Sunday, 14 February 2016

A pointless post

This is a pointless post. Its intended audience will not read it. It contains information they don't want to know. They do not want to know that Brexit does not mean firehosing money at the NHS. They don't want to know that opening up new trade avenues will cost more in aid than we have ever spent before.

They don't want to know that we will still pay an, as yet undecided, substantial sum into the EU - and that for some years, due to treaty and contract obligations, we will be paying about the same as we do presently. They do not want to know that there isn't going to be a bonfire of regulations. They do not want to know there there is no real value in deregulation. They haven't really given any real thought as to whether it is even desirable.

They do not want to know that Brexit doesn't mean a land of milk and honey. They don't want to know the Brexit is largely economically neutral. They really don't want to know that the economic case is neither here nor there. They don't want to know that by arguing the opposite to these basic truths means that by inference they advocate the most risky Brexit proposal that business is dead set against.

The Tories don't want to know this. Ukip doesn't want to know this. None of the Leave campaigns want to know this. And the Remain campaign is delighted about it. So when it comes down to it, the the campaign moves into the final stages, Leavers will confidently be claiming that which is not true.

They are gambling that the opposition won't notice. They are gambling that the average person won't hear any of the technical arguments. They are gambling that people on Twitter won't work out the difference between hard Brexit and soft exit, and why the WTO option is unrealisable and faulty as an idea. They are gambling that people won't notice that claims we will maintain trade on the same terms are irreconcilable with hanging onto budget contributions.

They don't want to know the mere free trade deals do not replace the relationship we have with the EU or that a custom deal would take far longer than two years. They don't want to know about the political realities of Brexit or what it entails.

Rather than learning the distinct issues and having a campaign informed by a Brexit plan that would bring credibility and consistency, they are leaving it all down to chance with the same old eurosceptic dogma. They think they already know it all...

Because they have never once stopped to ask if their own arguments stand up, or whether they are sufficient (despite them having failed to win in 1975), it has never occurred to them that there is a whole other dimension to this; that there is a whole other debate to be had about globalisation and the relevance of the EU. And in so doing they reject one of their most powerful arguments in sidelining europhiles.

But they don't want to know that either. The leave camp is beset by a collective wilful ignorance that extends far beyond Ukip. And that's primarily what makes this post pointless. The whole effort to steer leavers into an honest, pragmatic and sensible approach is mostly pointless.

Instead, the plan is to assume all voters are stupid, will not see the inherent inconsistencies and won't pick up on them losing the intellectual argument in the public domain. Their base assumption is that reassuring business doesn't matter, and they assume we can walk away with a better deal on the basis of supposition.

To them, this more akin with planning a wedding than working out an amicable divorce. Thier approach is to ignore a forty year relationship and assume we are starting from a blank slate. They assume that in just two years we will have resolved everything from academic cooperation, the Single European sky, Europol, CAP, CFP, ESA, Galileo, ERP, ERDF, EFSA and a myriad of other bodies that add value and save us money by pooling efforts.

There is evidently no need to explain what out looks like or indeed what trade with the rest of the world looks like. Something to do with the Commonwealth right? It is as far as they know or care. It might well be something different, but again, they don't want to know.

So in this, I owe Ukip an apology. All this time I've been saying Ukippers were ignorant, lazy, arrogant, superficial and crass as though that were a distinction from all other eurosceptics. As it turns out, your Tory bedfellows are just as bad, so in the end you can all take collective responsibility for keeping us in the EU. You've had twenty years to get your act together and yet supposition and assumption is the best you've got. That makes this referendum about as pointless as this post is.

Ho hum.

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