If you’re not sure how to vote today…

Hey look, it’s someone writing about how to vote in the referendum today. But don’t let that put you off.

For anyone who knows me, you won’t be surprised to learn I’m voting Remain. Many others will disagree and vote Leave. And some of you will still not be totally sure — and this is addressed to those people.

Regardless of your position, there are few who don’t think that this referendum has been absolutely terrible for the country. It’s brought up decades of existing resentment, rooted in economic neglect and political malaise, to the surface. And rather than answer that resentment, to do the hard work to fix it, our political leaders have shirked the job. They’ve taken all the issues that face us, boiled them in a sea of lies, and reduced them to a simple Yes/No decision about Europe. And then put that decision on your shoulders. You deserve better, quite frankly.

Decisions made in anger are rarely decisions made well. If you’re undecided, or if something is nagging you and you’re not quite sure how to express it, or you just want to stick it to them — whatever “them” means — with your vote, please take a moment to think about whether a Leave vote will really achieve what you want:

Who will a Leave vote benefit? Will it benefit you, your family & friends, the country as a whole? If so, by how much? Or is it just going to help out one faction of politicians one-up over another in their game of musical chairs?

Who will a Leave vote harm? Leaving the EU will have a profound effect on all of us. GDP is not just a figure — it means your money, your job, your livelihood, the roof over your head. Take a good look at those proposing Leave: do they stand to lose anything from it, compared to the average citizen?

If you’re not sure about how to answer those questions, I don’t blame you, it’s not easy to make a definitive conclusion. The issues we face are much bigger than a simple question of whether Europe is good or bad. To fix the problems we face takes more than just referendums and sticking two fingers up at Brussels. It lets politicians off the hook, and puts all the risk onto us. That’s not on.

In the absence of a firm answer, if you are not sure if the risk is worth it, then please vote Remain. There’s nothing wrong with doubt, and there’s nothing wrong voting for a safer option. Voting Remain does not necessarily mean “business as usual” — there are plenty of other ways to reform the system to make the political class pay more attention (e.g. voting reform, fixing party finance, getting rid of unelected lords). Voting Leave on the other hand would be a true leap into the unknown, and risk huge damage to our economy and society. Please think through the consequences fully.