The Great EU Referendum Swindle?
Illustration by Steve Spencer
It was January 14, 1978, and the Sex Pistols had just played what turned out to be their final gig. A fresh-faced John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) stared at the audience and uttered those famous last words before walking off stage at the Winterland Theatre, San Francisco.
As the EU Referendum nears its final destination I can’t help hearing those words ringing in my ears. The conduct of the main protagonists in both camps leaves much to be desired and at times as looked more like a Punch and Judy Show than a serious debate about our country’s future. Which doesn’t help those who are genuinely worried about putting their cross in the wrong box?
Claims that both camps have used underhand tactics and blatant lies shouldn’t come as a surprise. For Brexit, this is the chance they have waited years for. It’s their one and only shot at separating us from the rest of Europe. Whereas Stronger In is fighting to protect our jobs, rights, industry and services. The stakes are high for both camps, so the use of dirty tricks should come as no surprise.
For years, those three little words ‘Working Time Directive’ have hounded the Conservative far right to the point of obsession for years. Ever since Margaret Thatcher changed the face of the domestic policy, the only gripe they have had is that of Euro-Scepticism. It’s no surprise that Bori Johnson, Michael Gove, Ian Duncan-Smith and Priti Patel have tied their flag to the Brexit pole has their views on subjects like the NHS and Human/Workers rights are very transparent.
With David Cameron, it’s not so obvious as to why he’s keen to promote the Remain case. I mean it’s not as if the EU hasn’t been a constant thorn in his side since taking office. Just recently three Court of Appeal Judges dismissed the government’s challenge against earlier High Court rulings which found their workfare program was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Potentially opening the door to thousands of claims for compensation.
Their are others who believe that by calling this referendum David Cameron has shown a lack of leadership. Professor Richard Dawkins recently expressed the view that “It is an outrage that people as ignorant as me are being asked to vote. This is a complicated matter of economics, politics, history, and we live in a representative democracy, not a plebiscite democracy. You could make a case for having plebiscites on certain issues – I could imagine somebody arguing for one on fox hunting, for example – but not on something as involved as the European Union. This should be a matter for parliament.”
So whether the masses choose to stay IN or vote OUT one thing will be certain… The party that is in charge now will be the same party that will be in charge then, and so far they haven’t made a very good job of safeguarding the rights of everyone in the UK. It’s only my opinion, of course, but come June 24 John Lydon’s words from all those years ago may have a new resonance – “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night!”