Referendum – HONESTY AT LAST!!!

We are now told by the Electoral Commission we have the ‘official’ referendum campaigns. I don’t know about you but their final choices smell a bit to me. ‘Vote Leave’ is simple enough but ‘Britain is Stronger in Europe’ seems loaded beyond belief.

It may be the cynic in me but there is also a helping of ignorance about our being Stronger ‘In’ or Weaker ‘Out’.

It was not until Open Democracy published their new report “Where next? A liberal free-market guide to Brexit” that I realised just how little relevant information has previously been easily available and on which people can make an informed decision. (Media control is working efficiently, as always!)

It is not a lengthy tomb but crammed within its 53 pages are facts and unbiased information to assist in helping make decisions. I’m not saying it’s the be all and end all of what the referendum is about but it certainly makes it much clearer to me, including the fact that it will not be the end of the world for the UK if we vote ‘Out’.

To give you a flavour of the unbiased and to my mind truthful nature of the content of this document, here is what Open Europe’s Chairman Lord Leach of Fairford has to say:

“The referendum campaign so far has been underwhelming and voters are little better informed about what the future might look like inside or outside the EU. Brexit will not be an economic disaster and it will not be a utopia. There are tough choices involved in Brexit – nothing comes for free. Withdrawal from the EU is likely to result in an initial economic cost but Britain can prosper if it takes a liberal approach to trade, immigration and regulation post-Brexit.”

“Staking out a liberal and free-market course post-Brexit would mean taking on vested interests and making tough political choices. This referendum should be an opportunity to debate the political and economic trade-offs involved. Voters can then determine for themselves whether they are willing to take on the challenge of making Brexit an economic success.”

I found these words inspiring in their honesty, something in short supply from Westminster and Brussels. Simply stating that if we come out it will not be “a walk in the park” provides a truth, I personally, can work with.

And today 38 Degrees published their Factsheet about the governments leaflet shoved through every letterbox this week, carrying out a ‘True or False’ assessment of its contents. More honesty we desperately need now!

My regular readers will know I am no fan of Brussels and its gradual erosion of democracy, which even Jeremy Corbyn, in his constant honest political approach, has often referred to. As time passes I become more convinced that, after Greece got its ruthless mauling and TTIP is going ahead without even an acknowledgement to the biggest petition in history against it, Brussels has become a tool of financiers vested interests and has to go.

Not for one minute either, do I believe that Europe can go back to being a collection of single countries, evolution will simply not allow it. The people have come too far now and the requirements of a ‘united Europe’ are incontestable in this modern globalised world.

My constant bone of contention is not the EU but the manner in which it is being managed by Brussels and their use of unelected technocrats who have a withering contempt for the people who pay for it all.

When it comes to honesty and truth, the very Referendum itself is a device by which Brussels can consolidate its power. By adopting this ‘In/Out’ stance, we are being told in no uncertain terms that the technocrats are staying and if we don’t like it we can go!

That’s ‘democracy’ Brussels style. There is not even a hint of how they might bend to the wishes of the people. It is as though they have a predetermined course they are following, (that the rest of us are not worthy of being informed about) and nothing will deter them in their mission.

Arrogance of this nature is good Soap Opera television but in a world where people are now being abused on a global scale, by the financial and political powers they keep in place as electors and customers, the situation is becoming untenable.

I become more convinced by the day that 23rd June is so much more than a simple ‘In/Out’ vote. It is about halting the progress of the growth of Neoliberalism*, which is the purpose and intent of Brussels as it too panders to global financiers.

For Jeremy Corbyn, as the only honest and trustworthy political leader in this country, to talk about “building allies to deliver change” is the correct approach but I simply do not believe it is possible after ratifying Brussels power with an ‘In’ vote.

Once we signify we are ‘In’ we will have lost the only serious bargaining position we will ever have to challenge the growth of neoliberal power. My recurrent nightmare is that after we vote ‘In’ the reaction of Brussels will be “Whatever. Now where are we with getting TTIP on the books?”

We are not alone in our concerns and have the chance to consolidate the groundswell of public opinion across Europe, which is something Brussels, the IMF and even our own Bank of England are terrified of and something I will write more about shortly.

The new report from Open Europe is worth a read. For those challenged by time, just look at the Conclusions: what are the implications for a new UK-EU relationship on page 53. It’s honesty, in amongst all of current political rhetoric, is refreshing and empowering. The 38 Degrees factsheet too.

There will be more my friends but in the meantime have a thoughtful and enjoyable weekend. Kindest

Until the next time

*There was an excellent piece in today’s Guardian, by George Monbiot, comprehensively describing what Neoliberalism is all about. I would suggest we all owe it to ourselves to read this and understand how democracy is being dismantled in the world, along with our freedoms.


Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes