A very Tory referendum

The EU referendum is getting even more heated, which is a bit like saying that the Labour party in Scotland is getting even more pointless or that Ruth Davidson is getting jolly hockey stickier. In the past week alone we’ve had dire warnings from Davie Cameron and George Osborne for the Remain campaign that leaving the EU would provoke the outbreak of World War III and, a prospect which is unimaginably worse for the Tories, would reduce house prices. Meanwhile the Leave campaign’s Boris Johnson has claimed that the EU project has the same goal as Adolf Hilter, by which he presumably meant that Brussels wants to invade Poland and weaponise the boy scouts.

If we leave the EU we’ll never win Eurovision again, although we’ve not won Eurovision since we first voted in 1997 and Europe thought that the UK was going to start acting like a normal European country. They were to be sadly disappointed and it’s been null points ever since, even from places where there’s a large expat British population. As far as the hate figure of Europe goes, the UK is right up there with Russia, only unlike Russia we don’t get votes at Eurovision because no one is afraid we’re going to invade them and hopes that we can be assuaged by voting for our tuneless paean to love and peace. Anyway, the UK only invades the places that America tells us to.

Next week Boris is preparing a speech in which he warns that if we remain a part of the EU every British child will be compulsorily enlisted in the orc armies of Sauron, while George Osborne is counting on a report from the IMF conclusively proving that the UK financial services industry will be carbonised by a fire breathing dragon. The week after that they’re going to start threatening things that really are ridiculous.

Unlike the Scottish referendum where we had the No campaign’s project fear up against a relentless positivism from the Yes campaign which made the Waltons seem like a dark dystopian drama of a shattered and dysfunctional family, there’s very little that’s happy or clappy about the EU referendum from either side. Instead of project fear we’ve got project my fear is way scarier than your fear. According to the Remain campaign if the UK leaves the EU then there will be war, terrorism, economic ruin and the collapse of British industry, with nothing but utter misery for ordinary working people while the fat cats profit at the expense of the poor, whereas according to the Leave campaign if the UK stays in the EU there will be war, terrorism, economic ruin and the collapse of British industry, with nothing but utter misery for ordinary people while the fat cats profit at the expense of the poor. Surprising as it may seem, both sides are quite correct, as both sides are assuming that we’re going to have a Tory government for the foreseeable future.

We’re in for misery whatever happens. This EU referendum is really a proxy war for something far more important, at least something more important to the leaders of the Conservative party, and that’s who’s going to be the next leader of the Conservative party. Whether it’s Boris Johnson, or whether it’s George Osborne, the future for the UK is deeply depressing. Whatever happens we’re in for austerity, public service cuts, creeping privatisation, and the demonisation of the poor, the disabled, the chronically ill, and the marginalised.

It’s not even like there’s a Labour party which is able to prevent it. Labour is currently far too busy opposing itself to organise an effective opposition to the Tories and can’t even land any effective blows on a Conservative party that is openly at war with itself. Well I say currently, it’s been like that for years and will be like that for years still to come. When Labour isn’t tearing itself apart in one of its decades long bouts comradely back stabbing, it’s aping the Tories in an effort to appeal to swing voters in Middle England, so providing an effective opposition to Tory policies isn’t on anyone’s agenda. At least not outwith Scotland. We’re stuck with the unremitting gloom and the depressing vista of grey miserablism stretching ahead of us as long as we’re stuck in this so-called United Kingdom.

George Galloway is on the same side as Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn is on the same side as David Cameron, the best you can say is that at least that’s an improvement on the Scottish referendum when all four of them were on the same side, the four horsemen of the acrapolypse. It’s impossible for anyone to mount a happy clappy campaign with wish trees when the very best you can wish for is that George Osborne stops Boris Johnson from becoming leader of the Tory party. Nae wonder that this is a campaign that’s not exciting much in the way of public enthusiasm. It’s more whoo-pish than whoo-pee.

God, I’m depressed already, and the vote is still more than a month away. By this time next month the very words Question Time will cause half the population to crawl into bed in the fetal position and pull their duvets over their heads while they rock themselves to sleep amidst the tears at the inanity of it all. Although admittedly it has that effect on most of Scotland already.

The Scottish referendum campaign was characterised by top down control freakery on one side, and a mass blossoming of Scottish wild flowers in a grassroots meadow on the other. It was joyous, participatory, and energised a nation. The EU referendum is characterised by top down control freakery from both sides, and it sucks out all life and and enthusiasm from anyone who looks at George Osborne standing with his legs apart or Boris Johnson’s tousled faux-clownery long before Joe or Josephine public come close to engaging with the issues. Both sides have embarked on a campaign to scare us all into submitting to their point of view, battering the obedience into us with threats, scare stories, and nightmares. Don’t think, just be afraid. It’s a very Tory referendum.

