The less I say about the sick, pathetic joke that goes by the name of Dave’s deal with the EU, the better. Our papers are bulging with the details of this travesty, and there’s little one can add.
Regular readers of this space know that I predicted something along these lines months ago. Dave would get some crumbs off the EU’s table, I wrote, some meaningless and instantly revocable concessions. Then he’ll pass that as a triumph, claim that the very nature of our relationship with the EU has changed and rush into a referendum with every hope of winning it.
No surprises there, except that even someone like me, who despises modern politicians as a group, is still amazed at the staggering cynicism involved in pretending that this thin gruel chased with small beer is sufficient reason for the UK to stay in the EU. That is to remain attached to a wicked, corrupt and demonstrably ineffectual contrivance run by, at best, corporatist cut-outs who know next to nothing about our civilisation, and hate what little they do know.
Yet all that is par for the course, considering the moral and intellectual level of any man who these days would wish to besmirch himself by involvement in politics. What happened to honourable occupations, like managing an underground brothel, flogging heroin or running a numbers game?
What I do find distressing is the very nature of the debate, the questions being asked, the answers being given. The only legitimate proposition that ought to be put to the people is this:
Do you think the United Kingdom should remain a sovereign constitutional monarchy, an independent country free to make her own decisions and control her own destiny, one governed by Her Majesty through her parliament?
Or do you think the country should instead toss away its two millennia of the best constitutional arrangement the world has ever seen and become instead a quasi-republican province of a continental superstate run by heirs to Hitler and Laval (both dedicated European federalists) – not to mention a bevy of Eastern Europeans who until recently were communists and who now swing between extreme left and extreme right.
That’s how the issue would be expressed by honest, patriotic statesmen talking to an intelligent, patriotic populace. However, we don’t have such statesmen, and one is increasingly fearful that neither do we any longer have such a populace.
Instead we have an immoral, self-serving intellectual pygmy claiming a triumph because the Brussels lot have agreed to pretend they don’t mind the migrants inundating our cities having their benefits gradually increased over four years, rather than getting them at full whack immediately.
This proceeds against the background of the two parties to the argument debating whether or not the average Brit would be £734 a year better off if we left the EU or £673 worse off.
This isn’t to say that there are no economic implications to Brexit. There are, and anyone wishing to consider such issues seriously, rather than on the level of tabloid journalism, could do worse that read this analysis.
The conclusion the analysts reach is that the economic effect of Brexit is more likely to be modestly positive than modestly negative, with ‘modestly’ being the operative word in either case.
Yet anyone with a modicum of understanding and love of Britain should refuse to consider such matters in this context at all – even if Brexit could indeed spell the economic catastrophe Dave’s rent-a-scaremonger crowd bleat about.
It doesn’t matter what an executed man had for breakfast. It’s immaterial whether a patient sweated before dying. It’s irrelevant whether a man diagnosed with terminal cancer also has a cold. Incidentals shouldn’t obscure the cosmic event.
The issue, as should be obvious, isn’t whether Brexit will make Britain modestly more prosperous or modestly less so. The issue is whether she’ll remain Britain – whether she’ll exist at all.
Frame the question in any other way and, whatever the answer, we’ll all be losers. For, even if by some miracle the people vote for Brexit – and if we indeed leave, which is far from a foregone conclusion – we’ll only solve the outer problem.
It’s critical that we not only vote to leave but that we cast the right vote for the right reason. If the people decide to stay merely for mythical economic gain, the inner problem will remain. The country might regain its technical independence but it will have lost its soul.