Who wants a referendum anyway?

By Ayesha Khan

We are buggered. Apparently, as far as I have gathered through media analysis, the edges of space will cave in crushing us into oblivion if we vote to remain whilst the core of the earth will harden and crack open sending us all hurtling through space without oxygen if we Brexit. Or is it the other way round?

It’s rare to find people who aren’t scaremongering or pushing their agenda. Because who doesn’t love a little bit of agenda pushing and scaremongering? I know I do! (Incidentally, we should give mothers more value and support in society if we are ever to break away from the escalation of violence in the world, which will inevitably lead to our ultimate annihilation. And cookies. Mums should always get free cookies. Or Death Eaters will happen.)

I wish I lived in a world where I could trust a leader to make these decisions. Someone who was wise, had great morality and in whom we had impeccable trust to do their thing. But we don’t have such a human because such humans only exist in Game of Thrones. And even then they know nothin’.

But then neither does anyone it seems. No one genuinely knows what will happen. I like to fancy myself as a fine monocle-wearing member of greater society who is clued up on current affairs. But I feel quite befuddled by of all of this.

Here are five things I would much rather have had a referendum on:

TTIP – Should we allow corporations to eat our brains. Or not?
Oh it’s boring!!! I know it’s boring. Even the name is boring. At least if they’d called it the Transatlantic Investment Trade Partnership we could have a little giggle every time the TIT Partnership was spoken about. But it’s a huge deal and the people who are trying to negotiate the terms don’t seem to want us to know what those terms are until after they’re written into law. And just like most people I feel absolutely fine and dandy about rich lawyers trying to hide the interests of rich businessmen from the people because there is absolutely no way that would ever in any circumstance be detrimental to society or the world.

Even so, we should know more about TTIP. We should have public consultations about it. We should have every single page of the agreement available online instead of how it is currently. TTIP is only available to view in secret rooms in Europe in which elected officials are permitted to read the terms without phones and without assistants so that none of the information reaches the public. Even despite these strict secrecy standards parts of it keep getting leaked because there are some good guys out there even near the top that know this is a bad thing. But it’s boring. Ugh. A referendum on the final terms of the TTIP would really make sure this was an open and transparent issue and that people educated themselves about it. Even if it was boring. Because sometimes really boring things are important.

Destroy the NHS. Or Not?
The NHS is being controlled by private companies. It’s happening right now. Private companies are being given contracts to run the NHS and private companies don’t have to give us access to their information under the freedom of information act. Although everything is right now free of charge I think it’s a little rare for private companies to run for the benefit of humanity rather than for profit. The NHS belongs to every single one of us. We should have a say in how it’s run and whether or not private companies get to run any of it.

We have a man in charge of the NHS who put his name to a policy pamphlet that planned “denationalising the provision of health care in Britain”. Him making a mess of the NHS is bad enough but the possible fact that he’s doing it on purpose it terrifying. We should vote as to whether we’re fine with Jeremy Hunt giving contracts to private companies or not. Although having a referendum on this would mean spending lots of money and time to tell the government that we don’t want them to do this, which they already know, so it would be all a bit pointless. Better to just let them carry on destroying the NHS.

Renewable Energy. Or Earthquakes?
Fracking is a way to ensure we have a secure energy future but it can cause earthquakes. That’s right, it can cause earthquakes. Like Poseidon but without the toga. It can also cause environmental damage, the extent of which isn’t quite understood yet. So before we go about fracking up the earth it might be a good idea to stop and have a little think on a national scale about whether we want a secure energy future via fracking, or whether there are other options and effects we need to look in to first. In terms of Britain it might not be doing great in terms of solar energy because the sun hates us for not inviting it to Glastonbury in 2006. But really it wasn’t on very good terms with us before then anyway. However we seem to have a lot of wind and a lot of sea around to try and generate other kinds of energy. And perhaps Poseidon can help in all of this. I think. Although maybe earthquakes in Britain would fulfill my not so latent desire to feel like I’m in an apocalypse film. Maybe it’s best to have a referendum on the issue.

Take back what’s rightfully ours. Or not?
Should we sneakily attack the USA as they obviously can’t be trusted to choose their own leader? I feel the time is right for some good old-fashioned Empire Strikes Back action. Boris could chop off one of Trump’s little hands and tell him he is his father and although, ultimately, we would lose any type of attack it might serve as a nice distraction over the summer, since the Independence Day sequel is getting awful reviews. We could finish it before anything terrible happened by saying we were terribly sorry (we can get Hugh Laurie to do it, I think he’d be good at it) but that frankly we got quite upset (say it in Laurie’s voice) about them not taking their role as world superpower very seriously. You have a great responsibility to choose a leader and we thought we could trust you especially after last time. We’re not saying you have to go with an old liberal Brooklyn Jew (although we could get very passive aggressive on this point) but someone other than a pantomime villain and another, marginally less crazy, pantomime villain. If you don’t mind too much. Tea anyone?

Allow the Tories to cull themselves? Or allow the Tories to cull themselves?
Instead of the Brexit vote deciding the leadership of the conservative party I feel a televised Battle Royale/Hunger Games where we leave Cameron, Johnson, Osbourne and Gove in the middle of the Scottish Highlands with nothing but their wits and some sticks to fight to the death would be far more precise way of choosing who gets to lead Britain. We steal the Alien Vs. Predator tagline: “Whoever wins we lose” but we are entertained and the outcome has far less scope for instability and confusion and far fewer undercurrents of scaremongering and racism. The referendum could be a weekly vote on who gets essential supplies and weapons to see them through the next seven days.

Those are my top five referendums. If we’re having a referendum party then I wouldn’t mind one on whether anyone qualified really honestly believes Austerity is working, whether we should invest a lot of money into activating the zombie apocalypse, if we could try and genetically manufacture dragons as personal pets and one on how much longer we should allow Eton to churn out politicians.

As for Europe, I want to remain because I’ve seen three videos of people with lots of qualifications giving me compelling arguments to stay and a whole of half a compelling argument to leave. But I suppose I could change my mind. Depends on who has the cookies.

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