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A Sovereign Nation of Liars

A child who lies is punished; a politician who lies may become Prime Minister. 

Last week's referendum was won by Leave in consequence of a campaign based more on lies than truth. None on the Remain side would have been happy with the vote to Brexit, but most of us would have accepted it if it had not been underpinned by and derivative from lies, i.e. if it had been an outcome from a properly democratic process. 

This week matters have deteriorated further. The predictions of the many economists and other experts - all those experts that Gove dismissed as unnecessary - are transpiring to be accurate. Project Fear has turned out to be Project Reality. Would the Leave voters have listened to the experts if the Leave campaigners had not shot their arguments down in flames before the experts had had the chance to fully explain? Certainly some would - those who now say they regret voting Leave because they didn't understand what they were voting for and wish they'd had more information. 

Information was actually available. In abundance. But it was not to be found in the places that the majority of voters visit. The FT, Economist, Guardian, university websites, Radio 4 and BBC World Service current affairs programmes are the natural habitat only of Britain's educated - those damned elites. The tabloid papers have by far the highest sales and readership. Half of the adult population listens to Radios 1 & 2. During the week before the referendum the majority of trends on Twitter were reality television programmes and football. If you're going to ask the nation to make a decision in a referendum about something as critical as the nation's future, you need to run a rigorous public information campaign instead of allowing the opposing sides to engage in a free-for-all cat fight aided and abetted by the atrociously biased tabloid press. Far better would be to not have run a referendum at all. What is the purpose of an elected government if it is not to make the important decisions for the country?

However, it is too late and the clock cannot be turned back. But it can and should be stopped. With immediate effect. 

The lying leadership of the Leave campaign have already backtracked on their campaign promises. They have no plan at all for Britain's future outside of the EU nor the foggiest idea of how to extract us from it. Farage has delivered a tirade of insults to the European Parliament, Boris has been brexicuted by Gove, and Gove, goaded by Mrs Gove and a number of self-seeking MP's is vying for the position of Top Dog. The Leave leadership should, without exception, be banned from any position in public life ever. 

To continue along the path to Brexit is political insanity as well as financial suicide. About as sensible as driving a brand new Aston Martin blindfold at a hundred miles an hour down the wrong side of the M4. And it will have about the same consequences. 

The outcome of the referendum was the outcome of a campaign of lies. It cannot therefore be reasonably claimed to be valid. And nor should it be for that would set the most appalling example to every child in this country. How is the importance of honesty and truthfulness to be taught to children to whom the rewards of lying have been demonstrated by the holders of the highest positions in the country? 

There is nothing to be gained by anyone from Brexit. Nothing. Without access to the single market, the economy will suffer far more than we can afford. And there can be no access to the single market without freedom of movement of people. Whatever the Leave leadership liars might say to the contrary. The process of Brexiting will take an eternity, during which time not only Britain but the entirety of the EU will suffer. And all the while, the rise of the far right and xenophobic nationalism will escalate throughout Europe. To continue along the road to Brexit would be amoral. 

What should we do instead? We should swallow our national pride and do a rapid about turn. Then we should act to repair the damage as fast as possible. With all haste we should deploy a sizeable chunk of our reinstated piggy bank to solving the terrible social problems that caused the Brexit vote in the first place. 

If we do not pursue this course of action we will soon find ourselves a very small Sovereign Nation of Liars. 


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