I’ve been involved in this current campaign since January this year, when Tom Walker, Olly Corbishley and myself spent an afternoon putting leaflets through doors in Loanhead.
We started running street stalls a couple of weekends later, one at Waterloo Place in Edinburgh, and others roving round the city. During the weeks that followed people from all political parties and none have joined in to campaign alongside us. Whether Scots, English, Greek, SNP, Labour, Tory, it didn’t matter and still doesn’t; we have a cause in common, and we all understand that the referendum is bigger than any mere politician or party.
So, these last few months and weeks, we have been soaked by Edinburgh rains, frozen by North Sea winds, and even burnt by unexpected Scottish sunshine. We’ve also met hundreds of people, some of whom agreed with us, some of whom didn’t and some of whom weren’t sure. We’ve even met some who didn’t care. It is to all those people I address this piece.
There have been arguments made for both sides; economic fortune-telling, prophesies of doom, “expert” opinion. Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne in particular have delighted in telling us that economic catastrophe awaits us if we leave the EU, which makes you wonder why they dared to call a referendum at all if the consequences are so dire.
But let us examine the reality of our own lives. Over the last few decades, the people of this country have found ourselves shoved to the bottom of the pile, as our taxes in the form of EU grants were used to pay employers to move to other countries. From Cadbury to Jaguar Land Rover to Texas Instruments to Boots to Hornby, companies have moved factories and offices abroad, subsidised to do so with our own money and leaving skilled workforces dumped on the scrapheap.
We are told that this is the inevitable result of globalisation; that the loss of our manufacturing, destruction of our fisheries, bankrupting of our farmers, is a price to be paid; that all this is good for our country and our economy because fat cats in the City can make bigger profits.
And who tells us this? Why the same people who told us that ERM was a good idea, the same people that told us that Armageddon would follow if we did not join the euro, the same people who tell us we must stay in the EU. The Remainders. Those same fat cats who have stolen their workers’ pension funds, driven companies to destruction in the name of making a quick (and usually very large) buck.
But I digress; ultimately, none of their doomsday predictions are relevant, because this is not, and never has been, about economics.
Only one issue should dominate our thinking on Thursday.
Who runs this country?
Is it, us, the electorate, ordinary people, working for our livings to keep a roof over our heads and those of our children?
Or is it the ‘elite’, the millionaire bankers, the smug luvvies, those born into a web of privilege no less tangible for being invisible?
The Remain campaign do not, will not, understand. “It is not for honour, or for riches, or for glory that we are fighting, but freedom – for that alone, which no true man gives up but with life itself.”
Today, we have a chance, perhaps the last chance we will ever have, to stand up and remind the ‘elite’ that this is our country too.
If we let it go, if we let ourselves be frightened or guilted into voting to stay, we are signing ourselves back into serfdom. I believe we are better than that, better than Benedict Cucumberpatch or Polly Toynbee or Richard Branson or Nicola Sturgeon believe we can be.
The Romans put it best: carpe diem. Seize the day. June the 23rd is our day; we must seize it for it may never come again in our lifetimes.
And, if I might venture, make it the day that the smug arrogant elites feel the judgement of our votes, understand our power, quail before our justified fury.
Dies Irae. Let it come.
Today vote to Leave.
Alan G Melville is the Vice-chairman, Lothian Region, United Kingdom Independence Party.