Prior to the start of the referendum campaign Prime Minister, David Cameron, told the House of Commons that: “My argument is not going to be, in any way, that Britain couldn’t succeed outside the European Union. Of course we could. We’re a great country”. The implication is obvious. Leaving the EU is a reasonable option that would not spell disaster for Britain. Although the Prime Minister would prefer that Britain remain in the EU, the choice is yours.
Since the start of the campaign period, however, Cameron and Osborne (arguably even more so) have not argued a positive case for EU governance but have instead issued a series of increasingly hysterical “projections” culminating in threats of a “punishment budget” from Osborne and Cameron’s utterly bizarre insistence that should Britain vote to leave the EU—rather than planning a serious transition from EU Member State to independent self-government—he would “immediately” invoke Article 50 and take Britain out of the Single Market at the point of EU exit.
That would be an extraordinary act of economic vandalism. The fact of the matter is that a vote to leave the EU would signal the start of a parliamentary process. Nothing more. Vote Leave has no mandate to govern and David Cameron is in the midst of a referendum campaign which he is desperate to win. Foolish prognostications about what would happen after a vote to leave the EU can be safely shelved. The most likely outcome in the event of a leave vote is an EEA type transition adapted for the unique circumstances in which Britain finds itself—a kind of “British option”, if you like.
On The Road Again
On Sunday morning the politicians returned to campaigning. A naive person might have expected a calmer more respectful debate. George Osborne’s call for “less baseless assertion and inflammatory rhetoric and more reasoned argument and facts” on the Robert Peston programme hinted in that direction but was accompanied by an article in The Sunday Telegraph written by David Cameron in which he described leaving the EU as “an abject and self-imposed humiliation for a proud and important country like ours”.
There is nothing quite like a Prime Minister who believes in Britain… and David Cameron is nothing like a Prime Minister who believes in Britain. These cynical liars have shamed the great offices of state we have so carelessly allowed them to occupy.
On top of that, the Stronger In and associated social media accounts started to publicise this image.
This marks a new low in the quite extraordinarily low-grade debate that politicians and the legacy media have indulged in.
In contrast, the debate that I have witnessed among ordinary voters has been of an entirely different order. For the most part, civil engagement and a genuine exchange of views has been taking place. Far more so than is typical at the average general election. People understand that this vote really counts.
There is, however, one aspect of that Remain campaign graphic to which I would draw people’s attention and invite them to reflect. The flag is that of the United Kingdom—our country—not that of the EU, a supranational organisation used by politicians to pass decision-making power and policy control over the heads of the British people to unaccountable institutions which do not have to listen to us.
In the end, the choice that we have to make comes down to a matter of trust. Who do you trust to make better decisions about your life and the way in which your country is governed? You and your fellow citizens? Or an international establishment with a vested interest in taking power away from ordinary people? Goldman Sachs? JP Morgan? Morgan Stanley? Do those sound like institutions which have your interests at heart—all have given money to the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.
Look again at the table above.
You are most certainly not alone in holding leading politicians in the same contempt that they have evinced towards us. Aware that his credibility is shot the Prime Minister now condescends people further by saying “all” the experts are on his side and that we should listen to those experts.
This silly rhetoric rings so hollow. Democracy is about government by and for the people not by and for the experts and I would not want it any other way. Indeed, leaving the EU means taking decisions as a country rather than meekly accepting policies agreed in Brussels and imposed from above.
That is why voting to leave the EU is a vote for real change, that is why people who currently occupy positions of power in this country and elsewhere mostly oppose Britain leaving the EU. Leaving the EU would mean British politicians being held to account by we the people.
Talk to your family, talk to your friends. Listen to what they have to say. The politicians and the press want to manipulate you. Those whom you trust want what is best for you. Find out what they are thinking. Don’t vote based on fear. Vote for what you think is right.