I am a political junkie – there I have said it out loud! Not that there has ever been any doubt about my status. There is a family joke that infers that should there be a by-election in say, Outer Mongolia, then I will stay up all night to watch the results as they come in! There may just be a grain of truth in this as, since becoming franchised some 5o years ago, I have always known how I would vote and have campaigned with passion and commitment for an Independent Scotland. In fact, it is probably true to say that I “live and breathe” politics. So why, with a mere 2 weeks to go to the vote am I so underwhelmed at the prospect of the EU Referendum?
At the risk of losing the will to live, I have decided to share my thoughts on the Referendum. Firstly there is the feeling that this is England’s Circus, and my instinct is to think, if this is the case, then get on with it, dear neighbours – wake me up when it’s over!
Then there is the “Blue on Blue” spectacle, which I have to admit is highly entertaining. Tory Boy versus Tory Boy, just like the playing fields of Eton. My reaction to this is, however, to offer to “haud the jaikets” and watch with much mirth, from the sideline!
And maybe, just maybe, the thought of being asked to be Great Britishers rather than Little Englanders by David Cameron leaves me feeling like an orphan with no home to call my own. But given my aforementioned interest in say, “Mongolia” why am I so apathetic this time round?
The answer to this is two words – “Project Fear”. Yes folks, that has reared its very ugly head again. I am sure that everyone in Scotland could write the script for this. It goes something like this:-
(1) If you vote Leave/Stay, then the NHS will collapse! How will they be able to tell, given what Westminster is doing to the NHS in England?
(2) If you vote Leave/Stay, there will be a Financial Armageddon. How soon they forget – did the crash in 2008 never happen? Was it the fault of their Banker pals, or did a big boy do it and run away?
(3) Immigration! This is the winner as far as the Leave lot are concerned. We are being overrun with people coming to the UK to rape, plunder and generally scrounge off our beneficent Welfare System. Apart from that being simply ludicrous, has no one told these politicians that Scotland isn’t full up, that we have an ageing population and will welcome immigrants with open arms. They may think they have too many, but we know we want more to contribute to our economy.
(4) This is the Daddy of them all – Pensions! Remember how well this worked in Scotland, boys – let’s go with it again. We will frighten the bejesus out of the elderly – no matter that our pensions are among the lowest in Europe, no matter that a pension, once earned, will be paid out wherever you are in the World. (I have a cousin, who has lived in Canada for 50 years, and gets his small, accrued UK pension paid every month – not to mention my husband who has his US pension paid into our bank account.) Okay, so it is all lies, but it got us over the line in Scotland! We will scare the frail elderly, after all they are the ones who vote!
There are too many wheezes to mention, but I just wish they would complete the circle on Project Fear, and tell us we are “too wee, too poor and too stupid to rule ourselves.” I have always wondered how that would play in Middle England! I feel as if I am being asked to vote for the “least worst” Tory, and for this Nationalist, that is indeed, an apathy inducing, Hobson’s choice.
However, fear not dear reader, I will vote on June 23rd and, with gritted teeth, I shall vote to Remain. At the end of the day it is bad enough being ruled by the Tories at Westminster without letting them loose on our Human Rights.
Kay was among the first MSP’s elected to the Scottish Parliament, served as Chief Whip for the SNP group and is also a former vice-president of the party. A well known speaker at conferences.
Very true Kay and so entertaining
Thank you Bill, glad you enjoyed the piece.
Well said Mrs U. I certainly have the ‘here we go again’ feeling
Jackie I think we speak for many of our fellow Scots -thanks kid!
A healthy dose of common sense Kay – I wish you were in a higher profile role in the campaign.
John, I am but a retired politician – but I still have my opinions, for good or ill!
Not bad for an auld yin.
Thank you Ian – you have always been a charmer XX
Well said Kay, a totally unnecessary referendum from Scotland’s point of view as we will still be dominated by English Tories whatever happens. The EU could mitigate the situation. Like you I voted Remain – one Referendum at a time:-)
The Increasing Irrelevance of Continuing EU Membership
The controversial pro-EU leaflet put out by the UK government claims that continued membership of the EU will guarantee a “stronger” and “safer” UK, as if those aspects are the exclusive prerogative of that organisation – the reality could not be more glaringly different:
“Improving our lives” – a reference to, as from next year, “roaming charges will be abolished across the EU, saving mobile phone users “up to 38p a minute on calls”. The EU was first asked to abolish roaming charges by a global body, the International Telephone Users Group (INTUG) way back in 1999, but it so dragged its feet that eventually INTUG approached another global body, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD then involved another global body, the International Telecommunications Union, which used the rules of a fourth, the World Trade Organisation, to ensure that by 2013 roaming charges were being abolished right across the world – with the EU way back at the end of the queue.
“Stronger in Europe” – a claim that, if we were to leave the EU, disabled people would somehow lose their rights, but these are enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act, putting into UK law the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, which must be implemented by all UN-member states in any case, as the EU itself admits.
Another pro-EU organisation, the BBC, was recently having fun with a lamentably inadequate history of all those long-controversial EU regulations on the length, shape or otherwise of fruit and vegetables, such as cabbages, cucumbers and bananas. The point it was trying to make was that Brussels had finally recognised these rules as being “a little bit daft”, and so very sensibly repealed them. But what the BBC failed to tell us was that the reason they were all scrapped was that they have now been replaced by new standards handed down from another global body, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) based in Geneva – not in Brussels. In many ways UNECE plays a greater part in making our laws than Brussels, over everything from marketing standards to vehicle design.
What everyone on both sides of the IN/OUT campaign has been missing, is the astonishing scale on which the making of our laws has been passed up to a global level, to scores of mysterious organisations which then hand down rulings to be implemented by lesser regional bodies, such as the EU. Outside of that organisation, both the UK – as well as an independent Scotland! – could, as countries in their own right, directly apply for individual membership of especially the World Trade Organisation, which is already the nearest entity to being a world government.
Bit of a long comment Alastair
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