steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Two Negatives Don't Make a Positive

It's a bit rich for Boris Johnson and others to complain that David Cameron and the Stay campaign are pursuing "Project Fear". After all, that's the way Cameron has always campaigned, and most of the time Johnson has been cheering him on. The Scottish referendum was Project Fear (Scotland would be cast adrift, unable to enter the EU); the last election was Project Fear (Nicola Sturgeon would keep Ed Miliband locked in a cellar). It's worked well in the past; of course the EU referendum is going to be Project Fear too. Cameron has no positive vision of anything, as far as I can see.

So yes, of course Project Fear exists - and rain is wet. Still, it would be good to have a better sense from the Stay campaign of why one should want to vote to remain, other than "To avoid this long catalogue of disasters." The few attempts to do so tend to strike a rather unpalatable of "We will get special treatment because we're special" note, which makes me uncomfortable in itself and can hardly endear us to our neighbours. Ironically, of course, some of the things that actually give the most benefit to UK voters individually - such as the ability to move around and live anywhere in the EU - are those that they feel they can't be vocal about, because while freedom of movement is a good thing for us, it's a very bad one when foreigners have it, don'tcha know?

On the other hand, the Leave camp's Positive Vision seems even more negative. A chance to strip workers (and others) of their rights; a chance to introduce Farage's dream of an "Australian style points-based system" for immigration, which boils down to a) indirect discrimination in favour of white people, and/or b) letting poor countries pay to educate their young, then skimming them off to come and work for us - which we do a fair bit of already, but would be ramped up in the brave new Britain.

So, I'm still on the fence - and considering tunnelling under the fence and making for a different continent entirely (Antarctica is nice at this time of year). Still, it's early days: perhaps Donald Trump will invade us and we can stop worrying about it?
Tags: bullshit arguments, current affairs
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