Let’s talk about the English and Europe. Not the rest of the United Kingdom, just England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a very different relationship with our continent than we do.

A vote by the English to leave the European Union will almost certainly result in a break up of the United Kingdom too, for the Scots, even the majority who voted for the union last time, will not tolerate being dragged from its bosom by their disgruntled southern neighbours.

We know next to nothing about Europe and the workings of the EU.

It’s too complicated and too far away.

The level of ignorance (and I include myself on this) is gargantuan. Watch any television news street vox pop on the issue. It’s woeful.

To be honest I’m not even sure we should be allowed a referendum when, at present, most of us are totally ill-equipped to judge where to put our cross.

Over the next few months we will have to make the effort to learn something about the EU and the collection of nations that are its members. None of us should be comfortable with voting to leave on the basis of heard-in-the-pub prejudices.

If we do, we will be prey to the myth-makers.

Those who would have us believe that bent bananas might have been banned or a decision to make us change the name of our chocolate to vegelate was imminent.

Strangely enough many of these were concocted by Boris Johnson when he was a jobbing hack on the Daily Telegraph.

Now a staggering nine per cent of those surveyed say they will make their minds up by supporting the carefully created myth himself.

Talking of his former newspaper, one little bit of advice I would humbly offer is that we should ignore the news and opinion sections of the most rabid anti-Euro organs like it and the Daily Mail until after it is all over.

Frothing at the mouth now, I can’t see them making June without having the journalistic equivalent of a stroke.

A working knowledge of our history can help us here. For down through the centuries we have been part of peaceful European kingdoms or at war with parts of it.

We all have European blood, something that helped drive us closer together in union at the end of the Second World War so that we would never experience murderous warfare in the “family” again. On that front the project has been an unequivocal success.

But our island state has always stared across the Channel with a mixture of fear, belligerence or just plain non-comprehension.

The fear usually came from threat of invasion, often driven by competition for the English throne from a mixed rabble of land-grabbers and European imperial families.

Belligerence came through our domination of trade around the world and we are probably as deeply into our non-comprehension phase as ever before.

I wonder whether current disillusion is because we have convinced ourselves that the country is going to the dogs and we’d be better off going it alone, something that England itself has only ever done for relatively small parts of its history.

But putting aside the current wave of austerity measures sweeping the country, we remain an extremely wealthy country.

Indeed, economists reckon England’s GDP is pretty close to that of Germany. Hardly a country in decline.

It would be a shame if the debate leading up to the referendum is dominated by a view of the English that is depressed and lacking in confidence, churlish even.

Whichever way we go we should not vote out of ignorance.

We’ve all got a lot of homework to do.

The Argus:

I went to Concorde 2 recently for a gig by brilliant singer songwriter Ezra Furman.

I hadn’t been in ages but, as the sold-out crowd lapped up the cross-dressing American oddball, I was reminded what a fantastic venue it is.

In summer when the light comes through the windows there’s no better place to enjoy music.

And it’s one of the few places that can crank up the sound to 11, so insulated from local residents is it.

Walking away with the joyous throng past the fenced-off arches though makes you hope the council’s plan to save the Madeira Terraces comes together quickly before one of the South’s greatest rock venues is the next domino to fall.