Eclectic Blue

I blame Dave

0 Comments 13 October 2017

I blame Dave

I only wish we could turn the clock back. Thanks to the actions of one man, this country is becoming ugly, it is already divided and racism is becoming the norm and not the exception. Put to one side the word ‘Iraq’ and remember how much better this country was in the late 1990s and early to mid 2000s when Tony Blair’s New Labour was the majority party in the House of Commons. You may have disagreed with the policies of increasing NHS and spending on schools, reducing poverty, the introduction of the minimum wage and so much more, but you surely cannot argue that the times in which we now live are far, far worse. The man to blame is David Cameron.

This is not to re-run last year’s referendum on EU membership, although I would like it if we did. It is to heap a large bucket of shit over the man who called it in the first place, not to give people the vote on our future in or out of Europe, but to end once and forever the internal Tory party wars over the EU. That went well, didn’t it?

A referendum is a shocking way of doing democracy. That is why this country embraced parliamentary democracy, where we elect people to make decisions on our behalf. If we don’t like what they do, we don’t vote for them again. This is especially important with incredibly complex subjects like the EU. Last year, David Cameron offered a binary vote on the most complex of decisions imaginable, one which was condensed simply into remain in the EU or leave. The answer that came back was that we should leave. That was the moment when our problems began.

We have done the arguments to death. I firmly believe the country was lied to by shysters and liars like Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and the like. But don’t take my word for it. Read the words of prominent Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings: “Pundits and MPs kept saying ‘why isn’t Leave arguing about the economy and living standards’. They did not realise that for millions of people, £350m/NHS was about the economy and living standards – that’s why it was so effective. It was clearly the most effective argument not only with the crucial swing fifth but with almost every demographic. Even with UKIP voters it was level-pegging with immigration. Would we have won without immigration? No. Would we have won without £350m/NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests No. Would we have won by spending our time talking about trade and the Single Market? No way.” So the reason I believe that the country was lied to is based on fact. The people who campaigned to leave the EU admit they lied to us. And that is a prime example of how referendums are simply wrong.

We know that many people wanted to leave the EU because of migration. How many of them realised that the end of free movement would have dramatic effects on their own ability to travel freely in Europe? I am sure some people voted to restrict the ability of these wretched foreigners coming over here, doing valuable work, paying taxes, attending our universities (at great financial benefit to this country) and perhaps even falling in love and moving in with a partner, but did they do the same to prevent their own children doing the same? Perhaps some of them did – I suppose if you hate foreigners that much, you might want to dramatically reduce the opportunities of your own children – but I am not convinced. Did people vote to leave to potentially wreck the ability of our businesses to trade with Europe, or devastate British farming? Well, enough farmers voted leave, so maybe they did. The turkeys will have their Christmas very soon.

A simple verdict on a complex decision will take up decades to come, during which many of those who voted to leave will depart their mortal coil. The whole thing will override everything. Theresa May’s pathetic, squabbling government will have time to do absolutely nothing else in this parliament and neither will which ever government succeeds them. That’s one of the biggest tragedies of all.

Cameron’s referendum was, like most referendums, was predicated on weakness. He wanted to see off, once and for all, his Europhobic headbangers on the backbenches and the advancing Ukip. He felt he could not see off his enemies through our parliamentary structures. The referendum would sort out everything. But it made it much worse. Now we have so many different groups of people wanting different things. An ultra hard Brexit on one side to no Brexit at all on the other and many people somewhere in the middle. Some want to stay in the single market and the customs union, others want to leave both, others like Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn want to leave both but have full access to both. Confused? You should be.

Is the EU like the Hotel California where “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave”? Well, not quite, despite my wishing it was. It was unlikely that, barring a majority right wing Tory majority, that there would have been a parliamentary majority to break away from Europe, which was probably why the headbangers wanted a referendum. Now we have to deal with the consequences and, ultimately, pick up the pieces. The final destination, wherever it is, will satisfy no one and it will take forever.

The electorate didn’t get it right or wrong over Brexit: they were offered a false prospectus and no indication of the final destination, with the government, never mind the people, completely in the dark as to what happens next. Many of us will have to put up with this fiasco for the rest of our lives and no one promised us that. But these are the consequences of being asked to make a simple decision on a million different issues. It’s democracy, but not as we know it and the truth is we have not taken back control. Rather the opposite.

This country is on the road to ruin thanks to David Cameron’s misjudged party politicking and we will all pay a huge price for it. This is all his fault.

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