The ‘Leave’ campaign has lost the economic argument. It has lost the political argument. It has lost the emotive argument.
All it has left are soundbites and xenophobia.
So, for the record:
It isn’t a people’s revolt if the leaders are rich, fat men in expensive suits.
It isn’t taking back control if the population end up with fewer rights than they have at the moment.
The rich, fat men aren’t trying to “take back” anything. They’re trying to take over – from you.
TAKE BACK CONTROL. TAKE BACK CONTROL. TAKE BACK CONTROL. This was the incantation that echoed with Dalek-like monotonous hysteria from the Brexit side, inside Wembley Arena during the big EU Referendum debate. I kept an informal running tally, by scratching lines in the margin of my pad. One hundred and twelve times Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom managed between them.
If a politician is asked a question and all he or she can offer back is a slogan, legitimate concerns arise. How will you deal with the fall of pound sterling? TAKE BACK CONTROL. How many jobs will be lost in the short and medium term? TAKE BACK CONTROL. How will you reduce immigration? TAKE BACK CONTROL. Do you plan to be in the Single Market or not? TAKE BACK CONTROL. The crowd cheered enthusiastically.
But how is it “taking back control” to hand a blank cheque to demagogues who have no plan for the country? How is it “taking back control” to feed the ugliest xenophobia of the ultra right who will see a vote for Brexit as moral validation? How is it “taking back control” to purposefully plunge your own country into financial turmoil and break a decades-old peace pact, at the most globally turbulent time? How is it “taking back control” to walk off a bridge, without even looking down?
And why is a vote to Remain in the European Union, to avoid all of this, any less empowering?
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