Thursday, 3 March 2016
The wagging finger wags and having wagged, wags on. Listening to the arguments being stacked up on either side it seems clear to me that not only are the Remainders and the Brexiteers overstating their cases – the latest reports from government and their stooges show doom and disaster on the outside and Iain Duncan Smith has already called one such report a dodgy dossier – they are also preparing their defences for after the fact.
Whatever happens, in or out, for many years, possibly generations to come, the losing side will seize on any negative outcomes as a direct result of the decision. If we stay in then every single EU ‘ever closer union’ announcement, law, edict, etc will be pointed at and the tutting and the “I-told-you-so”s will ring around the choir. The Brexit crowd (I’m one of them) will not be swayed; the EU should have nothing to do with Britain apart from being friends and allies and should we stay in the hated project (sadly, still the most likely conclusion of the referendum process) we are not going to go quietly. Little other than an all-out revolution will satisfy us after a ‘remain’ vote.
If – please, please, please – we leave, then every bank failure, company relocation, currency instability, increased cost of living, etc will be immediately branded as being all down to our departure. Brexit will be the whipping boy for every government fuck up for years. Climate change? Brexit’s fault. Price of oil? Brexit. Nuclear war? Brexit. In fact the otherwise sober UK government is embarked on promulgating such an apocalyptic fantasy of post-Brexit decline that even ten-year olds will be insufficiently gullible to swallow it.
As each side seeks to find chinks in the other side’s arguments – Stuart Rose’s gaffes have been absolute gifts - It’s clear to me that nothing is clear to anybody and the quantitative arguments for in or out are nebulous, unsubstantiable and frankly irrelevant. Each side will vote in its own self-interest although, from my admittedly partisan view it seems that the balance of altruism is firmly with the Leave camp as evidenced by the sniping, doom-laden and personally insulting attacks of the massively pro-EU biased, big-state-dependent parts of the United Kingdom. (Yes Scotland, I’m looking at you.)
I'm talking to YOU!
So forget the numbers game, there is little enlightenment to be found in the figures of either side and few verifiable facts will be deployed. Instead, embrace the emotional and vote with your heart. If you love the thought of being European, by nationality and by inclination then vote to become an ever closer part of that proto-nation. But if you feel even a little bit British and especially if you identify as English there can only be one direction of travel in relation to the EU – hard astern. Let’s back out of that cul-de-sac as fast as we can, blame our unfortunate wrong turn and subsequent 40-year dissatisfaction on a dodgy satnav and get back on the right road.