For months on end now we’ve had to listen to two cults shrieking about a supposed apocalypse that can only be avoided by supporting them exclusively. I am of course, referring to the Brexit vote. I suppose they chose “Brexit” over “UKexit” because the latter sounds like a difficult to complete, yoga pose.
Aside from the left wing cameo newspapers, the British news media is almost entirely for leaving the EU. In fact the British media loves the EU about as much as I love getting punched in the face. John Major talked about this previously:
Murdoch “made it clear that he disliked my European policies, which he wished me to change. If not, his papers could not and would not support the Conservative government. So far as I recall he made no mention of editorial independence, but referred to all his papers as ‘we’.”
Up until recently I had been a pro-EU advocate purely because I enjoy making Murdoch and the Daily Mail readership feel unhappy but once I found myself stuck on the same side as Cameron and George Osborne, the fun factor wore off.
Rather than give my partisan opinion or do a pro/anti EU list I’ll rise above the situation and point out how the arguments made by both sides are complete rubbish.
Why Pro-EU Supporters Are Wrong
It’s better for the economy: Tell me, how stable has Europe’s economies been in the last twenty years? Has an economic bridge with Greece made the UK more wealthy? How much of that £13bn membership fee goes to investments and how much of it goes to paying EU commissioners and EU council members sexy wages? Money that could be spent on the UK’s crumbling infrastructure, leading to a boost in jobs? Sure half of UK exports might be to EU countries, but being free from Europe might make it easier to invest in rising economies like Brazil and China.
Leaving would cause an economic crisis: More like an economic speed bump. This decision will most likely last 50 years and a 12 month set-back will not be a big issue if it leads to a better future. This is short term thinking.
The UK would lose its influence if it leaves: What influence? The UK has tried to block the EU council 72 times and it failed every single time.
We would lose important legislation: The UK would still be able to create strong business and environmental legislation. Some of it, too strong (see TTIP). The only thing stopping better legislation would be the will of the current government and its people. Leaving might also save the UK from some of the more barmy EU rulings. Valiant but completely moronic is the mantra of much of the EU’s legislation see Kettlegate and Hoovergate for examples.
Why Anti-EU Supporters Are Wrong
We can stop the evil immigrants coming: For the last couple of months the Daily Mail has done it’s damnedest to label everyone foreign national as a job stealing, lazy benefit claiming, flamboyantly repressed, sexual predator. Most of the EU migrants move for work and often end up generating wealth and exports for the UK rather than hampering it. Most of the non-EU immigrants are just looking for somewhere to call home. Those who speak English are more inclined to move to the UK despite it having lower benefits payments than France (UK = £36.95, France = £56.82 UK only pays more if you have a large number of children). Yet, how precisely are the leave campaigners going to stop these immigrants? Human ingenuity and human stupidity comes in a constant supply. The Calais problem might be pushed back over to a British port if the French tear up the 2003 accord. Immigrants have sailed the Mediterranean Sea in search of a home. Do people really think the English Channel is going to stop them? Immigration might be a problem, but Brexit is unlikely to make it better or worse.
It’s more democratic to leave: Yeah, no it’s not. The House of Lords is less democratic than the EU parliament and you, the tax payers support it. We don’t even get to vote on who will be the country’s leader. If we did, Gordon Brown would never have reached office because of his shabby public image. Also, you voted for the manifestos that different politicians have been pushing but none of them are under any obligation to follow through with those promises.
And all of this is based on the assumption that democracy is actually a good thing. It prevents tyrants getting power but is relatively useless for the day to day grind of making a country work. The minister running our cyber security doesn’t understand computers. The minister running our health service is seen as a cancer by everyone in the health service. After 5 years the minister in charge of cutting the national debt has increased it by a further half a billion. The minister for education hasn’t done her homework on the effects of academies. The Minister for Work and Pensions has quit his job. It’s a shambles.
Politicians on both sides of this debate are frequently found to be talking out of their arses which is unsurprising given that they are politicians.
The undignified eardrum killing campaign waged by both sides has left the voting public confused and concerned. Will leaving give us financial ruin or financial opportunity? Will staying unleash a hoard of refugees or will it keep them at bay in Calais? Nobody knows anything so they pick and choose the points they like, to support the argument they want. The papers know this. Appeal to emotion and leave enough messy information and statistics to allow people to justify unfounded beliefs.
So most seem to think that the worst part of Brexit is the toxic discussion or the ministers yelling “fire” in a fireworks factory but perhaps the worst part of Brexit is that smug pseudo-smart pricks like myself get to enjoy the futility of it all.