Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The £9million Govt written and paid for Remain' leaflet.

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!


Roy Norris said...


Not declaring your position is not the same as not having made up your mind. If you have made up your mind, there is not much point in your leading a discussion on the pro's and con's about remain or leave. Equally the leaflet won't do much good either.

I've been surprised at the number of people I have spoken to who are adamant that they want out and will vote that way. Of course that may say more about my narrow circles of friends and acquaintances

Robin Larder said...

I have finally made up my mind.
I will vote for out.
I do not see that there will much or any difference for several years and even after that time the differences will be slow.
However, I do believe that the UK is more than capable of negotiating either the same or a better deal than we have now in every respect and more importantly I do not think the EU will be the place to be in the near future. As an experiment I believe it has been a bold one, but it has an objective of one defacto country and I do not think this will work. There are too many differences between us all, both in opinions, way of life and how we like things done.

RedMaggs said...

It is totally disgusting to send out this leaflet - it would fund 300000 disabled people to have their ESA cuts reversed for just one week - I tried to do the Maths about how many weeks it would be 6 weeks which would make all the difference to so many lives

But then again as this is coming out of tax payers pockets - why I am not surprised

mairede thomas said...

Liam Halligan's column in the Telegraph today about QE; Brexit and the Government's pro-remain leaflet, explains why this leaflet is partisan spin and little more than Government propaganda. Even the Electoral Commission says the Government should not have produced it.