We’ve only got a week and a half to go before the EU referendum, if we can survive that long. It’s not the threats of terrorist atrocities in every high street from the Brexit campaign that will do us in, nor the dire warnings of impending apocalypse from the Remain campaign, by Thursday of next week much of the country is likely to have commited suicide by battering their heads off the nearest brick wall at the sheer bloody stupidity and inanity of the claims and counter claims of both sides. And these people, let us not forget, are those we were constantly told during the Scottish independence referendum who were the big hitters of Westminster with galactic intellects and statespersony experiences which knocked our wee Scottish representatives into a cocked glengarry.
Many families who lost relatives in the homophobic Orlando attacks still haven’t been officially informed of the loss of their loved ones, and the Great British Brexit campaign has already leapt on their corpses like a political vulture intent on ripping a morsel of advantage from the bodies. The campaign to leave the EU is constantly harping on about Great British values, but clearly good taste and respect for the bereaved don’t feature amongst them.
This morning some pin-eyed pinchface in the leave campaign thought it would be a great idea to out-Trump the Trump in the tastelessness stakes and released a tweet claiming that the free movement of Kalashnikov rifles in the EU helps terrorists and we need to vote to leave the EU or risk seeing an Orlando style attack in the UK. It’s not merely tasteless and lacking in respect for the dead who haven’t yet been formally identified never mind buried, it’s wrong. Factually as well as morally. There is no free movement of Kalashnikovs between the EU and the UK as it is. There are already border controls between the UK and the rest of the EU. Voting to leave the EU won’t magically put up a force field which will make it any harder to obtain weapons in the UK than it already is. We already have quite enough angry young men as it is who are attracted to the message of religious extremism. The bombings on the London Underground in July 2005 were carried out by British citizens. Whether we leave the EU or remain a part of it, the risk of terrorism remains the same.
The leave campaign is attempting to conflate the fear of terrorism with warnings about immigration. They want us to believe simultaneously that leaving the EU means that the UK will be able to restrict immigration while at the same time the UK will continue to enjoy unfettered access to EU markets. They want the free movement of goods, but not of people. You can’t get one without the other.
Meanwhile over on the other side of the EU divide, the Polish president of the European Council claimed that the exit of the UK from the EU could lead to the eventual destruction of western political civilisation in its entirety. So that’s not hyperbole at all. Oh no, no exaggeration there at all. Vote to leave the EU and within a few years all that will be left will be wild eyed mutants crawling about in the rubble of Europe reducing everything to a base level of idiotic inanity. Although to be fair, when you look at Davie Cameron and Boris Johnson making their daily pronouncements you realise that that’s happening anyway.
Tusk’s comments are the scaremongering cherry on the top of a fright cake. We’ve had warnings of world war three, economic collapse, massive job losses, plunging house prices, a pound that’s going to be on a par with Monopoly money, and just about everything short of an invasion of tentacle legged mouth breathing barbarians from an alternate dimension. And the only reason that they haven’t threatened us with that is because they’re currently in Marseilles.
This week Gordie has been intervening again for the very first time. I’m not sure how many interventions for the first time that is, but Gordie inserts himself into things with the frequency and zeal of a social inadequate with a fistful of viagra and a watermelon with a hole in it. And with much the same result. The only person who gets anything out of the process is Gordie himself.
Gordie’s the man with the plan, and this time his plan is to reform the EU to make it more attractive. When it’s the UK’s turn to take the presidency of the EU in 2017, Gordie wants Britain to take action to tackle tax avoidance, better employment protections for workers, and the creation of 500,000 jobs. It’s much the same thing as he did in the fag end of the Scottish referendum campaign, promise all sorts of goodies without having the authority or ability to ensure that any of these goodies would actually make it off the pages of the Daily Record and into reality. Can you see Davie Cameron and George Osborne enthusiastically signing up to Gordie’s plan to protect workers’ rights while putting the hems on the tax avoidance industry? No, neither can I.
There’s been a mind numbing torrent of fear and insult on the one side, countered by a mind numbing torrent of fear and insult on the other. And they said that the Scottish independence referendum was divisive. At least in the Scottish independence referendum one side talked about hope, about opportunity, about how things could be better, about how we could relate more effectively to the rest of the world. There’s none of that in the Westminster big boys’ and big girls’ debate, only fear smear and invective.
This sorry and miserable excuse for a debate is only happening in the first place because the entire future of the UK has been put at stake by the Conservative leadership so that they can settle internal Tory divisions. That’s what passes for statespersonship in the UK today. We live in a country where the only considerations are short term ones, and as a result the country lurches from one crisis to another. Scotland’s role in this sorry mess is to look on helplessly while decisions are made elsewhere by people who don’t care about us. The outcome of this EU referendum may or may not be the spark that lights a new independence campaign, but the short term thinking of the wild-eyed mutants of the Westminster Parliament is going to crash and burn eventually, and when it does, we’ll be ready.
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