Sorry if this post seems a bit repetitive. By now, most of you will have had a skinful of EU Referendum talk. And there's only 11weeks to go! I had intended to say not much at all until Assembly Election is behind us. That's the vote we should be focussing on. But I was well taken aback by Government announcement today that it's to spend over £9million sending a leaflet promoting a 'Remain' vote to every household in Britain.
Of course it can be justified in the propriety sense. It will have been approved by the leading Sir Humphreys. And there's a case. Every discussion I'm involved in bemoans the absence of 'facts' on which to base a decision. So let's have facts. Any old facts will do. And same thing happened in 1975, with a photo of smiling pipe-smoking Prime Minister, Harold Wilson on the front page reassuring everyone.
But it's not 1975. The 'Expenses Scandal' left MPs deeply distrusted. This leaflet will not be trusted either. It will backfire - probably helping the 'Leave' side. Even worse, it will reinforce the arguments of the 'Out' side after the referendum that it's not been a fair contest. (I have not the slightest doubt that the British people will vote to 'Remain'). The whole referendum has been framed as a "safe status quo" against "a risky leap into the unknown". At least this would have been the result but for the ridiculous scare-mongering that's been happening. Trouble with building a case on argument, part of which voters find incredible, leads to a position where the whole case is dismissed as incredible - including Government inspired and paid for campaigning information. But I should look on the bright side. Since I'm not declaring my position until after the Assembly election on May 6th, this Govt leaflet may help me decide - one way or the other!