Just fucking vote.

The European elections on Thursday 23rd May are a referendum on the future of your country as you know it

You might not have been planning to vote in the European elections on Thursday. You might not think it will make a difference; you might not give a toss about European politics; you might have a Really Busy Day. I’m going to implore you to reconsider.

Some are calling these elections a second referendum on Brexit. Perhaps so. But they are also a referendum on something orders of magnitude more important: the future of your country as you know it.

Nigel Farage and the rest of the far right certainly don’t think they’re meaningless. They are throwing everything at this — and it’s paying off. Violent racist Tommy Robinson is standing as a candidate, as are assorted UKIP scoundrels, and the Brexit party is currently polling at between 30% and 35%.

One-third of the country is planning to vote for a party with no policies. If these results are replicated on Thursday, the Brexit party will have more MEPs than any other party in Britain. And they, and many others, will take that as a licence to railroad through more of their regressive, populist agenda.

If Farage and his thugs are triumphant on Thursday, you can certainly expect hard Brexit, and all the economic and social damage that will bring. But you can expect a lot more.

Those who know me or have been following my blog know my theories on why all this is happening, but the why is of no consequence right now. What matters is what you can do to stop things getting worse.

I am not being hysterical when I say that in democratic terms at least, this could be the last stand. We already have well-organised, well-funded bands of yobs on our streets. We already have politicians lying without shame or consequence. We are already swamped with disinformation, our social media spaces festering sewers of hate speech and death threats. If Nigel Farage’s Brexit party wins on Thursday, that will only get worse. He and his kind will be further emboldened, and those fighting his evil will be despondent.

So please, please, in the name of God, or whatever person or idea or crisp packet you hold most sacred, if you want your society to remain a tolerant, welcoming, evidence-based one, go out and vote against the far right on Thursday (and yes, that includes the Conservative party in its current form).

If you’re worried about who to vote for to maximise your chances of keeping the fascists out — Lib Dem, Green, Change UK, SNP? — you could do worse than consult this page, which has good advice based on the latest polling.

Newsperson and scriptwriter. Blogs at http://rainbowsandlollipops.net/