the flames, you have a plan, right?

As it turns out, you don’t. The only person that seems to have any plan at all, and be acting on it rather than just spouting meaningless Churchillian rhetoric is Nicola Sturgeon, and I can’t even vote for her.

I was distraught and angry on Friday. I had hoped to feel better by today. Instead I am running on barely controlled rage and getting more enraged by the moment.

Here are a few things I am furious about:

Firstly, leave voters telling me to calm down. I’m sorry…

View original post 1,627 more words

I do not think it means what you think it means

I have been struggling this weekend to articulate my thoughts and emotions at this time.

This post comes close to encapsulating some of how I feel.

inthelastfiveyears

download

I think maybe it’s time to have a little word about democracy.

I appreciate that feelings are running high but I think some people are perhaps waving the wrong end of a very splintery stick about what democracy means. So let’s start by sorting out what it DOESN’T mean.

Democracy isn’t a bloody game of Monopoly. It isn’t like a bloody football match. It’s not about winners and losers. If your team lost their match then that’s tough I understand, but it doesn’t result in years, even decades of financial uncertainty, and reductions in freedoms, for millions of people. Lost jobs and lost opportunities.

What happened to the markets on Friday is just the start. The democratic right you just exercised will have dire economic consequences for all those people and it is not about feeling a bit gloomy for a few days.

Democracy is not consequence-free.

Democracy is where decisions…

View original post 535 more words

Electile Dysfunction – The Dawn of Dystopia

RIPUKI wrote yesterday about the ill conceived referendum on the United Kingdom’s future membership of the European Union and why I voted to remain a member state.

At 6am this morning I was rudely awoken by news, on my radio alarm clock, that only 48% of my fellow voters agreed with me and that 52% of the country’s voters believed we should leave the union and go it alone.

It felt like I’d been punched in the gut.

No, that’s not right.  It felt like I was in a weird backwards reality where I was about to be punched in the gut but was left with a hollow empty void where the punch had not yet been placed.

No, even that’s not right. It felt exactly like it did that evening in late October 2003 when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

“This is it.” I thought to myself, “It’s all over.”.

It took me less than a week of hospital based recuperation to come to terms with the fact that my quality of life was now irreparably damaged by factors now well outside my control.

That’s what Brexit feels like to me.

I held off as long as I could before checking out the news, it took m hours to pluck up the courage to even check social media.

My preferred source of news is BBC Breakfast News.  Whilst the BBC is biased and as prone to controlling influences as the next outlet, at least it isn’t Good Morning Britain.

I watched with interest as the nation’s favourite susophile stepped away from the whole mess, without so much as an “I told you so”.

There was a great speech, full of references to his achievements – both imagined or otherwise. An emotional speech and to my mind a speech that David Cameron could not have avoided making; the reasoning behind his own exit being sound.

Cameron’s speech is something that, in my opinion, will stand as iconic of the day the United Kingdom fell. The day the pound hit its lowest value in 30 years.  The day the markets collapsed and politicians on both sides of the debate proved themselves liars, almost immediately following the results being called.

The United Kingdom now embarks on the long walk, alone in a world where we were once the 5th largest economy. A world no doubt looking on in horror as the United Kingdom fleet steers itself towards the rocky shores of economic destruction, civil unrest and collapse.

Rocky shores that are littered with the corpses of betrayed voters and the wrecks of failed business ventures.  Bleak, sharp rocks populated by nationalist Sirens singing sweet songs full of bilious hatred and venom.

Luckily I missed one particular nationalist Siren this morning. I heard that Nigel Farage, in celebrating the victory of the “Leave campaign”, had stated that they had managed to win independence “without a single shot being fired”. An insulting statement to make after the murder of Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox at the hands of a Britain First extremist.

Later this morning, the organisation HOPE not hate sent an email stating:

(I) worry that there is a real danger that the bitterly-fought contest could leave a lasting legacy of division in our country.

And;

We cannot allow this to happen.

I fear this has already happened.

The Brexiteers in my life are revelling in their victory and openly laughing at the misery evident in those 48% of us that believe the wrong choice has been made.  My morning has been a hell of force fed rhetoric and gloating from the poor winners that I am close to.

I am genuinely worried for my safety as known Bremainer – an alleged traitor to the United Kingdom.

I employ people from Eastern Europe. I have friends whose employment or business relies on a direct relationship with the European Union. I have family with financial interests in Europe and I have close friends whose health and well being will be directly damaged by the coming changes to the United Kingdom’s policies on health care and benefits.

