In less than a month we’re going to have to vote to decide if we stay part of the EU or not, the campaign from both sides feels like a repeat of the Scottish referendum or a Gilbert and Sullivan number ( “full of words and music and signifying – nothing” – Tom Lehrer). Both sides are making claims about how we’ll be this much or that much better or worse off depending on how we choose – despite most economists not being able to predict a damn thing in normal conditions let alone after such a big change. How much better or worse off we’ll be in the short-term really doesn’t matter as the decision is being taken for the long-term, so will we be better or worse of in 50 or 100 years, and if you think you can predict that just look at the inventions and changes that filled the 20th century, but both sides keep banging on about the short-term economy in the hopes of scaring people one way or the other.
On the leave side some very bright people are convinced we need a detailed plan as to how to exit and they’re convinced they have it. So convinced that they don’t have a link to it in an easy to find location you have to search the articles. Mind you they spend so much time telling us why everyone else is wrong and if only we’d listen to them it’s enough to make you lose the will to live, or at least giving a single fuck as to if we stay or remain. Outside of the likes of Spiked there aren’t many people making anything like a convincing argument as to why we should leave – certainly nothing principled that could act as a guiding principle for the direction the country should be taking over the next decades and centuries. Nope all about the current economy, and very current issues which is I suppose great if you want to try to herd people in a given direction by fear.
Of course the remain side is doing no better, they too tend to stick to arguing short-term economic issues. Well apart from when they’re insulting everyone that thinks the EU may not be the best thing ever by calling them racists, little-Englanders and in the case of Operation Black vote “implying” that anyone that wants to vote to leave the EU is a violent thug.
Of course with so many of the great and good getting money from the EU, and the EU’s past history on referendum we can hardly expect a reasoned and fair debate on the matter. The remain side of course don’t need a plan as if we stay in its business as normal and the status-quo – or at least that’s what they’d have us believe ignoring the fact that with the EU there is no status=quo just ever closer union with the direction of the EU very clear and un-reformable. As I’ve mentioned before the main argument that many remainers put forward is that we currently have a government they don’t like and the EU curtails that government.
Given how poor the arguments are all round, I do start to suspect that the plan is to make everyone so bored and fed up that no-one bothers to vote. If there’s a low turn out or a close vote then they can deploy the Irish solution – if the vote is to stay case closed, if the vote is to remain then pour in more funding and say another referendum is needed as the result wasn’t clear due to narrow margin/low turn out/the wrong answer being given. It’s a cunning tactic and it’s worked before.