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Reviewing the Reviews

After a longish period, with not much happening at all, the last week has been a particularly good time for reviews of my 'nostalgedy&#...

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The P.S. to my P.S.

You know I said the last post would be my final one on this topic?  Well, I lied!

How about this for a scenario:

Assume that Article 50 hasn't been invoked yet and the Conservative Party hold their leadership election, whereby someone relatively uncontroversial such as Theresa May is elected.  She then announces that she believes she cannot govern the country in such tumultuous times without a clear mandate from the people and calls a snap election.  However, item 1 on her manifesto is that her party believes that the act of leaving the EU is so potentially damaging to British interests that her first action, on being elected, will be to ask Parliament to vote to ignore the result of the recent referendum (albeit with sops about pressing for further reform of the EU etc.).  Cue apoplexy from the Brexit camp with a swathe of votes transferring to Nigel Farage's UKIP mob, but this would probably not result in many more actual seats.  If we also assume that Labour's performance would be dire (as they seem to) then this would result in a Conservative majority with a new P.M. with a clear mandate to carry on as before.

What do you think?

To EU or not EU - postscript

Just one more thing and then I'll stop banging on about this and return to normal service (whatever that is!)

I honestly don't think that the Leave group really needed to campaign at all. Remain showed such a profound misunderstanding of the British psyche that they did the job for them. There is nothing more likely to awake the old WW2 cussedness of the British than continually telling them of the bad things that are going to happen if they don't listen to their elders and betters. It brings out the old "very well then, alone!" spirit. What was desperately needed was a positive vision of the U.K. within a reformed and progressive EU, but that was never likely to be the picture based purely on the miserly reforms offered at the start of this process. Hopefully, this should be a wake-up call to the EU and politicians everywhere.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

To EU, or not to EU?


I don't normally go in for politics on this blog because it really isn't what it's supposed to be about, and also because why would anyone be remotely interested in my opinion?  However, it did come as a shock to me today to realise that The Vote will take place a week tomorrow.  The reason it came as a shock is because I started this campaign as a 'don't know' and I rather hoped that, by now, one or other of the sides would have persuaded me, but they haven't.

I realise how difficult it must be for the 'Remain' camp.  "Let's leave things as they are" is never going to be a stirring battle cry.  However, I don't think their stern warnings of the dangers of Brexit (as it has unfortunately been christened) as true as they might well be, really chime with the British psyche. We Brits have a certain innate cussedness and tend to react mulishly when threatened with what will happen if we don't do as we're told.  I rather fear that these tales of woe may well backfire.

Moreover, it would have been heartening if the Remain lot could have spelt out a positive vision of Britain in Europe.  Some bright vista to look forward to, rather than stern warnings of what might happen if we don't hold on to nurse.  George Osbourne's intervention today is just part of this rather dismal spectacle.  In addition, the sight of Jeremy Corbyn campaigning, apparently with his fingers crossed behind his back and refusing to share a platform with any Conservatives, is hardly likely to stir the blood.

For the Exit camp, there is rather too much of a whiff of 'It'll Be Alright On The Night' - not the television show, just the sentiment.  We are asked to place a good deal of trust in their reassurances that the other lot have got it all wrong and we'll be just fine, don't you know.

The only telling argument I've heard lately came from a friend of mine, who made the point that the young were overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU, that it will be their world and not ours and therefore we should respect their wishes.  This is a good point, but assumes that 'the young' have got it right, which is a concession we rarely give them in any other walk of life!  Another friend said that his heart said leave but his mind said remain, which, I think, is possibly where I am at the moment, but I'm really not sure.

I have a strong feeling that my mind probably won't be made up until I'm actually standing in the polling booth, which is not really how democracy should work but I guess it is better than the alternative.