Thursday, 23 June 2016
By banging on and on about their "long-term economic plan" the Tories managed to win last year's General Election, regardless of the fact that their "plan" was a) wrong-headed and b) effectively abandoned after the first two years. That goes to show that you can fool, if not all the people, most of us, if you keep churning out the same old mantra.and the media dutifully report it.
Unfortunately the "Leave" side have had the most effective mantra in this referendum campaign -"Take control" -of our borders, and of our laws. We have, of course, already got control of our borders over people from the non-EU world, from where most of our immigrants come, and only about 13% of our laws are to comply with the EU - and most of those are for our benefit (employment rights,clean rivers and beaches, environmental protection, to avert climate change).
The other clever ruse by Leave is to put about the idea that they are the ones with confidence in Britain and that we Remainers are talking our country down - not capable of surviving on our own. Maturity is, of course, the opposite - co-operating and working with others, not sulking alone like a teenager in the isolation of his/her bedroom.
Leave also bang on about having to obey decisions by "unelected judges." Since when, apart from the Lord Chancellor (a highly anomalous position) have we British elected our judges?
It's been interesting that, while delivering the Remain leaflets, of the occasional conversations I've had with householders, usually in their gardens, the older ones, when asked, have, rather shiftily sometimes, said they were Outers. But the young were almost universally enthusiastic for "In."
I think "In" will prevail, but, after the outpourings of nice things said about my MP, Jo Cox, and her beliefs - love, support, compassion, for "my neighbour and my neighbour's neighbour" - I find it depressing that nearly half the electors will vote for "Out."
As Michael Meadowcroft argues in the previous post, we pay a high price for our free press. On his blog "Mainly Macro" (18th June) Oxford professor Simon Wren-Lewis a detailed account of how much of the red-top press poison the debate.