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26 comments on “A very Tory referendum

  1. The post is great. Now, Speaking of David Cameron PM of UK, and Labour and other MPs and all that good stough, I’d vote for morality. Look at what David Cameron has done to Tory and is still doing, then look at what Labour is aiming to do, etc.
    If you keep up with news you’ll know it’s David Cameron, himself, that orders that the UK keep supplying rockets to the Saudi coalition carpet bombing Yemen while the US rains Cluster munition bombs on it day and night killing civilians, and Yemen is now the worlds biggest humanitarian crises.. but yet Jeremy Corby is the Terrorist Sympathiser to Tory people.. David Cameron is the one who initiated an illegal smuggle of oil from Saudi into UK.. etc, If I lived in UK Id be quick to vite Labour, I will not stand for a terrorist in disguise as a prime minister.

  2. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  3. pwest9 says:

    What this whole referendum has shown is the paucity of ideas and any original thinking. Non of them are covering themselves in glory in fact the only thing they are covering themselves in is shite. The only crumb of comfort is watching these vile bodies slag each other off when they were best friends prior to this referendum.

  4. Christopher Neill says:

    Actually Eurovision is not related to the EU. Nor is human rights directly, which is a Council of Europe obligation.

  5. Movy says:

    Absolutely articulated how I feel about this. The whole thing has degenerated into a Punch and Judy show. However you feel about the EU how dare they cause this situation. Lies, damned lies, statistics and no facts. We MUST get out of this Union.

  6. Dan Huil says:

    I feel a vow coming on.

  7. fillofficer says:

    the indie YES movement was the last time we had any positivity in politics. I was constantly moved by the uplifting spirit on the streets. But they snuffed it out. miserable selfish tory bastards

  8. Steve Asaneilean says:

    I just can’t get worked up about the EU referendum at all.

    It is, as you say Paul, nothing much to do with the actual EU and whether or not, as an idea and a project, it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

    It’s so much more to do with the internal politics at Westminster and the growing parochialism of the political culture there.

    My own view on the EU is that it’s a good idea which at present is being poorly executed. It has become too much the play thing of neo-con political and business interests of late.

    But it wasn’t always that way nor need it be in the future. So I will be voting to remain in but it’s a qualified choice.

    The other day Kezia was on about the EU referendum.

    She talked of:

    “…the confusion of nationalists who argue we can share sovereignty with every European nation, except our nearest neighbours”

    Wrong again Kez – those who want independence for Scotland within the EU want to share sovereignty with our nearest neighbours on the same basis as we would share it with all the other members of the EU.

    But, hey, why let facts get in the way of a good side swipe.

    She also said:

    “We defeated those arguments two years ago”

    Yes, that’s really obvious on the basis of election results on May 5th this year…

  9. Steve Asaneilean says:

    By the way I’ll be astonished if the turn out gets anywhere near 50%.

    It will also be interesting to see what happens if England votes out but the votes of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales keep them in.

    Would there then be a clamour to dismantle the UK coming from Westminster? ☺

  10. MI5 troll says:

    It’s Tory rats in a sack fighting and I cannot get excited. It’s just like all that “Hoots Apocalypse” guff we had stomach at the end of the first referendum. Another whole month of this and I’ll be running off to North Korea for some sanity.

  11. Jan Cowan says:

    A total waste of the money we do not have. As you say, Paul, it’s all about the Tory Party leadership. Long past time to persuade the sleeping 50% of Scotland that we MUST rid ourselves of such wasteful politicians. Independence is the only way forward.

  12. Sooz says:

    I’m a bit tired of watching Cameron and Johnson wave their [how rude! – Ed] at each other in a parody of an Eton-inspired clash of the Titans. It would serve them both right if absolutely nobody voted in this blasted referendum, but the Outers are desperate to lose their maroon passports and block the Channel Tunnel so the Inners need to counter that. It’s just all so bad-tempered and horrible and miserable and not a shred of positivism on either side.

    Neither side has breathed a word of what the benefits are to In or Out, apart from all those threatening stories of doom and ghastliness. Tell people the benefits to us – and not the lies they keep spouting – about being in / out.

    Don’t they teach these people anything at Eton apart from how to be obnoxious bullies?

  13. Marconatrix says:

    ¨and pull the duvet over their head¨ Oh how terribly continental. Those dastadly foreigners have even got into the bedroom. Far, far too late to extricate ourselves now, even if we really wanted to 🙂

  14. maxi says:

    There is more chance of hell frezing over than UK leaving the union. This is all theatre to distract us from something else.

  15. MarkAustin says:

    “Meanwhile the Leave campaign’s Boris Johnson has claimed that the EU project has the same goal as Adolf Hitler”

    I have very little time for Boris Johnson, and consider him stupid to have mentioned Hitler–Godwin’s Law rules- but he didn’t compare the EU to the National Socialist Party of Hitler.

    What he said was that there have been many attempts to create a united Europe–including Hitler’s– and that all have failed, and have failed for the same reason.

    The reason is simple. Politically there is no such thing. There is cultural, social etc etc unity, or at least convergence, but there is not, and never has been, a political entity called Europe, separate from and superior to the continents nation states.

    The only way one can be created is by an anti-democratic superstate from above, and these are simply not stable enough to last. I do not give the EU much more than 20 years before it collapses under the weight of it’s own contradictions, and I suspect the end will be considerably sooner.

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