Thursday, May 19, 2016

Not Politics as we've known it.

I will be voting Leave on June 23rd. Thats not in doubt. But despite normally enjoying a good debate, I am so disillusioned by the tone of public discussion on this issue that I cannot summon up the will to become involved in it. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard such nonsense (both sides and bordering on the bizarre) spoken ever in my life. It's as if real argument, evidenced facts and logical debate have all been suspended. For example, we are expected to believe the Treasury know where the economy will be in 2030!! We are expected to believe a vote to Leave might lead to another World War!! We are expected to believe there will be another £350 million a week extra to spend on UK public services !! It's all nonsense.

Have to admit I did not welcome the In/Out referendum, announced in early 2013. During the period leading up to the announcement, I used to warn fellow Eurosceptics to "be careful what you vote for". I did want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Or any other treaty change. Voters would have stood a chance of understanding the arguments. I did think, as in 1975, the result would be a Yes vote, leading to a massive 'green light ' to further integration. Not so sure about further integration now. Disillusionment in growing across the EU, will continue to grow, and will be causing real consternation amongst the integrationists. I've always thought that at some stage the massive EU bureaucracy will come tumbling down. It will be a very dangerous moment for the continent of Europe.

There are two reasons underpinning my vote to Leave, which can be loosely catagorised under the headings 'sovereignty' and 'democracy' - short-hand, but hopefully conveys my meaning. I know very well that neither of these are pure or simple concepts. Though I consider myself European, and support the idea of working closely as possible with fellow European states, I have never bought in to the idea of the UK being subsumed into an undemocratic bureaucracy. That's how I saw it in 1975, and it's how I see it now. I support the idea of people feeling they have influence on the decisions that impact on their lives. And that they know who they can eject from representing them at elections. The consequence of decision taking by the unelected in Brussels, and being represented by individuals they know very little about will lead to the growth of support for mavericks (sometimes benign, sometimes dangerous). 

This morning, I was asked by a particularly sharp and able political journalist about what I thought would be the result. My view has never varied from believing the voters will back Remain. Being a 'Leaver' is like being as Aston Villa supporter throughout the last season. They love the club and stay loyal but knew they were going down. But 'going down' is only short term. Villa will be back, and may well be irresistible in 2/3 yrs time. Voters tend to go for 'safety' in the ballot box, and tend towards the status quo. But I do not think it will be politics as we've known on June 24th. Too much water has flowed under the bridge, and inflicted a bit of damage to the foundations. 


Maldwyn said...

Most people that have spoken to me who will be voting to leave, say their decision is based on immigration and only immigration!

Jane Jarvis said...

Another great blog, Glyn. We watched Jeremy Paxman's documentary last evening: very easy to understand, and unbiased reporting for a change.

Mark Wilson said...

I don't agree with everything you say (as you well know) but in this case I do - cue fanfare!! I also agree that the level of debate on this issue has been the most puerile I can remember - a game of political 'I can invent a worse nightmare scenario than you' does nothing but harm and shows our supposed leaders in a particularly bad light. And this is aimed at both sides of the debate - utterly pathetic and again some facts would be good as would a reasoned analysis of the potential implications for both leaving and staying. Yes there's a lot of guesswork involved, and most of us are intelligent enough to understand that, but the current debate helps no-one.

Whatever the result from 23 June the fallout will be significant, political blood-letting will be the new game in town and a number of careers will be made and destroyed. That will be more fascinating to watch (and to shake my head disbelievingly at) than the ballot itself which seems to be turning increasingly into a Cameron v Johnson showdown. Sadly nobody seems to be coming out of this with any credit and one doesn't have to think too hard to work out why the British public is losing faith with our politicians, the only people who seem unwilling to understand that concept are the politicians themselves. They need to grow up

Robin Larder said...

Just a thought. Today I heard that the vote from Scotland should be enough to ensure the UK remains in the EU.
However - if Scotland subsequently votes to leave the UK - what has effectively happened is that the UK will have had its destiny determined by a country that is no longer part of it.
At this point - do we get another Referendum on the EU - or perhaps simply take the votes from Scotland out, recalculate and see where the vote would lie and act on it?