Monday, 27 June 2016

The Message From The Electorate To The Politicians

As someone who blogs about political matters I'm probably a bit late responding to the EU referendum result. I delayed so as not to make a knee jerk reaction and frankly because I'm so very saddened about what has happened. I believe it is greatly to the detriment of Britain, but also to the detriment of Europe and hence the world.

The overwhelming message the British people have sent to their politicians is that the greater the lie, the more implausible the claims, the more outrageous the propaganda the more likely we are to vote for it. On my Facebook page I've already been accused of sour grapes, but truly it isn't that. I'm sad that those who voted for empty hospital waiting rooms won't get them, not now, not in five years, ten years, ever.

I'm sad that many of those who made a protest vote are now wondering what they've unleashed. The old cliche about being careful what you wish for has never been more true. I'm sad that people have been working for seventy years to take a patchwork of warring tribes in Western Europe and build a cohesive, friendly trading unit and that we've jeopardised all that. Nigel Farrage will be delighted if it implodes. He'll probably be happy if Scotland leaves the union too - he isn't much loved up there.

I would have been sad if Scotland had voted to leave last time; my father and grandfathers served shoulder to shoulder with Scots through two wars, but if the Scots want to vote to leave the UK now I would support them absolutely, the conditions of their relatiuonship with us have materially changed and their Remain vote in favour of Europe was far stronger and more emphatic than ours to leave.

Northern Ireland voted Remain too and Dominic Raab (Conservative Leave Campaign) said on television that politicians in the North have already said there will be no chance of Ireland uniting over this, or words to that effect I didn't record him. I wonder if he speaks for the terrorists too. I went to Northern Ireland on business during the euphemistically named 'Troubles' and it wasn't funny. If Ireland wants to unite and remain in Europe I'd understand that too.

I have less sympathy for the Welsh, who voted to leave and want England to make up their losses. They get huge grants from the EU for all sorts of good projects. They say the money should now come out of the three hundred and fifty million we'll save, but we won't save that, it was a lie, AND the economy will be weaker. They have truly shot themselves in the foot and if England subsidises the Welsh as a result then the English will resent it, if we don't the Welsh will resent it.

One of my friends who accused me of sour grapes on Facebook said he'd voted Leave to put the Great back into Britain, but first of all Britain has to be a United Kingdom and it's very far from that right now. Friends and families, regions and age groups are in conflict because Cameron thought he could use the people to heal a rift in his own party. The old have pulled the rug from under the young who overwhelmingly voted for European ideals and cooperation.

Obama once said that Cameron is a lightweight, how the Prime Minister has proven it.

I thought hard about the petition to run it all again and held off signing it until this morning. Had the boot been on the other foot I admit I would have objected to a re-run. Mind you expecting a narrow defeat Nigel Farrage had already suggested he'd want it run again if the result was close.

In the end my decision came down mostly to the lies and propaganda, which I believe should make the result null and void. People should have been told, and need to know how the EU really works. There is a very good online video by a University of Liverpool Lawschool professor  which explains it. A leaver I know said he didn't want to be ruled by unelected bureucrats from Brussels, but that too is a lie and an urban myth.

People don't know the truth. Access to the single market will cost us; if the EU says the three hundred and fifty million will now be four hundred million, but as non members you get nothing back, oh and by the way you have to accept the free movement of people too (just like Norway), then does anyone think Boris has the strength to stand up to that.

Yet immigration was the issue the xenophobic Leave campaign shouted about loudest, they cannot deliver, they simply can't.

I don't want politicians to think that lying on an industrial scale and making whopping false promises is the way to behave in order to win. Democracy is flawed enough already. Iain Duncan Smith tried to justify downright lying by saying it was a rigorous debate. To call him a weasel is to insult rodents, it wasn't robust, it was dishonest and false. He, Gove, Johnson, Raab, Farrage and their cronies have all been dishonest and false and we have shown them that that kind of behaviour pays off.

And so it was that I reluctantly signed the petition this morning and sent the following letter to my MP.

Dear Nick,

We met at your pre-election meetings in Stannington and elsewhere and I am a Liberal supporter. I am appalled by the recent referendum, especially by the lies, and the implausible promises on the one side and the complacency on the other.

Under normal conditions I would respect a referendum result, but given the lying, on an industrial scale and the damage to our standing in the world, our economy and much else besides I felt I had to sign the petition requesting another referendum.

People need to understand how Europe really works (no one told them), that a return to the good old days, which weren't actually so good, isn't going to happen and that Brexit claims are pure fantasy. The Leave Campaign official video showing a near empty hospital waiting room and happy smiling faces if we leave was propaganda worthy of the 1930s. It won't happen in one year, five years, ten years, ever.

In ten years it will be hard to find anyone who voted leave, half of them will be dead anyway, having pulled the rug out from under the young who are in fact the future.

For seventy years people have been trying to build a better Europe from the ashes of two world wars, to change a patchwork of warring nations into a cohesive, civilised, progressive, trading and prosperous whole. Of course it's not perfect, but for forty years we've been part of that effort too. Now lies, propaganda, stupidity, ignorance and bigotry threaten all of it. It also threatens the break up of our nation. Family is set against family and much more, because of lies.

As someone who chose a life in politics I hope you'll stand up and fight for what's right.
Malcolm Snook
That's all I can do. I campaigned for a joined up world and for people to understand the truth. Right now I feel like withdrawing from social contact here in the UK. I don't really think seventeen million people in the UK are racist, or bigots, or anything of that sort, but I do believe people have not thought about things deeply enough before voting, that they've been mislead by dishonest propaganda, that things can never be the way they were and that rose coloured spectacles distort.

When a man selling Spanish cherries on his market stall in Romford votes to leave Europe what hope is there?

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