Sunday, 5 August 2018

Outing the Brexit liars is your job - because nobody is going to do it for you.

This is going to sound a bit preachy but I'm going to roll with it anyway. The Tory Brexiters have pulled a fast one. They have shifted to goalposts and now propagandists are spinning the narrative that any deal is a betrayal of Brexit. These people are professional liars.

If we had a functioning media the people who say we can rely on WTO rules as a basis for our post-Brexit trade relations would be hauled over the coals by all of the major newspapers because it is not a matter of mere opinion. It is an outright demonstrable lie.

But rather than outing liars as indeed our media should, many vessels are actually complicit in the lie. Particularly BrexitCentral, City AM, The Telegraph, the Express and The Spectator. They will give houseroom to liars without flinching. This is what they do now.

The media is often described as The Fourth Estate (or fourth power) - a segment of society that wields an indirect but significant influence on society even though it is not a formally recognised part of the political system. With that power comes responsibility.

One can argue that the press has always abused that power and it is something we must tolerate as part of a free society, but it;s hard to imagine a time where it crossed the line as it does now so brazenly. Would it have published leaked plans for D-Day?

Fast forward to 2018 and we find a corporate influenced media, run by a claque of related Tories, very deliberately steering the UK toward the rocks for financial gain, in a political act that will cause untold economic harm and put more than a million people out of work.

Dispute that if you will; call it mendacity or stupidity, either way, there are no first world economies who trade on WTO terms alone, and WTO rules can never be a substitute for forty years of technical and regulatory cooperation.

The nation has voted to leave the EU. Nobody that I know of envisaged terminating all formal trade relations with the EU. Certainly nobody serious thinks it is a good idea and it would do precisely nothing to remedy any of the problems leading to the Brexit vote.

There are deep, serious consequences to leaving without a deal - and our media has failed to properly raise the alarm, often trivialising issues so that the public suspects there is a "project fear" campaign. Tawdry reporting of consequences is a godsend to propagandists.

In this we have few credible defenders in the public realm, many of whom have squandered their credibility by joining forces with the odious continuity remain campaign. They are in no position to convince anybody of anything. So it falls to us.

Since we cannot depend on our media, and our politicians are of no use, it is incumbent on all of us to fight back. Like it or not, we are in an information war against professional liars who are spreading deliberate misinformation about the WTO option.

Since the media doesn't understand the issues and cannot intelligently report on these matters, it is the duty of citizens to do the heavy lifting and challenge these lies whenever they are uttered because all of our futures hang on this very question.

This is not a Leave/Remain argument. This is a simple matter of of acknowledging the reality of our predicament and ensuring that the public are better informed than their rulers - because only we can stop them. In a democracy it is your job to be informed.

Moreover, whatever else may be on the cards, this is the single most important issue in the debate. Not much else is going to matter if we do not win the argument and turn the tide against these Tory liars.

If the UK leaves without a deal, we lose a £270bn a year trade relationship, all of our formal relations with the EU and we are subject to standard third country controls. that would be nothing short of a disaster from which we will not recover from any time soon.

Likely we would never again reclaim our status or our economic standing, leaving us vulnerable to predators and passengers of events in the coming trade war. Put simply, we cannot afford to let the Brexit ultras win. They are liars and we must make that known.

We may not have the same prestige or circulation as the media, but collectively we do have power and we do have influence, and more to the point, politics is decided by those who show up. Well, we're here all the time. We tweet while they are sleeping. That's why we can win.

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