Confused by the referendum debate? A Northampton former pharmacist turned author’s “Joe Public” guide to the EU might be just the answer.
Colin Richardson, who goes by the pseudonym Joe Castello, has written guide books on everything from the spirit of Englishness to the Sicilian mafia since retiring from the family firm of Richardson’s Chemists.
And now the Northampton born 77-year-old, who now lives in Spratton, has turned his hand to Europe with The Joe Public Guide to the EU, a book he says is a bid to turn a tide of apathy towards the crucial public vote coming up in June.
“My aim was to try and throw as much light as possible on what the EU is,” he said.
“I think more people need to understand just how important this vote is.
“To choose whether to say in or leave is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Dad of two Mr Richardson, who donates the royalties from all of his books to charity, worked on the 140-page book over the course of a year.
The guide covers the history of the EU, its complicated structures and the UK’s perception of the organisation in the modern age.
“My aim was to throw enough information at people to enable them to make their own minds up,” said Mr Richardson.
“But it is for people who want their appetites whetted - if you want go on and read a more in depth, 500-page book go ahead, I will have been glad to have whetted that appetite.”
Whereas Mr Richardson’s book aims to take a neutral stance on the referendum on June 23, he believes the UK will vote to remain, even though current opinion polls see a slight lead for a Brexit.
He said: “I think we will stay in because we won’t have the courage to vote for change.
“But I think it’s healthy to vote for change where necessary.”
To order a copy of The Joe Public Guide to the EU head to www.joepublicguide.com.