Saturday, 11 June 2016

Do we live in la-la land?

The German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble has made a very simple point.  If we leave the EU we are out of the Single Market.  The response of the press has been at its typical worst  How dare that foreigner interfere?  But, are we children in that we cannot bear to hear unpleasant news from anyone including our parents and our friends?  Must our response always be to clap our hands over our ears and go la-la-la?  The message here is plain and very simple, it's a message that the leaders of the Brexit campaign know very well.  if we are out, we are out - we cannot be like the grand old Duke of York and be half way out.  If we are willing to accept all of the single market rules then a semi-detached version of membership of the EU would be negotiable.  But that is what it would be.  We would have to accept the same rules as all the other members of the EFTA ( and that includes free movement of people.

The anti-EU agenda has poisoned British politics for 55 years.   There are a number of reasons:  we are used to adversarial politics and our legal system is based upon it. We cannot cope with systems that try to promote inclusion and consensus.  We have systematically under-invested in our infrastructure and created an unequal society.   Our education and training systems fail to give real life-chances to the urban British poor.  We are a Society that is anxious and in pain - particularly in England and what do we do when we are children and in pain?  We project that anxiety and pain onto anything out there we can:  it's that threatening monster that isn't our friend but is waiting to devour our way of life, take away our freedom to be miserable and even go boo at us in the night.  The problem is that we cannot acknowledge the source of the pain - it is right here. It's not the EU it's us.

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