David Cameron may well be right when he says that a decision to quit the EU would be irreversible. Then again, he could be wrong. It is possible that, at some unspecified time in the future under circumstances that nobody can be sure of, the UK – or whatever remains of it – might successfully bid to rejoin the EU. But it is also easy to imagine the rest of Europe none to politely declining these overtures.
That’s not the point of Cameron’s remarks. He can’t actually know whether there would be a bid to rejoin the EU, far less how such a bid would pan out. What he does know is that people tend to be wary of change. And even more wary of change that is both dramatic and irrevocable. It’s just more of the puerile scaremongering that everybody is so weary of.
As someone who favours staying in the EU at least until Scotland can make its own decision on the basis of terms freely negotiated by our own democratically elected government, I am often berated for being on the same side as David Cameron. This is rather silly for at least two reasons. If being a Remain voter aligns me with the likes of Cameron and Osborne then, by the same token, being a Leave voter means you’re in the same camp as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith and the rest. It’s not immediately apparent why that would be better.
I reject as intellectually indolent the non-argument that “they’re all the same”. For me, this implies nothing more than an inability or an unwillingness to properly analyse the different aspects of a debate and distinguish between/among the positions being taken. They’re not all the same. The differences are there, if only you take the trouble to look for them.
To glibly dismiss both the official campaigns in the EU referendum as reincarnations of the despicable Project Fear propaganda exercise deployed by the British establishment in the first Scottish independence referendum campaign, is to ignore the fact that the Remain side is not a homogeneous whole. While there is only one Leave campaign, there are two remain campaigns. While those supporting Leave have only the gross misrepresentations, ludicrous demonisations and implausible assurances of Boris and the Brexiteers, those on the Remain side of the debate get to choose between Cameron’s inane scaremongering and the more measured arguments advanced by the SNP.
Needless to say, given this choice, I’m with Nicola. I may be campaigning for a Remain vote as Cameron is, but that is where any commonality ends. Cameron is embroiled in an internecine squabble involving various elements of the British right, a smattering of English nationalists and, of course, the British nationalist cringers in Scotland. Anybody who imagines me to be part of that gruesome mess just doesn’t know me at all.Views: 2006
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