George Osborne said house prices would collapse should the calamity of Brexit befall. But Dave explained that house prices won’t collapse because houses will. They’ll be swept away by a Third World War, directly Britain reclaims her sovereignty.
These two statements make a valuable addition to the long list of guaranteed disasters: Britain will become a pariah state; no tourists will ever come to see the Tower of London again; the NHS will be no more (is that a threat or a promise?); the Scots will leave (ditto); we’ll never again see Juliette Binoche in our theatres, nor hear Beethoven performed in our concert halls; the City of London will move lock, stock and barrel to Frankfurt; there will be no more Premier League; unable to buy either food or energy abroad, we’ll be left hungry and freezing in the dark; the pound will collapse; we won’t be able to travel to Amsterdam whorehouses; Britain will be inundated with undesirable aliens; and, oh yes, according to our retired spooks we won’t be able to share intelligence information with other European countries, which will lead to a pandemic of terrorism and espionage.
On this last one, the logical inference is that no intelligence data had ever been exchanged before John Major signed our independence away at Maastricht – not through INTERPOL, not through NATO, not even through the Old Boys Network. This sounds a tad counterintuitive but, hey, who are we to argue with retired professionals, or to doubt their integrity?
And who are we to argue with our PM, especially when he illustrates his predictions so convincingly? For example, he cited the conflict in the Balkans as an example of how the EU prevents or shortens wars. Personally, I’d steer clear of that one if I were Dave, but he’s privy to classified information that must be dramatically at odds with what’s in the public domain.
Poor yokels like us only know what they read in the papers, and the picture that emerges from those reports is that of cosmic ineptitude on the part of the EU in handling the bloodshed in Yugoslavia. In fact, one gets the distinct impression that the presence of EU observers and UN troops made the situation far worse than it would have been otherwise.
But Dave wasn’t talking just about the danger of local conflicts. It goes without saying that, if we vote Remain on 23 June, those will sink into oblivion. What the Remain vote will also prevent is nothing short of a global nuclear catastrophe.
This isn’t so much a new theme as a variation on an old one. I’ve heard it from my French friends a thousand times if I’ve heard it once that only the good offices of the EEC/EU have prevented the extinction of all biological life in Europe over the last 70 years.
It was the menacing military might of Luxembourg and Belgium that kept those 50,000 Soviet tanks at bay during the ‘70s. But for the 2,000 tanks that Europe could field at that time, the Soviet steamroller would have stamped Europe into the ground.
And there I was, thinking that NATO, specifically the US nuclear umbrella, had something to do with that, however tangentially. Turns out I was wrong: what saved us was the corrupt bureaucrats in Europe linking arms and issuing a stern NIMBY warning to the corrupt bureaucrats in Russia (for the benefit of the outlanders among you, NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard).
Now we must relieve ourselves of – and on – 2,000 years of British political tradition, for otherwise we’ll never be able to combat the growing threat of what Dave called a “newly belligerent Russia”.
Russia has been belligerent towards Western Europe since at least Elizabethan times, which is to say since she became Russia, as opposed to the Duchy of Muscovy. Putin’s great-great-grandparents weren’t even born when Russia was called ‘the gendarme of Europe’ and ‘the prison of nations’. In fact, British foreign policy was for at least two centuries focused on containing Russia’s aggressive expansion, mainly southwards.
So ‘newly’ doesn’t quite work for me, but ‘belligerent’ does. Putin’s Russia does present a real danger, which needs to be countered. By the same token, a ‘newly belligerent’ Germany presented a real danger throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Dealing with that threat cost us millions of lives, but the people felt that defending our sovereignty was worth such sacrifices.
One doesn’t recall offhand any suggestions put forth at the time that we must relinquish our sovereignty the better to protect it. It was felt that an ad hoc wartime alliance would work better, not to say less self-refutingly. Hence in both World Wars Britain managed to find herself on the winning side without succumbing to the urge to become a French province or an American state.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: how pathetically weak must the Remain case be for its proponents to resort to such moronic, ignorant and cynically mendacious arguments. But let me tell you, if these creatures carry the day, that’ll prove that we as a nation don’t deserve to stay independent – or indeed alive.