Worse still, the number of Leave voters I have spoken to today who had no idea that the economy would be effected, or that they would now have less money when holidaying this summer.

When travelling Europe in my youth, my Father would often cite the Walls Magnum ice cream as a solid guide to currency conversion.  Roughly a pound in the UK, this ice cream could be 15 szlotaks in a foreign country.  Today it would cost us twice as much – that is how much faith the rest of the world has in our ability to go it alone.

All in all, the future is dark.  Always unknown, the future has at least been somewhat predictable to date.

The darker predictions of Scotland and Northern Ireland moving towards independence and the effect that would have on England and Wales are brightened somewhat by the possibility of Boris Johnson as a leader on the world stage.

That would leave us with a lack of labour representation in the UK and boost to nationalist parties.  UKIP couldn’t exist without a UK – and the UK can’t exist without Scotland and Northern Ireland – but that would leave us with the likes of the English Defence League (EDL) or a new England based nationalist party (like a modern day Knights of St. George).

Even darker predictions hearken back to news of Russian warships patrolling the coast of Scotland, scouting military bases sometime around the last Scottish independence referendum; and warnings of other member states leaving the European Union.

A weaker Europe could lead to military conflict and the European Union would be foolish to not penalise the UK in some way to prevent other member states following suit.

Could, not “will”… I suppose I should remember that in the coming days.

In his speech this morning, David Cameron encouraged us all that we are all in this together and the “will of the people”, albeit 52% of 72% if the people, “is an instruction that must be delivered” and that we’re all in it together.  I suppose this is just his way of stating what HOPE not hate were saying in their email.

We need to work together to minimise the negative impacts of this redirection and maximise the positives.

In short:

Be excellent to each other!

Maximum effort.

Electile Dysfunction – Why I’m Voting IN

ineuI wasn’t going to post anything about the embarrassing spectacle that the nation of my birth is subjecting us all to Today.

I really wasn’t, honestly.

I feel neither qualified or confident enough in my debating skills to argue my points in most political discussions but the tension in the democrasphere seems to have roused a yearning in me to get my opinion out there and visible to the rest of the world.

Today marks the end of a propaganda roller coaster ride and the beginning of the next stage of whichever dystopian future my fellow Britons democratically decide to send us down.

We’ve seen dirty tricks on both sides of the debate, misrepresentation of the “facts” on both sides of the debate and actual thug-life violence on one side of the debate.

Godwin’s Law was brought out early by Bremainers and cries of “scaremongering” from the Brexiteers throughout.

I’ve heard arguments both reasoned and irrational for both sides and none of them – not a single one – has changed my mind as to how I should vote in this ill-conceived referendum.

I’m IN.

Simple as that… IN.  No halfway houses, no brave new world in a Kingdom that is United outside of Europe.

But why?

Well that’s an easy one to answer. It feels to me to be the right thing to do.

Like offering to help an old lady get on the bus or holding a door open for people behind you. Voting to remain a contributing member of the European Union feels to me to be the right option.

Because of this stance I’ve been accused by some Brexiteers of being:

  • A socialist.
  • A communist.
  • Stupid.
  • Loony Lefty Liberal.
  • Irresponsible.
  • Destructive to the nation.
  • Unpatriotic.

Sticks’n’stones and all that… none of that changes the way I feel.

I believe that voting IN is the right thing to do.

So there you have it.  No partisan rhetoric; no arguments for or against immigration/economic decline/war/terrorism.  Just a good old gut feeling based on personal ethics and the way I was brought up, to care for the people around me.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think that people voting OUT are uncaring or somehow ethically/morally inferior to me.  I have done what I think the majority of those registered to vote in the UK will do and vote with their gut/heart/emotions rather than analysis of cold hard facts.

That’s why I empathise with Richard Dawkins’ sentiments (sweet Eris forgive me).  We should have never been offered this referendum in the first place.

The reason we elect a government in the first place is to ensure that democratically elected individuals make this kind of decision for us.  Individuals that I would hope actually understand the repercussions of such a decision.

As it is, we have the option to vote and therefore I feel we should.

If you are in any way undecided how you should vote, either through a lack of information or confusion of what feels “right” to you, then I would encourage you to consider yourself “undecided”.

As an “undecided” voter, you can buy yourself more time by voting IN.  A vote to remain keeps us on the track we are already on.  A vote to leave, or not voting at all, potentially puts us on a new track with no guarantee of putting us back on this track later on.

The last time this vote was put to us was the year of my birth, 1975.  It is entirely feasible that we’ll be asked to vote, on this issue, again within our lifetimes.