The history of political campaigning, both in the UK and globally, is littered with claim and counter-claim. Electorates are more than used to this. They are also used to many of these claims being tilted in the direction that the one side, or the other, wants us to take. The demos is not and has never been stupid.
Yet we are supposed to believe that in the recent EU referendum over 33 million people were lied to by one side only and that 17.4 million were so stupid that they fell for it. Since the result was declared all we have heard are remainiacs complaints about various statements made by Vote Leave or other Leave groups during the campaign.
The remoaning contingent seem to be forgetting that not only did Stronger In tell huge fibs but it had no excuse for doing so being as they had had the full might of the government, state, international allies and the establishment to assist them in making their case. Here are a few of the whoppers that were pedelled.
- There will be No EU Army: The further development of EU “defence forces and battle groups” was clearly mentioned in a number of pre referendum reports. It was then shuffled into the long grass until a few days after the referendum. The statements from Bratislava makes it pretty obvious that it will come into being.
- “There will be an immediate and profound economic shock”: Well unless you count a very brief period of market instability, caused mainly by the markets backing the wrong side and by project fear itself, it is clear that this is not happening.
- Every household will be £4300 worse off: This was a nonsense, a huge figure, calculated over the next decade or more using only current policy, was then simply divided by the number of households in the UK. Any fool can see that, even if this flawed sum was correct, households have different incomes thus the costs be would be different for every family.
- House Prices will drop 18%: Post the Brexit vote prices are rising in the vast majority of areas and are predicted to carry on doing so, albeit at a slightly slower rate.
- Taxes would be raised and spending cut in an almost immediate punishment budget: The simple fact that if the economic forecast had become reality George Osborne was claiming to do the opposite of what he had done to correct the economy from the previous crash was brazen.
- That we would be remaining in a reformed EU: Not a single piece of reform or treaty change had actually been passed into reality before the referendum. An emergency brake on benefit entitlements for immigrants at the discretion of the EU and the loss of further UK vetoes didn’t add up to any serious notion of reform.
- That there would/will be a bonfire of employment and environmental protections: Many of these were passed under differing governments over decades. Gender and discrimination laws were in fact UK laws and not of EU origin. No one from any major party likely to form a government has yet proposed any backward step in either area. In fact more are likeley to be passed.
- That Cameron would activate article 50 immediately: This was a nasty move, designed to imply that if the people did not vote the way he wanted us too, Cameron would act at the EU’s beck and call and immediately involve us in negotiations, to our own detriment, that he had actively prevented Leave campaigners or the civil service from preparing for. Guess what it was the other way around. The UK has the power, to decide when to invoke article 50 , not the EU and the new government seems intent on using it.
- The 40 Year Lie: Evidence in the national archive now shows that, from the very beginning, the Common Market was never purely an economic trading arrangement. Edward Heath and French president Pompidou were fully aware of and actively pursuing the policy of economic and monetary union with a stated aim of 1980 for the introduction of the single currency. From that point on the majority of Europhile politicians have pursued political union under a variety of disguising whilst presenting the continuous erosion of sovereignty and control as necessary for improved trading or security. Yet even a cursory look at the progress of the EU, its treaties and actions, shows that it has always been a political project and that some form of superstate was stated preference of many or the secret aim of even more. Not once in over forty years did any party or politician offer this truth as a vision or policy and campaign on it openly and honestly. The reason for this disgraceful subversion of truth became clear on June 23rd 2016.
In many way these claims were far worse than those of the Leave camp that are disputed. They are horror tales designed to distract voters from their principles and to see just how much they are willing to pay for them even if they will never have to. The Leave campaigners were at a massive disadvantage they were not the government and were banned from gaining information from the government. Then the government, and it’s remain allies, set about the Leave campaign with as many official figures (however poorly produced or used) from as many bodies ( IMF ECM OECD etc etc) as could be persuaded to join the chorus.
The other great advantage held by the Remain camp was the belief that they would never have to account for their actions. They arrogantly assumed they would win the referendum and, at least early in the campaign, easily. Therefore the apocalyptic predictions would never be tested. Hows that working out for you?
A word on the great totems of the Vote Leave campaign. The secret of their success is two-fold. Firstly they are emotionally very strong. Secondly, and most upsetting for the Remainians, is that there is a basis of truth in all of them. The government accounts do show a debit of over £350million per week for the EU. What the government of the day chooses to do with this money, and billions more in savings from not being in the EU, will be a choice for them and ultimately the electorate. It was and is UK Government and EU policy for Turkey to join the EU and for that to be facilitated and speeded up. The UK government cannot limit migration from EU countries and thus to crackdown on those from outside the EU would look cruel and probably racist as well. The EU was and is working toward its own army, within days of the vote this was accelerated and is now being pushed as a major plank of current EU policy.
Overall then its pretty clear Remain’s “lies” were on a far greater scale, far longer standing, mean-spirited and completely counter productive. Leaves “lies” were based in truth, could be shown to be so and had the greater emotional pull with the voters. In short better.
The remain camp’s post referendum campaign is merely another set of lies, selective forecasts, misdirection and at times slanderous assumptions. It is seen by many as ultimately aiming to negate the result.
However, worse than that, its simply the behaviour of bad losers. I say old boy, how very un British!