Wednesday, 8 June 2016
What scares me most about a remain vote
If Britain votes to remain in the EU we will have permanently forfeited most of our rights to influence policy over trade, fishing, aid, energy and agriculture. These are absolutely crucial to our overall domestic industrial policy and these areas have a profound impact on our lives and our economy. Having sealed the deal to no longer take an interest in such affairs, parliament will be able to seal itself into its tiny little bubble where reality may never intrude. It will be the absolute final death of adult politics.
As much as Britain will withdraw from the world, it will largely delegate the important policy areas to the EU technocrats and will instead be fixated permanently on the minutia of our lives. Controlling what we do and our individual choices is all that will be left for them to influence.
And so I can see Britain becoming a distinctly illiberal place, where politicians use their remaining powers to restrict our personal freedoms in what we do, what we consume and what we say to one another. They will become ever more controlling over things which are none of their business. I see a political system making itself wholly redundant and resorting to displacement activity to fill the void.
Consequently the public debate will be an ever more diminished one, where the House of Commons becomes a gallery for vanity and virtue signalling. To many extents we are already there but a remain vote pretty much seals our fate.
It's a guarantee that reality will not intrude. Political culture will decline to a state where ignorance is prized and being informed is to your distinct disadvantage. Your virtue will be measured by the shrillness of your wails over the substance of your words.
And I do not see this coming without a price to pay. Certainly I don't see that I have a place in the new model of post-democratic politics. We will have a political class which does not believe in Britain's capabilities and lacks the will to govern.
We will be an insular country of diminished significance having turned our back on global participation. We will have empty shells of political parties neither of which are worth a vote. And voting to be rid of them will accomplish little. We have seen how the system neatly castrates insurgent parties and we have see how those not native to the system can be marginalised. There will be no value in voting.
And when it comes to Euro-elections, where we have the dubious honour of selecting overpaid button pushers to rubber stamp global regulations, the details of which are already decided, we will, at best, send the very worst of what we have in protest. If we even bother at all that is. I won't.
We will in effect be an occupied country where there is no value in participating in the public debate since the conclusion of any debate will simply not translate into policy or reform.
Consequently politics as a subject heading will be a subheading of light entertainment, where if anybody holding any expertise wishes to influence policy they will depart for Geneva and never look back. Anyone with a hectoring and nannying agenda though, will head for the Westminster gossip bubble.
Meanwhile the disconnect between the governed and the governors will grow. From there, there are only two paths. Permanent idiocracy or a furious backlash the likes we have not seen for generations. There is always a price for turning our backs on democracy. Always.