The House of Commons voted by an overwhelming majority of 6 to 1 to hold a referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU. Anthony Sargeant shows the leaflet sent out to every UK household by the British Government prior to the official start of the referendum campaign. It clearly offered a partisan view on how the electorate should vote with no mention of any counter arguments. It used taxpayers money amounting to millions of pounds to avoid restrictions on what would have been illicit funding of such propaganda once the campaign started some few days later.
But it did clearly state in the second column “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide”. Now despite the decision to ‘Leave’ taken in the face of the most incredible and, it turns out misleading warnings of the dire economic consequences, we have some who would like to overturn the original decision of the democratically elected House of Commons to hold such a referendum and abide by the result. These include various stalking-horse millionaires including, Gina Miller, Branson, Blair, and others but also current politicians like Tim Farron MP the present leader, and Nick Clegg MP the previous leader of what it seems are the ‘Undemocratic Liberal Democrats’ who clearly want to stop Brexit. Please watch their interviews with Andrew Neil if you are in any doubt about their intentions. But then this is a political party that immediately reneged on its cast-iron manifesto promise with respect to University Tuition fees in order to prop up a conservative government two elections ago.
Once the campaign began officially the government’s leafleting would not have been allowed. Instead when it did start they recruited anybody who might aid the Remain campaign by warning of the dire economic consequences – sustained scaremongering and threats -which came to be known as ‘Project Fear’.
George Osbourne himself warned that the economic impact of a ‘Leave’ vote would require an emergency budget within days of the referendum. Remarkably and 6 months later there has been no emergency budget. Then Christine Lagarde, recently found guilty by a court in France of corrupt practices when a Minister in the French Government (yet still Head of the IMF), warned of the terrible economic consequences. Then the now clearly wrong predictions and badly judged intervention of the supposedly independent Bank of England by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. The EU politburo were enlisted and spoke with one voice that disaster would befall the UK if it left and with the threats that the UK would be severely punished in any negotiation if they voted to leave. Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the EU commission – President but not elected by the people of Europe) weighed in with his warnings and threats. This is a politician who as Prime Minister of tiny Luxembourg offered tax avoidance to multi-national companies in his own country and then blocked attempts in a secretive EU committee to address the issue making himself and Luxembourg very rich in the process. As a result Luxembourg has the 2nd highest GDP per capita in the world (after Qatar that other well known bastion of democratic and transparent politics). And so the roll call goes on, Obama warned that the UK would go to “the back of the queue” in any trade deal negotiation – that the USA wanted to deal with the EU not tiny UK (but note the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world by some calculations). And what has happened? After decades of talks EU/USA attempts to sign a trade deal collapsed once again in disarray and Obama has become yesterday’s man. Then we had threats from the president of the European Central Bank, Francois Hollande (also yesterday’s man), Angela Merkel (surely yesterday’s politican by the end of 2017), the president of the European Parliament, in fact probably all seven Presidents of EU Institutions – did anybody know there were seven Presidents much less name them all. But then they are not elected in any meaningful way by the people of Europe.
Anybody with a vested interest real or imagined in keeping the UK in the EU was recruited to Project Fear in order to threaten or scare the UK electorate with warnings of immediate economic disaster following a decision by the UK to Leave the EU all of which turned out to be deceitful scaremongering – lies by any other name.
The truth is that first of all the British do not take kindly to being threatened – and so it may have been counter-productive, but secondly many thoughtful people looked at the dysfunctional, anti-democratic and immoral workings of the EU and decided that we were better off out of the mess being created. They may also have reflected on “the only thing we ever learn from history is that we never learn anything from history”. History is littered with attempts to create a European Empire and all have failed. They might also have reflected that the only surviving Federation is that of the USA which only held together after a devastating and bloody civil war between the poor agricultural south and the rich industrialized northern states who sent in the army to suppress attempts at secession from the Union. Greeks might be concerned that a EU Army might one day be used in similar fashion – to suppress civil unrest – although only of course at the request of the Goldman-Sachs approved Greek Government of the day.