I am seeing a lot of very stupid people out there, almost all of them on the Leave side. No matter how reasoned the argument, no matter how reputable the sources, most people on the Leave side simply do not want to believe the facts they are being presented with. It doesn’t matter to them that nine out of ten experts/sources in pretty much every field agree, if it happens to disagree with them then it must be a lie and/or part of a conspiracy by Authority to hoodwink the rest of the population (not them, of course, they are among the few people to be able to see through it all) into blindly following The Powers That Be like mindless sheep.
The irony is staggering.
Here’s all this evidence – we went and researched it, we took information from multiple sources, we have actively analysed it and presented our interpretation of it – and now someone is saying that it’s all lies by the Remain campaign to try and get you to vote In, and you’re going to fall for it because you’re such a mindless sheep.
Okay then, you say, where’s the evidence to back up your position?
Oh, they say, I don’t need evidence, I just know, you have to trust me. Or they point you towards the official Leave propaganda, or a conspiracy theory site, or a rag of a newspaper with a known and obvious bias. You’re citing the Daily Mail as proof that Argument-X is false? Jesus fucking H Christ! The job of a Daily Mail journalist is to stir up hate and xenophobia so they can sell newspapers!
There’s a rumour going around that the EU is intending to build its’ own army, so therefore we should leave. What? What the actual fuck? If the EU is building its’ own army (for which I have not seen one single shred of reputable evidence), how is leaving going to make us safer? As part of the EU, our armed forces would be part of this hypothetical EU army, and we would not be subject to attack by it if someone in Brussels goes all Napoleon and decides that now’s a good time to declare war. On the other hand, if we leave the EU then the UK’s armed forces would be separate from the hypothetical EU army, vastly outnumbered by it, and we would probably be the first target of an attack if someone decides they need a convenient war to unify the continent. After all, the UK has just pissed off pretty much everybody else in Europe by leaving the EU after calling them all unfair control freaks, so that puts us at the top of the list for revenge and forcible inclusion in a new European Superstate. Did it never cross the tiny minds of the Leave supporters that out of the EU we would have no influence on how the EU develops, but as part of it we can influence and change it?
By now, someone will probably be saying that the current UK government has done fuck all to curb the excesses and corruption of the EU. That’s true. What is also true is that we can get a new government in four years, but if we leave the EU it is forever. We won’t be able to go back to them in five years and say, “sorry we changed out minds, we’d like to re-join the club.” They’ll tell us to sod off; why do you think, that after laying so much of the groundwork for the EEC in the immediate post-WW2 years that the UK didn’t join? Because France kept vetoing our membership until DeGaulle died and we were allowed to join in the early 70s. Leaving will piss everyone off and France and Germany will say, “we managed without you before the 70s, we can manage without you again.” The EEC that we joined evolved into the EC, then into the EU. The world changed, and we changed with it. If we leave, we’ll be going back to how the world was in the late 1960s, but the rest of the world will be in the 2010s.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to stay in the EU is that access to the EU’s court system provides another layer of checks on the government’s power, particularly in the area of Human Rights. And that’s the cue for Brexiters to say something like, “oh yeah, since the EU’s done such a bang-up job of protecting British Citizens’ human rights for the last six years, what with the government trying to kill all the poor people and the disabled through sanctions.” And to that, the response is, “have you told them?” The Human Rights Act, which allows the European Courts of Justice to intervene in UK legal matters concerning the humane and ethical treatment of people, is not a magical document that automatically brings down the wrath of international judges on the heads of government ministers who try and pass illegal laws. There has to be a process, where those affected by said laws first appeal against them through the legal system of this country, and only when all possible avenues of appeal in the UK have been exhausted, only then does the EU get involved. Now here’s the thing – in this category, somewhere above 80% of court decisions go against the government at the first tier; There have been at least a dozen studies, some of them commissioned by the DWP themselves, that state that government policy is doing more harm than good; Hundreds of thousands of petition signatures have been made, calling on the government to scrap their unfair and illegal policies. The court system of this country is working, and sooner or later the government will change their policies. Intervention by the ECoJ citing the ECHR will merely tip the balance heavily towards “sooner”, but the most important piece of information here is to note that the ECoJ cannot take action until a case comes to their attention and/or they are officially notified that there is a problem. Unfortunately, the mechanism for doing so is costly, complicated, and needs government intervention.
Then there are the people who want to take us out of the EU in an attempt to get the current government out of power. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. The most likely thing would be for David Cameron to resign, Boris Johnson to be elected leader of the Tory party (and hence PM), and he builds a cabinet around the core members of the Leave campaign. Now, I will be among the first to accuse Cameron, May, Osborne, Hunt, Javid and so on of doing their absolute best to cripple and/or destroy the NHS, the education system, British industry, the welfare state, and civil liberties. However, despite their ideology-based destruction of everything that doesn’t make them personally richer, I trust them with all those things a lot more than I would trust Johnson, Gove, Duncan-Smith, Farage and Patel with them. While Cameron and co are compulsive liars with no relevant qualifications or understanding of the things they are in charge of, and they are borderline sociopathic ideologues following a corrupt and broken system, Johnson et al are even more so. Farage in particular is rabidly hard right, Johnson doesn’t have two braincells to rub together, and Duncan-Smith and Gove have proved during their time in the cabinet that they have no understanding of the portfolios they were managing, nor sympathy for the people affected by their insane, unfair, sociopathic and illegal policies.
Please, stop thinking only in the short term and about your own selfish, uneducated and prejudiced desires. Think about the long-term, and what’s good for the whole country. The key figures of the Leave campaign couldn’t care less about the average citizen, beyond the fact that they might be gullible enough to vote for their side – every senior person on the Leave campaign, and their bank-rollers, are rich enough to not be affected in any way whatsoever by the economic hit the country will take if we leave the EU. Not so the vast majority of the population of this country. On multiple occasions, senior figures on the Leave campaign have said they cannot guarantee peoples’ jobs, that job losses and a slower economy are an acceptable price to pay for leaving the EU. That’s because they don’t care – they are millionaires, they have lucrative jobs, they are part of the Establishment, and they will not suffer in the slightest upon Britain leaving the EU; almost certainly, they have already arranged matters so that they will be even more enriched in case of Brexit.