I am astounded that we as a people have fallen in step with a leave campaign led by what looks like the cast of a Jeeves and Wooster episode. Once upon a time we would have found Boris funny and representative of another less fair time in our past. UKIP with it’s bigoted and racist platform would have been immediately dismissed, and yet today, we sit on the cusp of voting out of a common market which has provided us with the fastest economic growth in generations because we drank the kool aid from two novelty politicians.
Okay, I admit it, I’m just like everyone else. I want a quiet life, I’d like to avoid tough decisions. It’s human nature to problem solve, if at all possible, at an uncomplicated level. It also makes sense most of the time. Unfortunately when it comes to something as complicated as nationhood, trade and immigration, it is absolutely the worst way to make decisions.
Boris Johnson is always quick to say we need to take back control, and the only way to do that is leave Europe. Unfortunately the old Etonian doesn’t have much to point to that needs to be taken back, or at least that can be. Many of the impositions he says we have to adhere to are forced on those outside of the EU as a cost of doing business with us. Those countries which adhere to those rules don’t even have a seat at the table, but they still pay as much as we do to play. Norway comes readily to mind. Of course the Out Campaign quickly latches onto Norway as a shining beacon of freedom without ever acknowledging that Norway is still a very oil rich country with an enviable balance of payments whose largest export is petroleum, something everyone wants and needs. The UK is not. 80% of what we sell are services that are highly susceptible to unfair competition in countries that don’t protect intellectual property. This protection would fall away as soon as we left the common market, and as the only trade agreement we are party to that does include services, we would find ourselves in a very dark place economically. That’s not fear mongering, that’s a fact. Oil as a commodity is not easily stolen and unlike a service once you use it you need more, so at the very least the threat from Norway would be that they would no longer trade with the culprit. IP on the other hand once stolen is easily used again and again. No one comes knocking asking for more. . Let’s face it, comparisons to Norway are fanciful to say the least. On the trade front, the other argument presented as gospel by Leave is that we will once again be able to trade freely with the Commonwealth! Hurrah! Actually, none of the members of the Commonwealth want us to leave, that’s not any of the members. They like having access to the single market through us, and unlike the Leave campaign can see economic ruin on the horizon if we do vote out.
Then there is the river of immigrants coming into the UK as a direct result of the undemocratic EU council’s decree that the UK should be overrun with deadbeats. Please excuse the sarcasm. They take our homes, have ruined our once pristine NHS, and pay no tax while pumping out children which we as Brits have to pay for and house. When I first heard this, I was incensed. Most importantly, I was angry at myself for having not noticed the parks and open spaces full of unhoused, unwashed freeloaders. I decided that I would keep my eyes open the next time I dared to venture out. It took about a day because my Polish plumber was adding the finishing touches to our new and entirely affordable bathroom. The next day I tentatively ventured from the house. I drove past Hyde Park. Nothing there. Strange. Then onto Hyde Park Corner, and there they were! Yes, it’s the same group of travellers that have been sitting at Hyde Park Corner for 35 years. Bastards! “Hold on”, I say. If they were there 35 years ago, that means they had access to our country before the EU made us take them. I thought that with the full control of our borders back then we could have stopped all this undesirables getting entry? This can’t be right? Voting out will immediately stop the river of immigrants. It will ease the millions camping out in open spaces because we don’t have enough houses. I’m planning to make another sortie in the next few weeks and find out where all these immigrants are congregating. I will update you with their location when I find them.
Then there is the other assertion by leave; Mercedes Benz will always want to sell us cars! They will, but they will move manufacturing, some of which is here in the UK to another EU country. Again, you can call this spreading fear, but it’s an uncomfortable reality. And what about the 100 largest companies in the UK? Where do they stand? Most with the In camp. Some have not declared because they don’t want to upset customers. Of course there are those who have come out in support of Leave! Well, none really, but once again Boris has a conspiracy theory on this too. They have been bullied by Number 10. Is this the same number 10 I ask, who can’t even bully members of the same party to jump in behind stay? Leave did however stump up the digger manufacturer JCB who’s biggest trading partner is developing countries where they don’t have to worry about regulations and safety. JCB would prefer to be able to lose the shackles of having to care about those who have to operate the machines in say, China.
I find it amazing though on the eve of one of the biggest decisions our country will ever make that half of us have turned to two hopped up Hurray Henry’s for supposedly factual comment. The upshot is that both Boris and Nigel will be just fine no matter how the vote goes. They are from the right class and all that, you know. What Ho!
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