Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit, stage left

As a West Brom fan and Labour voter I’m fairly accustomed to losing. I’m used to the pit-of-the-stomach dread that accompanies the diminishing light of night and the harsh glow of dawn once the polls have closed and the floodlights switched off.

It’s no better when you know it’s going to happen. Anticipating defeat doesn’t make it any easier. Often I’ve placed money in bets for the results I feared, hoping that this would soften the blow. It never does but at least my Brexit ‘winnings’ enabled me to buy a few beers to help me forget the outcome, temporarily.
I first wrote about my fears for this Euro-referendum two years ago. It seemed painfully obvious to me that if no-one explained the benefits of membership then the constant drip-feed of anti-EU sentiment would go unchallenged and we’d skate out without a second thought.

So it was. Of course it was considerably more complex than that. Faced with domestic challenges it suited our political overlords to lay blame at the door of the EU rather than accept their share. Rather than delivering a northern powerhouse they’d given us a northern poorhouse. Yes, the economy is faltering and we don’t make or own very much but here’s a story about bananas and some misplaced fear of immigrants to distract you.

All the anti-EU campaign had to do was adopt the Conservative election trick of nominating a large fiscal number, incomprehensible to the average man but relatively small in the scheme of international finance. It didn’t even matter if it was true, truth is the first casualty of war and corrections can be made in small print.