An original phishing email and then politics

I receive dozens of phishing etc emails each day. I'm sure anyone reading this, or, for that, anyone who goes online, receives similar quantities. It is one of the curses of the digital age. So every day when I download my emails I start off by deleting all the crap (I'm including the spam and Facebook updates in this).

Mostly these unwanted emails only attract enough attention to trigger the autonomic right index finger depressing the delete button action. Today though it was different. I actually stopped long enough to read one. Now please don't think I was going to be fooled into doing something truly stupid like opening the zip file or clicking on the link. I'm not that daft.

The reason I hesitated before just deleting was I'd not seen this particular variant before today. I received an email purporting to be from the International Court of Justice in the Hague. It even had the correct address. I recognised it as I've actually been there. (Only as a tourist I stress, I'm not either that evil to be tried there or important enough to be called up in some supporting role.) The rest of the email was pretty accurate too. (I'm mainly on about spelling and grammar - often these spam emails are horrendous at both.)

And as you would guess there was an attachment that the text urged me to open to get more information on how to get to the court for my required appearance. Yeah, I'm going to give clicking that a bit of a miss if you don't mind.

Now receiving this started me thinking; and more specifically remembering. A little while ago (three or four weeks) I was in a conversation about the EU with a Pro-Leave person. If you know me you will be very much aware of just how Pro-EU I am. Now this person was adamant in their position that the EU was bad for Britain in every way imaginable and I will go so far as to agree that it is far from perfect and in some ways can be a little bit of a burden on us but overall I believe we gain so much more from it than we give or lose to it.

So the conversation hovered around the much bandied about £350 per week we pay in (even though we don't as the rebate is applied to that number before we even start), immigration controls (or the lack thereof in the other person's opinion), security risks (fictitious risks) and many other EU specific topics before it was moved on (not by me) to the subject of Justice.

This section of the conversation started okay(-ish). The first gripe of my debate opponent was the European Court of Human Rights. Now I will concede that this is a European body but as for having anything to do with the EU, well... it doesn't. It was set up by the Council of Europe; different thing altogether. Here's a quick clue. I'm going to list a few of the members of the Council of Europe and you can guess how many are in the EU.

 - Iceland
 - Norway
 - Turkey
 - Switzerland
 - San Marino
 - Liechtenstein
 - Andorra
 - Georgia
 - Azerbaijan
 - Russia

Yep, none. Not a one of the countries listed above are in the EU. There are others but I got bored typing the list.

So one completely rubbish argument in the bag the person still adamantly trying to dissuade me from my REMAIN vote moved onto the biggie. She included the International Court of Justice as a problem of being in the EU. I sincerely believe this was a slip and not that it was a firm belief that this is a body under the control of the EU.

I know it is located in an EU country (the Netherlands in case you didn't know) but it is most definitely a part of the United Nations.

Now this is an extreme example and one, as I've said, I believe was a slip of the tongue (mind?) but it is typical (albeit in the out there) of a lot of the arguments I hear on both sides (although to me it feels skewed towards the LEAVE side). There are a lot of false facts or spun facts. The £350 million per week is one of them. It's just not accurate when you look at it in detail; especially as I've heard people claim that this entire £350 million (that still doesn't totally exist) could be spent on the NHS.

I want the UK to stay in the EU. But equally I want the people of the country I was born in and have lived for the past five decades to make an informed, rational decision rather than an "I hate foreigners" kneejerk, shoot yourself in the foot, idiotically bigoted shitfest.

If you are eligible for this referendum please vote. But please do it after finding out as many of the facts as you can and make a reasoned decision and not one out of ignorance.

And one final topic; why is it that 16 & 17 year olds cannot vote? Isn't this going to affect a significantly higher proportion of their lives that anyone who can vote? I'm never sure why an extra day means you are now capable of responsibly exercising your democratic right. Surely all that should count is being fully aware of what your vote means? I know people in the fifties and sixties I would much rather disqualify from voting than teenagers. Prove to me you know you understand the issues and I am happy for you to vote - I wouldn't care if you were seventeen or even five if you knew why you were going to do when you enter the voting booth.

Anyway rant over. I'm now going to go and spend the next few weeks hoping my fellow Brits get over the fact we added Great to the start of Great Britain. The meaning isn't that we're totally super or anything bigheadedly crass like that. It meant large. Great Britain is called that because it is the largest single island of the British Isles. We need to stop thinking as though having that name gives us any more right to consider ourselves above anyone else in the world than if we been known as Shitty Cold Island.

Note to self - step away from the keyboard. (Is there an equivalent of the mike drop Obama so wonderfully recently did when blogging? Sadly not.)


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