IN October 2015, I rounded off an article in TCW on the impending referendum thus:
So should we stay or should we go? Leave or Remain? The EU must make a better case than threatening UK jobs and has to demonstrate it can reform without having the threat of a major economy to leave forcing it to do so. At present it is not making a positive case and the status quo is unsustainable given the economic mess it has plunged Europe into. Despite all the rhetoric on both sides of the argument, there are still too many unknown unknowns.
The EU needs to try harder to make its case, and soon. It should also have a method of doing so more regularly than every 40 years or so. Governments have to make a case every few years to be re-elected and so should the EU. If it fails to make a positive case, then there is no reason for us to remain in this rather overpriced club.
While I was Leave-inclined, I decided to maintain as best as I could an open mind over Leave or Remain and do my best to base my decision on the actual campaign rather than this country’s history of membership of the EU. But I did so with the above conditions, firstly, the EU had to demonstrate it could reform naturally, and secondly, that a positive case for continued membership could be made.
Well, the EU failed on the first. They sent David Cameron back to London with no meaningful concessions. The Remain campaign failed on the second. They made no new offer, and just focused on threats of an economic and social apocalypse not by actually leaving the EU, but by just voting to Leave.
I attended a debate featuring four leading politicians and was able to pose a question, namely ‘Who can I vote against if I oppose an EU-originated policy?’. Alex Salmond fielded my inquiry, mainly because I directed my question at him alone. Working from cue-cards concealed in the palm of his hand, he gave an answer which I interpreted as saying that voting Leave in the referendum would be the first and last time I could oppose EU policy through the ballot-box. If the UK voted to Remain, further opposition to EU policy by ordinary voters would be pointless.
So it’s very clear to me. It’s about Taking Back Control. No EU Parliamentary election will ever change any EU policy in the same way as every UK election at either national or local level can to national policy. The executive powers of the EU will only increase, and this will be to the detriment of national parliaments, and increasingly the general public whose votes to a body of rubber-stampers would become meaningless. This country would become a region of a super-state with pretensions of great-power status, while being run by distant technocrats. No, No, No.
And this why I will be walking to Parliament Square this afternoon
REMAIN took to the streets last Saturday. It was clear that Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell or some other Blair-era media manipulator had decided that one million people would turn out before a single demonstrator trod the streets of Westminster. The BBC complied by reporting that figure with zero validation of their own. Proper analysis was performed, based on the aerial pictures taken by the Remain organisers. The area covered by marchers was calculated. It would be very generous to state that there were five people occupying every square metre of crowd. Even on that estimate, the true figure was substantially less than half the BBC figure. And commentators wonder why people are turning to alternative information sources when the state broadcaster proudly makes headlines using fake news.
The trip to London did also allow well-heeled Remainers an opportunity for some shopping and a sampling of the metropolitan delights on what was a balmy Saturday evening. So it was just a politically-coordinated day-trip for liberal shire-dwellers horrified that the majority of British voters have the audacity to disagree with their over-comfortable world-view.
Today’s muster of Leavers in Westminster is a different matter. It takes place on a working day. And that might cause some Leave voters who want to turn up a bit of a problem. They will have to take the day off work. It will be clear to everyone in their workplace that they are not just a Leave voter, but a Leave voter sufficiently energised to want to join other Leave voters on what would have been Brexit Day, a celebration which could have been followed by Guy Verhofstadt’s Night, where there could have been fireworks, a hog roast, beer, and a bonfire on top of which would be placed . . . well, I think you know the rest.
What will the colleagues of this Leave supporter do on Monday? We all know how unpleasant Remainers can be, with some prominent Remain commentators celebrating the concept that Leave voters are dying off at a faster rate than their Remain counterparts. Being a Leave supporter is not a protected characteristic under Harriet Harman’s Equality Act, any more than is being openly conservative. The poor Leave supporter might well be the subject of victimisation and ostracism, where Remainer colleagues will gang up on them and think themselves justified in doing so.
So it is almost inevitable that there will be fewer Leave supporters in Westminster this afternoon. They will be afraid of the consequences at work should they take the day off, and Friday is still a working day and their work priorities might take preference.
However, none of these will matter to the Remain propagandists, who will twist the facts to make a weekday when the bulk of the UK working population are actually at work appear identical to a Saturday afternoon when most people are at play. They will also try to convince us that Remainers are not hostile towards Leavers, when Leave voters have been continually portrayed in the media as undereducated racist bigots responsible for a surge in hate crime, or worse.
But there will be crowds in Westminster this afternoon. Perhaps that beflagged top-hatted idiot might take the day off in the face of what could be large quantities of political analysis.
Damian Green sums up the views of the nation on Stop Brexit Man… pic.twitter.com/KFZLFePjo1
— Euro Guido (@EuroGuido) March 14, 2019