Write a letter and talk better
If you are in any way unsure about your choice in the referendum vote or want to be clearer about the different points of view people are being influenced by then try writing a referendum therapy letter.
Many of us are confused by and anxious about the arguments being put before us in the referendum. Opinion is everywhere but discussion is limited. We have found that we talk about issues more fully with each other if we write a personal letter about the issues concerning us and read it out to people in the same boat. We are encouraging people to write letters by following these five steps
- Get a few people together either face to face or on the phone. Agree to write and read out referendum letters to each other.
- Talk for twenty minutes about who you are going to address your letter to and where you are writing from. There are many possibilities here but you might write to the place you grew up and how you think staying or leaving will affect it or your memory of it. You might write to the undecided voter (in your neighbourhood or some other part of the UK and Northern Ireland). You might write to your Dad who fought in the war or to your children now living in Europe. Or you might write to the community in which you live now and how it may benefit or suffer from leaving or staying in Europe. You might write to the men or women of your generation or to the people you do or don’t want to come to this country and be part of our society. The possibilities are many but the point is that you make the choice of who you are writing to. Sort this out with one other person because it is a personal decision.
- Then you write in silence (like primary school) for fifteen minutes. The aim is to write spontaneously and not worry about spelling or grammar. You are only initially going to read it out to one other person.
- When you are all ready you read your letters out one to one in pairs and discuss the experience of reading them and the impact they have on your thinking.
- Depending on how many of you are in the room you come together and review the experience and consider whether it has influenced your thinking about the referendum choices and the impact of a stay or leave vote on you and society.