Thursday, 9 June 2016

Leave campaign is relying on lying to win


Tory blue on blue has now turned red. A Conservative government that was previously proud of being a ‘One Nation’ party has now split both its party and the nation in two. 

This EU referendum is probably the most divisive, deceptive and dishonest political campaign in any of our lives.

The only living former Tory Prime Minister, and the current Tory Prime Minister, have now both accused their Tory colleagues who are in favour of Brexit of, without mincing words, lying. 

And many of the British voting public can also now clearly see that the ‘Leave’ campaign is relying on lying to win. 

This is a paraphrased summary of what former Conservative Prime Minister, Sir John Major, said about just some of the ‘Leave’ lies:
• The Leave campaign is feeding out to the British people a whole galaxy of inaccurate and frankly untrue information. They are misleading people to an extraordinary extent.
• Boris cannot justify the £350m he has on his battle bus. He knows and the Leave campaign knows that we pay the EU about a third of that.
• Turkey will not be in the European Union for a very, very long time, if ever, for a whole series of practical reasons. And the Leave campaign know that. That’s the point, they know that.
• The concept that the people running the Brexit campaign would care for the NHS is odd. Michael Gove wanted to privatise it; Boris wanted to charge people for using it; Iain Duncan Smith wanted a social insurance system. The NHS is about as safe with them as a pet hamster would be with a hungry python.
• What the Leave campaign say about the European Union and ‘unelected elites’ is absolute hogwash. The belief that an unelected elite is running wild is yet another piece of copper-bottomed Leave nonsense.
Summarised Sir John Major:
“This is much more important than a general election. This is going to affect people, their livelihoods, their future for a very long time to come. 
“And if they are given honest, straightforward facts and they decide to leave, then that is the decision the British people take. But if they decide to leave on the basis of inaccurate information, inaccurate information known to be inaccurate, then I regard that as deceitful.”
The only Tory Prime Minister of this millennium, David Cameron, has also accused fellow Tories in the Leave campaign of lying. 

Said Mr Cameron:
“A leave campaign resorting to total untruths to con people into taking a leap in the dark: it’s irresponsible and it’s wrong and it’s time that the leave campaign was called out on the nonsense that they are peddling.”
He summarised six ‘false claims’ by the Leave campaign:
• That the UK is liable for future Eurozone bailouts. Rebutted Mr Cameron: Britain is categorically not liable.
• That Britain’s EU rebate is at risk. Rebutted Mr Cameron: The British prime minister has a veto on changes to the rebate.
• That Britain has given up its ability to veto EU treaties. Rebutted Mr Cameron: There is nothing in the EU renegotiation that relinquishes the UK’s veto.
• That Britain cannot stop overall EU spending from going up. Rebutted Mr Cameron: The EU budget is set in stone until 2020 and can only be changed with the consent of all countries. 
• That the UK is powerless to stop itself becoming part of an EU army. Rebutted Mr Cameron: Britain has a “rock solid veto” on EU foreign and defence policy.
• That leaving the EU would save Britain £8bn. Rebutted Mr Cameron: This claim was debunked by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
My view?

This Conservative government doesn’t need an opposition. They are opposing each other. They are tearing themselves apart in front of our eyes. Soon, there may be nothing left of them. 

And if Britain votes for Brexit – on the basis of a string of lies fed to the voting public – then this country could also tear itself apart. 

Soon there could be nothing left of our United Kingdom. We could go from Great Britain to Little England – literally. 

For sure, Englanders would get their country back. But they’d be in charge of such a small and insignificant country. 

If we vote Leave, we’ll soon be yearning for a return to Great Britain of today. The fifth biggest economy in the world; the second biggest in Europe; more people at work than ever before, and a record number of vacancies, more than can be filled by the indigenous workforce. 

(Which, of course, is why we need EU migrants – who represent just 5% of our population, and yet almost all of whom are in gainful employment here, paying taxes, spending most of their earnings here, and helping our country. Why would we want to wave them goodbye?)

Today, Britain is Great. Not because of an ‘island mentality’, but because our prosperity, our security and our influence are allied with us being a part of Europe and the EU, and not apart from it.

Let’s not throw that all away because of a pack of lies about Brexit, that’s nothing more than a flimsy fa├žade. 

Let’s build on what we’ve got. Great Britain as a leading member of the world’s most successful alliance of countries, situated on the planet’s wealthiest continent: The EU, and Europe.
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Other articles by Jon Danzig:

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