It’s 100 days until Britain’s European Union (EU) referendum, and the signs are relatively good at the moment for the Eurosceptics. As we reported earlier: “Although latest polling has the European Union (EU) referendum result virtually tied at 49 per cent Leave to 47 per cent Remain, factoring in the increased likelihood to vote of out voters means the Brexit side would win a convincing victory with 52 per cent of the vote to Remain’s 45 per cent.”
This is a major result for a fractured ‘out’ or ‘leave’ campaign, the leaders of which have previously been dismissed as gadflys, closet racists, and swivel-eyed loons. Well it’s not such a bad scenario for this maggot minded, starved fanatic crew, is it? Now, with 100 days to go, is the time for the two ‘leave’ campaigns to get together and convert their momentum to a big lead.
All the circumstances are in their favour.
IMMIGRATION, IMMIGRATION, IMMIGRATION
Sir Lynton Crosby, who much to my chagrin brought home the UK election for David Cameron’s Conservative Party last year – utilising his very own ‘Project Fear’ strategy against Labour, the Scottish Nationalists, and UKIP all at once – has said today that the biggest issue for a lot of people is going to be immigration. Not necessarily just to motivate people to vote out, but also to stop the ‘Remain’ voters coming out on the day and supporting Britain’s membership of the EU.
This is excruciatingly important. It cannot be stressed enough how much voter suppression will come into this referendum, which is why UKIP and the Leave.EU campaigns are pushing heavily on the message that if Britain votes to stay in, it will soon find itself in a union with 75 million Turks, as President Erdogan and Chancellor Merkel conspire to consolidate their grip over Europe.
THE MIGRANT CRISIS
Come on, it’s mid-March 2016, and over the course of the last 15 months we’ve seen well over 1.5 million migrants make their way into Europe, almost totally unabated. All the talk of repatriations and dissuasion still seems to be just that – all talk. Which means that by June 23rd this year, the date of Britain’s referendum, we may well have seen over 2 million people enter Europe.
But it’s not just the scale of the crisis. It’s not just the sheer number of people who are entering. It’s who is entering. A quick flick through Breitbart London’s migrant crisis live wire provides a snapshot of what European countries are going through at the moment – expending huge financial resources, moral strength, and political capital in order to accommodate many people who are either economic migrants, or simply not who they say they are.
The burden of proof for this is often placed on the migrant crisis naysayers, but the truth is that it is the people claiming to be refugees who need to provide evidence and often don’t. The British people are some of the smartest in Europe on this issue, a result of being located on a tiny island.
TTIP/NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
I’ve been banging on about the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for a long time now. My gripe is that it creates a corporatist, economic super-state in which big business rules the roost. But the message that should be underscored to the British public is that TTIP means mass privatisation of the National Health Service (NHS).
Whatever you think of the NHS, and my estimation isn’t that high, you have to acknowledge that the British public is still in love with it. It’s a religion to some. And that means that politicians and campaigners are duty-bound to protect it (even though real protection would mean radical reform).
TTIP threatens the NHS by guaranteeing market access for corporates, and effectively abolishing monopolies. That’s good news to neo-liberals or free marketeers, but bad news for socialists, trades unionists, nationalists, and small-c conservatives. The latter groups, whether the people know it or not, make up the majority of British voters.
SECURITY AND TERRORISM
One of the major Conservative Party talking points at the last election was security: economic and physical. They won on these points because Ed Miliband, then Labour leader, was so laughably weak, and Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, was (and still is) scary.
But the security narrative won’t work for David Cameron at this referendum. What with Turkey terror – a country he wants in the EU alongside Britain – as well as the fatal Paris attacks, Cologne rape scandal, and recent ISIS document leaks regarding the group’s activities in Europe, this is an open door for the ‘Leave’ campaigners. They’re just currently not making enough of it.
CULTURE AND IDENTITY
Whether the establishment likes it or not, British people are at their root, patriotic, even softly nationalistic at some points. They see the European Union as diluting their culture and their communities.
“Culture!? What culture?! Fish and chips and umbrellas?”
This is the arrogant, European attitude towards Britain. And we have the same attitude right back towards those cheese-eating surrender monkeys and Nazi krauts.
It’s a brilliant, love-hate, relationship. But it’s not grounds for a marriage. I’ve been saying for a long time that rhetoric more than anything will win this campaign for the ‘Leave’ campaign, especially because the ‘In’ camp have no big, booming voices, and no real factual arguments to make. Hence the ‘Project Fear’ tactics about how ‘Leave’ hasn’t made clear what Brexit would look like.
JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
We’re patriotic, but we’re also quite lazy. By that I mean we all have actual lives (well, you do – I don’t). And so we’re inclined to believe the BBC scare stories that jobs are created by the government, or the big corporates with City interests. Interests like cheap migrant labour. This is despite the fact that there were 5.4 million private sector businesses in Britain at the start of 2015, accounting for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses at the start of 2015.
So when Nissan or Goldman Sachs says “boo!” we all jump. But we really ought not to. Because not only are they not going to leave the United Kingdom, but some of our £20bn a year in EU contributions that we’ll save will no doubt be invested back into UK manufacturing and skilled jobs. This, combined with a slowdown in immigration, means that wages would also be able to rise as reams of burdensome Brussels regulations are scrapped.
The leave campaign is gaining momentum, which can only be scuppered by a lack of activity, and a failure to capitalise on the opposition’s mistakes.
Brexit has gone from being an idealistic endeavour to a very serious reality.