Wednesday, 30 April 2014
How can anybody hope to vote ‘the right way’? If Twitter is any guide – and in the new connected world we keep hearing about it must surely be representative of those who HAVE an opinion – it is unlikely. Given that most opinions are deeply embedded, formed from an agglomeration of our background and our experiences and our flocking with birds of similar plumage, entrenched views can be hard to shift. It is doubly difficult given that we filter even relatively dispassionate news reporting through our own biased mindset. But how are we to process the news that UKIP is to be condemned by a cross-party alliance for running a 'racist' campaign?
Really? Farage’s Army is so evil that only a concerted campaign by parties normally at war with each other can possibly stop them? Disaffected ex-Labour and Conservative voters are actually The Nazis now? I seem to recall the union rallies of the 1970s and 80s having far more in common with Goebbels’ dogma chanting mobs than the KIPpers’ cheerful gatherings in homely pubs. And see how easily people believe what they WANT to believe. Reaction to a recent distorted story about Roger Helmer was visceral; the story taken at face value and people expressing disgust rather than incredulity. I doubt that many bothered to read his rebuttal.
So your mind is made up? Forget the policies and concentrate on one emotive thing - opposition to uncontrolled immigration is purely racist and not prompted by any economic argument. Inward migration of low-skilled workers – despite all logic – is unremittingly good, essential even? Odd then, that a newspaper that has often been called racist itself, but has also happily headlined spurious examples of racism, today carries the news that 150,000 EU migrants effectively pay no tax at all and many others are a net drain on UK taxpayers. (I may have pointed this out a few hundred times before.)
As a sovereign island nation we've never been fully comfortable with the notion of being European and even after forty years of EU membership there is a vague fifty-fifty split for IN or OUT, but based on what? For almost certainly the majority of UK citizens it would make no immediate difference but the machine is on the move to claim their minds. The current spin – recently adopted by a variety of otherwise antipathetic ideologues – is that for all those years we have only ever heard bad things and not enough has been done by the pro-debate to illustrate the benefits. This is of course code for “We've had a meeting and realised we may be losing the argument, so we've decided what you need to be told. But sod facts, we know you’re not good with facts; we’re going to stick with unquantifiable emotive stuff like racism.”
Why do I want out of the EU federal projekt? Quite simply because I have little enough faith in our own elected representatives to tell the truth, but at least we have a slight chance of rattling their cages every five years. The EU is largely run – and very expensively at that – by hordes of unknowns, many of them with solid socialist and even communist credentials and with absolutely no interest in the unique concerns of the UK. I want control of our national interests entirely within our borders. And that’s it. A fully accountable UK government; one we can change if they don’t perform.
Snack time in the EU - is this what you want?
So, what’s to be done? The truth will never gain what they now call ‘traction’ so in a dirty war of words, what trumps racism? I’m pretty sure a bit of inventive spinning and media distortion could easily portray Van Rompuy as looking like a low-grade paedophile. And Martin Shulz could be rumoured to be a coprophiliac – a charge oft-levelled at a certain former German leader. With a knowing wink we could say, “allegations are unproven” and thereby firmly plant the notion that a vote for the EU is vote to be ruled by a bunch of Nazi, shit-eating, kiddy-fiddling perverts… and foreigners to boot.