“Cometh the hour, cometh the man”

Boris as PM no thanks

Politics is always about judgement but it should also be about integrity and the EU Referendum debate has shone a harsh light on the main #Brexit protagonist Boris Johnson. In a 2013 interview Johnson said “I’d vote to stay in the single market. I’m in favour of the single market. I want us to trade freely with our European friends and partners.” What changed his mind? The last three years has seen the immigration crisis arrive in Europe (although not in the UK), and this has ignited a long smouldering resentment of immigrants amongst older, usually less well educated voters and this is the cohort that can be guaranteed to turn out at election time.

To an ambitious politician this was too good an opportunity to miss. No longer are they “friends and partners” but now apparently “the European Union is pursuing a similar goal to Hitler in trying to create a powerful superstate.”

Johnson’s lack of integrity has been further exposed by his use of totally bogus statistics in the campaign, not half truths but full blown lies (see previous post), his bumbling persona hides a gigantic ambition that would probably make him Prime Minister if we vote to leave the EU.

Many #Brexit supporters are from poorer, working class backgrounds without private medical insurance and who rely on the NHS. Johnson has told them money saved from #Brexit could be spent on the NHS however in 2003 he was an advocate of privatisation saying “if NHS services continue to be free in this way, they will continue to be abused like any free service.”

Judgement and integrity are requirements of a Prime Minister but so is competence. Can you imagine Johnson on the world stage negotiating with Putin or Clinton; they would regard him as a buffoon and then disregarded as a statesman. “Cometh the hour, cometh the man” but please not this one.

Truth is the first casualty…

 

Michael gove as vicar

If the argument for #Brexit is so good why do Gove and Co. need to tell so many lies to convince us of its merits? The #Brexit camp are evangelising zealots believing their own rhetoric with each Pastor piling on one false claim after another. With virtually all the economic institutions and forecasting bodies lined up against them they keep repeating that these esteemed academic organisations are either lying or in the pay of the Establishment which is ridiculous. Add to that our global friends and partners who all advocate #VoteRemain and their response is like a child shouting “ I don’t want to hear”!

These are downright lies not half truths:

Britain sends £350m a week to Brussels.
No it doesn’t it’s £ 136m

U.K. will be liable for future Eurozone bailouts.
No we won’t.

EU could scrap Britain’s rebate.
No it can’t.

U.K. had given up its ability to veto EU treaties.
No it hasn’t.

U.K. can’t stop the EU’s budget going up.
Yes we can we have a veto.

Britain will be forced into an EU army.
No it doesn’t, it would require our agreement.

Freedom of movement allows criminals to enter Britain.
No it doesn’t. EU law allows Britain to refuse entry to people “on grounds of public policy, public security or public health”.

The #VoteRemain side has also been economical with the truth but to nothing like the same extent. The fact that #Brexit will be a leap in the dark is incontestable, for all its flaws we are in the EU so we know how it works so there isn’t anything like the same degree of uncertainty and risk if we stay in.

The only fact that #Brexit can muster and it is a very significant one is that outside the EU we will be able to deny EU nationals from entering the UK. To their discredit the #VoteRemain campaign will not acknowledge this fact. However if we impose restrictions it seems reasonable to assume that the EU will do the same and who will fill the vacancies in the building and agricultural sectors?

Bizarrely immigration is an issue even in areas like the north east where there are few immigrants, however immigration has changed the character of many towns and cities and myths abound about benefit tourism and queue jumping. This increase in people from abroad has happened over many decades and we the electorate have never been asked if we wanted it that is why people are angry and willing to risk all voting #Brexit.

The Brexiteers also rely on a nostalgic vision of Britain as it was in their history books, with the Great put back in but the world has moved on and this sentimental attachment to the past will hold Britain back if they get there way.

#VoteRemain, not with religious certainty or even much enthusiasm but because the alternative is a naive pipe dream.