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Rob Slane: Dave’s EU clincher. Cost of pencils will rise by 2p if we quit


With just a few more weeks to go before the EU referendum, I must confess to finding myself suffering from what I believe is an entirely new syndrome. Known as Brexit Boredom Condition (BBC), it flares up at least once a day when I click onto the website of Britain’s “impartial broadcaster”, to once again find myself being accosted by the “Scare the Living Daylights out of Them” Campaign. Unfortunately for them, their tactics are lost on the likes of me, but they do have the uncanny ability to “Bore the Living Daylights out of Me”, hence the diagnosis.

The Remain campaign appears to have chosen to fight the whole thing on the economics front, for the simple reason that this is the greatest unknown in the whole thing, and therefore the issue that gives them the most artistic licence to pluck scary figures out of a hat. What disturbs me most about this method, and the fact that people on both sides spend an inordinate amount of time arguing over it, is not the fact that the figures are obviously based on massive assumptions, but the fact that it’s so utterly soulless. It’s a purely materialistic, purely pragmatic argument, and it has nothing to say about some of the great themes that have occupied human thought down the centuries – liberty, freedom, sovereignty.

Quite frankly, it’s mind-numbingly tedious. Remain says house prices could fall by 18 per cent. Leave say, no they won’t. Remain say 820,000 jobs could go (though they seem to have been quite capable of going while we’ve been in). Leave says no they won’t. Remain say the cost of Mr Whippys could double. Leave say no they won’t. And on and on and on ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

I see before me a man sitting in a prison. He’s been there for a few decades and has kind of gotten used to it. Institutionalised you might say. Of course, he would never choose to enter the prison if he were on the outside, but now that he’s in, would he leave if offered the chance? You’d think so, but the thing is the prison is not wholly bad. He’s allowed to work there. He’s allowed to eat and drink. He’s allowed to read books. And yet… and yet it’s still prison. There is always someone above him to tell him what he can and can’t do and he never has complete autonomy.

One day Dave, the Warder of the North West Wing, inexplicably offers him the chance to leave. Dave can’t really explain why he offers this, but in his next breath he starts telling the man about all the bad stuff that could happen to him if he chooses to leave. Why, here in the prison, he gets meals every day. If he leaves, he could starve. Here in prison he has a job. If he leaves, the chances of him getting a job could fall by 3.57 per cent. Here in prison he has a home. Outside, he could find himself on the streets? Oh and there’s probably lots of snakes outside as well.

Of course, Dave can’t guarantee any of this happening any more than the prisoner, Brian, can guarantee it not happening. Since Brian has been inside for over 40 years, neither of them know how he’ll cope outside and whether he can live independently. It’s a bit of an unknown, and it could be that he gets out, gets a job immediately, is able to afford a flat, has money for food, and even has some left over to buy the odd Mr Whippy. Then again, maybe he will struggle and get bitten to death by the snakes. C’est la vie.

But what would you think of a man who chose to remain in prison on the basis of some extremely dubious claims, cobbled together out of a number of completely unpredictable assumptions? In all the good books I’ve ever read, a man who is offered the chance of liberty, but who chooses to stay in the prison because life might, possibly, may be, could be, a bit difficult out there, would be called a coward and a poltroon.

But the EU isn’t a prison, is it? On a national level, yes it’s a prison. Just as independent, free men are able to make autonomous decisions, so too independent, free and sovereign nations are able to take their own national decisions, based on their own national interests. Member-vassals of the EU are not. Why, look what happened to poor old Poland and Hungary when they dared to suggest that they weren’t going to accept the migrant quota that the EU foisted upon them (which by the way came about because of the same EU’s blind following of Washington into its mad wrecking of the Middle East, not to mention Frau Merkel licking the Sultan of Turkey’s boots). Why, the European Commission told them they would have to pay a fine of €250,000 for every person they refused to accept.

What would a free country do? It would thumb its nose at the bullies in Brussels and Berlin. Of course Poland and Hungary are welcome to try that if they want, but there will be … ahem, consequences. That’s what happens when you willingly give up your sovereignty and agree to become a member-vassal of someone else’s empire.

Enough of reducing the whole thing down to economics – it’s all so drearily materialistic and Marxoid. Where is this country’s soul? Does it have one anymore? I’m not sure that Britons in the past would have even begun to understand why we are so fixated on wholly unpredictable economic scenarios based on highly questionable assumptions, and far less on the immeasurably more important questions such as: Who are we as a people? Are we capable of being independent or must we be absorbed into the EU and ultimately globalist mush? Does that even matter? Can our national identity and culture actually survive within the EU and the wider globalist project? Do we care?

These are the sorts of questions the EU referendum ought to be about. But instead I fully expect to wake up tomorrow morning for more BBC from the BBC on how the cost of pencils could rise by 2p if we leave the EU.

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Rob Slane
Rob Slane
Rob is married to Alina, and they live with their six children in Salisbury. He blogs regularly at

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