Thursday, 12 May 2016

Brexit the Movie - as crap as we expected

I've been scathing about Vote Leave. I've been scathing about Leave.EU and I have been ultra critical of Ukip. I have done so with just cause and the consequences of their ineptitude should be self-evident by now. The lack of a Brexit plan in the public eye means we're fighting a losing battle for economic credibility.

It was all too predictable though, that the warnings would be ignored, and everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. The only surprise in this is that Boris Johnson has been more fatuous than even I expected.

This is why Brexit the Movie was so vital to get right. I very much did not want to have to pour scorn on it. It is roughly what I expected though. A piece of entertainment to keep the home crowd happy - and it still leaves the question of how we leave hanging in the balance and open to speculation. It is not the asset we might have hoped for. Just the usual talking heads.

Further to this, it is absolutely everything we didn't want to see. A whinge about the EU underpinned by libertarian fantasies of mass deregulation. The suggestion in itself implies a divergence from what are now global standards and barely makes a mention of what is happening in the real world. As bad as that is, it's a missed opportunity to break the debate out of its narrow cul-de-sac and give the debate some fresh energy. Instead we get all the classic decades old eurosceptic tropes.

Production wise you can't fault it. If you wanted a glossy package that really does represent the mainstream of eurosceptics then this is it. I think of it more as the state of the art epitaph of the cause as we know it. A marker in time that will show historians why we couldn't win.

What we need to demonstrate is that there is not only a better alternative to the EU, but also a safe path to accomplishing it. It must also stand up to the test of intellectual credibility. Brexit the Movie fails on all counts.

We get vague aspirational sentiments about trading with the rest of the world along with kipperish references to the establishment - but nothing that could tempt the swing voter that the risk is worth it. We suspected it would be this way but we were told it would be something different. Martin Durkin lied to us.

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