The EU debate has been reduced to number crunching, and the numbers dangled by the Remain spivs are so precise one just knows they’re lying through their teeth.
We don’t mind though. We’ve become anaesthetised to lies, accepting them as par for the course. But of course no politician is going to tell the truth – we wouldn’t expect him to. It’s all a game, isn’t it? That’s how it’s played.
Thus few people protest when that Osborne creature puts on a deceptively intelligent face and issues manifestly false forecasts on the consequences of Brexit.
House prices will fall by exactly 18 per cent – not 17 or 19, as some ignoramuses may aver. The economy will shrink by 3.6 per cent over two years, not one iota more or less. Annual wages will fall by £800, and here George missed his usual trick of avoiding round numbers. It must have taken a huge effort not to say ‘£846,87’ or some such. He was back on form with unemployment, which supposedly will rise by 2.4 per cent, and joblessness, which will grow by 820,000. And of course economic growth will be reduced by 6.2 per cent, costing each capita £4,300 in GDP. (Why not £4,299,97, George? Get your act together, lad.)
Now any half-competent economist could show in a split second that all these figures are bovine dung, pulled out of the appropriate orifice. But of course the voting public isn’t made up of half-competent economists.
However, one hopes against hope that it’s made up of sensible individuals who know that economic forecasts are always wide of the mark. And, when they’re put forth by spivs for a specific political purpose, they aren’t even in the general vicinity of the mark. In today’s world, self-service trumps politics, and politics trumps economics.
All those forecasting lies can be countered by the only demonstrable and historically verifiable truth of economic prognoses: nobody knows for sure. Hence nothing betrays a liar more than all of those decimal points bandied about with the smug self-confidence of a cardsharp.
Obviously there will be economic consequences to Brexit, but they’ll probably be trivial one way or the other even in the short term – especially if, as seems likely, we’ll do a Norway and remain in the single market. In the long term, they’ll probably be beneficial for Britain, if only because they’ll increase our flexibility in responding to challenges as they arise.
Yet the Remain campaign has already scored a major victory by having reduced this vital, history-making argument to piddling penny-counting. For, contrary to my overly optimistic hope, our electorate isn’t made up of sensible individuals.
It’s made up of people turned into intellectual lemmings by our ‘comprehensive education’, an oxymoron that spews morons. They’re easy to trick and even easier to scare, something of which our governing wide boys are taking full advantage.
It’s a failing of the Leave campaign that it has allowed its opponents to argue the toss on such terms. In broader strokes, it’s a failing on the part of true conservatives to have accepted the Marxist premise of the primacy of economics.
In this, there’s no substantive difference between statist and free-market economists: they both define life purely by its economic aspect, far from being the only or indeed the most important one. Mr Galbraith, meet Mr Friedman, you two have a lot in common.
Since in our secular world there can be no transcendent purpose to life, the process of life illogically becomes its own purpose, with happiness the principal desideratum. And, with spiritual and even aesthetic concerns falling by the wayside, most people define happiness in terms of pound and pence. That becomes their criterion of happiness or misery, success or failure, and we’d all rather be happy and successful, wouldn’t we?
Hence the vital issue of Britain’s independence is being decided by shamefully petty haggling that people can’t get their heads around, rather than by the simple proposition even our comprehensively dumbed-down multitudes could understand:
Do you want Britain to remain a sovereign nation in charge of her own destiny and governed by her own Queen and Parliament or to become a province of a neo-totalitarian contrivance ruled by an unaccountable and utterly corrupt bureaucracy with Nazi and socialist antecedents?
And decent person will choose the former, at which point we’ll be ready to discuss specifics, economic and other. Otherwise it’s like a terminal cancer patient contemplating what to do about his in-grown toenail.
You might say that my wording of the question is hardly neutral, that it loads the pack as much as the Treasury’s economic doom-saying. Fine, I admit this is indeed so.
However, the difference is that every word in my phrase is provable beyond any doubt by factual data. And every word in their scare-mongering is a manifest lie.
Of course their lies are propped up by international support coming from the likes of the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. And the weight of her statements is in no way diminished by the fact that she’s about to go to prison for embezzlement.
How one wishes that Messrs Cameron and Osborne join her there. Alas, this will have to remain a cherished fantasy.