Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Just say No
In retrospect the Tony Blair story was an obvious hoax. What Blair story, you ask? A certain tinker who shall remain nameless (but he’s @B_4_Brad on Twitter) put it about that Tony Blair was relocating, lock stock and barrel to Saudi, a country with which we have no extradition treaty a few weeks before the release of the Chilcot Inquiry. It was too tempting and I fell for it but isn’t this just the way we humans react to information? Rashly, on impulse, based on imperfect or sometimes even fabricated stories posing as verité, especially when they appear to accord with our expectations.
In the US they refer to ‘low information voters’ when trying to discredit the functioning of democracy. If anything there are at least as many ‘too much information’ voters. We are bombarded with outright lies, half-truths, falsehoods, wishes, threats, dire predictions, hopes, dreams and conjecture, when what we crave are simple facts. But facts can mislead as supposedly neutral analysts supply their own differing interpretations of any and every dollop of statistically twisted news. How is the layman to make sense of all this?
It has to be the truth that anybody in politics has a mission of some sort and therefore their own favoured version of ‘the facts’ have to be seen though the fine sieve of scepticism. We also know that the EU has a significant – €Millions – public relations budget; they make no secret of this. (That is public relations spelled P-R-O-P-A-G-A-N-D-A, of course.) So what are we to make of EU-funded broadcasting services giving airtime to versions of a post-Brexit future so riddled with wank-fest, wet-dream Armageddon-inspired, holocaustically terminal death wishes that Satan himself might feel a little gored-out by it all?
Thus far, Britain leaving the EU is slated to become responsible for: more expensive roaming charges, the end of visa-free travel, the cessation of global trade, catastrophic climate change, world-wide financial meltdown and World War Three... and that is just in the last week. Leaving the EU will let Vladimir Putin and the forces of Mordor overrun the continent, torch its crops and make its rivers run with blood. The angel of death will take up permanent residence and Passchendaele will be remembered as a minor skirmish. Not bad for an insignificant island with no influence.
The amount of incredible bullshit spouting from the serried rows of gaping well-stuffed mouths is staggering. Rank after rank of collaborators – wealthy privateers, power-hungry bureaucrats, willing dupes; the greedy, the gullible and the fearful – are wheeled out to repeat dire predictions based on nothing but the very worst back-of-an-envelope calculations of doom. Where is the child in the crowd, asking why the Emperor is naked?
Against this onslaught of fanciful nonsense the Leave campaigners should not be tempted to react by throwing up their own downright lies or unsubstantiable invented ‘facts’. Instead honesty is the best possible policy. We should be saying no, we don’t know what the future holds, but neither do you. The Inners offer only a bleak appraisal of the negatives should we leave, whereas those who want to leave are hopeful of and will energetically strive for something rather better.
Look out, she's gonna blow!
Yes, it’s a hope, not a concrete fact, but it’s an honest hope, borne from a passionate belief in the endless possibilities for an independent, proud and ambitious nation; not the downtrodden fears of a timid, broken people. Don’t let David Cameron be remembered as a hero of the EU; let him and his rotten campaign be utterly forgotten. This level of soft treachery is undeserving of anything other than a minor footnote in history. Say No to the EU.