Saturday, 24 October 2015
Cameron has nothing to offer us that we cannot beat
For me, attacking the Remain campaign is more an academic exercise. It's an opportunity to learn and grow my understanding of how things work. In terms of campaigning, it serves very little value. Our success or failure hinges on whether we can can show that what Cameron puts on the table is a sham and that we have a better idea.
In fact, attacking the decoy campaign is just busywork that fills in the lulls in campaigning. The central effort has to be educating the public that there are no negotiations and that Cameron will call whatever he is presented as his great victory. It's actually rather a shame because working out the details of how global trade is done and how the EU works, along with examining the weird pathology of europhiles is far more interesting and a lot more rewarding.
That's the problem though. It's misdirection. The arguments over the respective merits of the EU are going to fall by the wayside and so are the central issues. Ukip had a major woody for the immigration issue over summer, but as predicted it has dropped off the agenda. As much as the media is bored of it and has moved on, the new parliamentary session has filled the airwaves with a different set of fads. A few more political rows like child tax credits and all this summers miserable images of dead foreigners on the beach will be a distant memory and the EU will spend our money to ensure it stays that way in the run up to the election. Moreover, even if this referendum were a question of issues, we would certainly limit our appeal by taking a specific position on a number of contentious issues. Certainly Ukip didn't think it through and nor did Vote Leave.
So really what we have to do is focus on the task at hand which is to undermine Cameron as a credible figure, expose the charade and ensure we have a better alternative to what Cameron is offering. What we can offer is single market access as well as a voice at the top tables. Europhiles say that we want to have our cake and eat it - to have all the benefits of the "EU" without the compromises. Well, put simply, to a large extent we can. We fully admit there is not going to be a bonfire of regulation but we will be in the driving seat where and when it matters.
If we discuss the EU at all in any detail it should be to demonstrate that the EU is merely the middleman, delegating to some pretty useless organisations to produce regulation and that power in the EU has only one direction of travel - upwards and to the centre. As much as it already has taken our vote at the top tables, it will not be satisfied until it has all of them. We can demonstrate why that is a very dangerous place to be. We can also show that those areas where it assumes sole competence it does more harm than good.
But more than that it;s about a competing vision. Our outlook is that global markets are going to require global governance and we cannot wall ourselves off from the world in a self-contained continental bloc and that we have to engage with the bigger and more dynamic global markets. To get the best from the new trading dynamics we need to be in at the top tables making our voice heard, picking those alliances best suited to our needs and protecting our interests where our individuality is threatened.
Now that we've had confirmation of what the EU has in mind for our future, we can see the proposal for what it is. A powergrab from the eurozone states and keeping the rest on a leash, where we will likely take a back seat to the needs of the Euro. That's third rate influence and europhiles are doing us a disservice by saying we can't manage for ourselves at the global level.
Norway;s independence means it has several cooperation agreements with Russia regarding the environment and natural resources, which the EU does not have access to which gives Norway certain leverage. There is no reason why we cannot pick our our alliances too. Certainly the EU is not building any bridges. There is no reason why the UK could not use independence to act as a broker. A long standing British tradition.
We must call out the europhile hypocrites. They say it's terrible for us to be like Norway as they have no vote at the EU level - yet somehow it's perfectly fine for Britain, the world's fifth largest economy, not to have an independent vote at the top tables where global trade rules are made. This is a bizarro logical inconsistency that they must explain. It's a simple choice - Cameron's bogus new deal which looks pretty much the same as the old one, or we can have all the benefits of an open Europe without being shut out from the global forum.
Being as objective as I can, I cannot see any advantage to being on a leash to the eurozone and Cameron is going to try and sell us the idea that this is somehow an improvement. Are we going to let him?