This EU Referendum business is already far more fascinating than a General Election.
Mounting a General Election campaign is a messy business, of course, because different political parties have widely differing views of the course of history and, naturally, whatever might be happening now or in the future is always interpreted through these sometimes diametrically-opposed prisms.
Even when a party might be (on any impartial view) completely wrong in its thinking, policy or decision-making on some hypothetical issue that arises, their specific view of the world allows them not only to deny this, but actually to ‘work it into’ their narrative of what is happening and why to the point where – even if they are (or were) in government at the time – whomever was responsible, in whole or in part for the disaster that resulted, it certainly wasn’t them.
However, our current EU Referendum is even more fun because the chances of the electorate being able to get an impartial and considered view of the issues before they cast their votes is virtually zero, simply because – whether you’re looking at it from either a ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ starting position, what would actually happen in the event of a Brexit outcome is total speculation.
I’ve blogged ‘til I’m blue in the face about a politicians’ eternal dilemma in a democracy – viz. that to get elected you have to persuade the electorate to vote for you. It’s an obligatory but completely different game from being in power and actually ever running anything. Some might good at getting elected but hopeless at running a country, and vice versa.
As with Scottish devolution being taken up by Tony Blair – which seemed like a good idea at the time in terms of securing a Labour election victory – but then inevitably led to the rise of the threat of Scottish independence, so David Cameron plumping for an EU Referendum (a move designed to neutralise the threat of UKIP to a Tory victory at the 2015 General Election) inevitably led to the fact that he was actually going to have to hold one.
For some reason, when politicians and their strategists are trying to come up with populist policies that will secure the main prize, they never seem to think them through, possibly on the short-term basis that ‘they can sort such minor inconveniences emerge, somewhere further down the line’.
Well this one has come home to roost and Mr Cameron is now probably rueing the day that he ever came up with the Referendum wheeze because (and let us not forget, as Mr Cameron told us in last week’s House of Commons debate on his EU renegotiations, he is “only thinking of what is good for the country”) the one way to keep the UK in the EU – which it seems generally ‘the Establishment’ regards as essential – would have been not to risk putting it to a vote.
Let’s put it this way.
The more that Mr Cameron and his Tories (plus their supporters in the Civil Service, the Foreign Office, the City, the military et al.) come across at asserting in their condescending fashion that staying in the EU is so blindly obviously the best option for the UK, almost to the point of irritation that anyone could possibly think differently, the more voters like me – who delight in tweaking the noses of politicians at every opportunity we can – are determined to vote for ‘Leave’.
We’re not interested in reasoned arguments, rational judgements or ‘proof’, we’re just interested in giving our masters a bloody nose.
Moving on, and maybe I’m being thick here, but it also seems to me there’s a significant lack of logic in the Labour Party’s position. To hear Jeremy Corbyn and others peddle the line that membership of the EU – for all its faults, whatever they are – is actually a good thing because it has advanced the cause of workers’ rights (I cannot give you a list of specifics, but some can) is just plain weird.
So … er … let’s get this straight.
These ‘workers rights’ that have so benefited the UK have been imposed upon us by the EU. But surely this means that Labour, which was in government for eleven years, failed to put them in place when they had the chance. Either that and/or we once did have them and, thankfully, being in the EU has prevented the nefarious Tories from rolling back ‘workers rights’ further than otherwise they might have done whenever they get into power.
In other words, the Labour Party would prefer that the UK was ruled from Brussels rather than by a democratically-elected UK government operating out of the Houses of Parliament.
Presumably that includes even a Labour one.
That’s a bit of an odd stance for a British political party to hold, isn’t it?
Lastly, I had to laugh today when I read the following story this morning on the website of the Daily Mail.
It seems the whole world – viz. the G20, the United State of America, the countries that make up the EU, i.e. everybody with half a brain – is lecturing us that we’d be mad to leave the EU.
Meanwhile the EU is becoming so desperate that its people are even rowing back on their desire to rule every aspect of our lives, see here – DAILY MAIL