It’s been a week of big speeches on the EU Referendum and my Theo-EU-ometer has been twitching with the uncertainty of a bloated belly after an enjoyable curry, but holding the line, still verging slightly towards Brexit. This is not because of the compelling case put forward by the Vote Leave campaign but more because of the constant incredulous and unbelievable claims being made by the Remain campaign who surely now have no toes left on at least one foot.
First up we had David Cameron’s speech conjuring up images of fire and brimstone and pictures of war and bombed out cities if we left the EU. If, as I’ve said before, leaving the EU is so catastrophic as to create wars and burning cities, what the hell are the rest of the European leaders thinking in not looking at sensible and acceptable reform to encourage the UK to stay in? Surely no one wants war on their doorstep. Why should the UK make all the sacrifices…unless of course the EU bureaucrats are busy having a chuckle while slapping their lederhosen and quite honestly don’t care a monkey’s whether we stay or leave. If David Cameron is 100% certain that Stronger In is better, then why has he handed this huge decision to the public at all, many of whom, and I include myself in this, are blinded by the blizzard of facts and spin from both sides? I can’t see him offering a Referendum to the Great British Public on replacing Trident, some would say a much more contentious issue, which many put the cost at 20 years of our annual net contribution to the EU. It’s on issues like this that the country needs strong leadership and someone who can say, “The buck stops with me. That’s why you elected me.” It is no different in business. You take advice and soundings from your advisors, colleagues and in many cases your customers and then you make a decision for the good of all. Which is why executives get paid; to make decisions!
In other Stronger In news, David Miliband seems to have finished licking his wounds and popped over from the States to throw his famous banana skin into the Brexit debate, calling it “political suicide”…and that’s something he’s got some experience of. Gordon Brown also claimed that it would be most ‘Un-British’ of the UK to leave the European Union resulting in a return to ‘murder and maiming’ and that we needed to ‘lead rather than leave’. Something which we have blatantly failed to do for many years, so what’s gonna change? Strange comments though, bearing in mind some Leave campaigners are claiming that’s exactly why they want to leave, they want to stay British!
It feels that we have now entered the comical ‘you can say and do anything’ stage of this campaign, with Boris singing An Ode to Joy in German to prove that some of his best friends are German and one of the biggest Eurosceptics in recent history, Jeremy Corbyn, launching a Battle Bus on a six week campaign to persuade us to stay in. You couldn’t make it up. It really is beginning to feel like a Mel Brooks production, ‘Brexit – The Musical’! And all we need now is for the Prime Minister to be accidentally heard publically accusing Nigeria and Afghanistan of being ‘fantastically corrupt’ days before their leaders are due to arrive in the UK for a conference.
Iain Duncan Smith’s speech struck a chord with many, for very different reasons. He on one hand raised some fair questions about what the key issues are and challenged the Stronger In party to answer them, highlighting the social injustice of the EU as more for the ‘haves than the have-nots’. On the other hand, there were those who couldn’t help but wave the flag of irony high up in the air, pointing out that the man who was suggesting this inequality and damnation of the poor, was the same man who was responsible for the oh-so popular bedroom tax and other benefit cuts, I feel a political re-invention coming on.
The Chilcott Enquiry has finally been given a date, of July 6th, after seven years. A ridiculous amount of time, and much like Hillsborough, I hope the verdict is honest and is able to bring closure for the people who have suffered in this horrendous misadventure.
Congratulations to our new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. A story worthy of a Richard Curtis film; the son of an immigrant bus driver, now the Mayor of arguably the best city in the world. Whilst obviously an ex-Labour MP, he needs to put the lunacy of the current Labour party as far away behind him as he can, to enable him to preside with both his head and his heart. Best of luck Sadiq, and on that point, scaremongering negative campaigners beware, the Great British Public deserve more credit than that. Whether you’re a Bremain or Brexit campaigner, take note!
We heard the sad news this week that legendary TV producer Gareth Gwenlan, responsible for Yes Prime Minister, ‘Allo ‘Allo and Only Fools and Horses, passed away. I wonder what he would have made of ‘Brexit – The Movie’? Maybe with David Cameron as Del Boy, Boris Johnson as Rodney and Jeremy Corbyn has got to be Uncle Albert, with a story for everything. Boycie and Trigger are still up for grabs, although with quite a few contenders…One thing is for sure, I couldn’t think of a better person to have produced it, with the cast of Blackadder, Yes Prime Minister, Only Fools and Horses, Reginald Perrin, and One Foot In the Grave all playing their part. Except, Gwenlan’s version would have given us a much clearer understanding of what we’re meant to be voting for.
Bonnet de Douche!
12 May 2016