Europe, the referendum and truth


*Body Armour on*

One of the joys of being on Sabbatical has been having time to read newspapers in both paper and on-line form. It’s also been a time of some despair. The quality of discourse about the EU referendum has, in some pieces I’ve read been interesting. The vast, vast majority has, in my humble opinion, been unbelievably bad.

So for the sake of a bit more hot air, here’s my reflection on where we’ve got to so far.

  1. The Tories are in disarray and look more toxic and disaster prone by the day: the ‘nasty party’ is back with a vengeance. This time, they’re incompetent too.
  2. The Remain Campaign sounds like an establishment-corporate shill. Project fear is undoubtedly project well-funded.
  3. The Leave Campaign have elevated public discourse to the level of a nursery sand-pit fight. They’re more interested in infighting and disinformation. Where has Gove gone by the way? Has he been locked in the stationary cupboard?
  4. There are lies, damn lies and statistics. And then how politicians use statistics, badly. Honestly, have any of them ever done maths?
  5. Politics in general today is unedifying, like a third rate sixth form debate. Please can we have some facts and real debate rather than bluster?
  6. Where the hell are Labour? Ideology is great, but they’re the opposition party, not a pseudo-academic think tank wondering what position to take on macrame. At this rate they’ll struggle to be elected class monitor.
  7. The EU is a nightmare. But it might be a devil which we at least know. Decisions are taken by people who show up. If we leave, we won’t get an invite – and people heckling from outside are always irritating.
  8. If we do leave, we’re not going to build an armada and regain the Empire. Total global destruction is unlikely too – but there’s more than a whiff of ‘little englander’ going on. Its 2016 people, not 1716. We’re not going to get America back either – not even if they elect Trump.
  9. The underlying racist and xenophobic sentiments aren’t just offensive: they’re a national disgrace. To often ‘concerns about immigration’ actually mean ‘I don’t like people who aren’t nominal anglicans living in Chipping Sodbury who are friends with the Smythe-Campions and own a pony called Tuppence’
  10. Cameron, Osborne, Bo-Jo, Farage, Gove, etc This isn’t The X-Factor or Britains Got Talent. This is real. So stop playing to the cameras and start making sense. You may look down on us, but we see through you more and more each passing day.
  11. We live in a global world now. ISIS really aren’t bothered about our Sovereignty. Sovereignty is an illusion. Its what we tell ourselves about ourselves when we want to feel better.
  12. Media. Impartial, objective, honest truthful reporting. How hard is that? Please try.

I could go on (which is my usual style). But I find myself longing for real politicians to hold a real debate which makes real sense.

What we’ve got now is sadly less than we should expect. That we’re happy to settle for that is the real problem.


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