I am genuinely puzzled. I have friends who are intelligent, kind, caring and liberal minded and despite that some of them are certainly going to vote to ‘remain’ in the EU referendum. I cannot understand why they would want to remain in a European Union which is so dysfunctional and undemocratic. Of course some people who vote will do so out of fear about the economy and their jobs or because they think their summer holidays will be more expensive if we leave. But my liberal-minded friends seem to be doing so in the idealistic hope that we can work together with other European countries to form a new Utopian European Superstate. That commendable ideal seems on all of the available evidence to be the triumph of hope over experience, history, and the reality of our single vote out of the present 28 member states especially given the political, social and economic status of the many of the other 27. It is certainly the case that many other countries in the EU are either corrupt, feckless, misogynistic, racist, nationalistic, homophobic, neo-fascist and sometimes a combination of two or more of the above. It would be invidious to name individual countries because there are so many. These countries are hardly the sort of bed-fellows that my liberal minded friends would normally choose to sleep with. Yet they are prepared so to do in a paroxysm of optimism, rather like the bride who thinks that the brutal boy-friend will change once they are married – only to end up in the refuge years later. Experience, history, and harsh reality does eventually triumph over unjustifiable hope but often it takes serious injury before a resolution is finally reached.