I wasn’t planning on writing about the EU referendum again so soon, but there have been a number of articles which caught my eye this week.
The first, on Monday, was by the lovely Carolyn Leckie – you can never accuse me of hiding my bias – was in the National: The EU seems to have forgotten the basic ideals it was built on. This article matches closely how I feel about the EU, that it has been and could be a force for good but has currently lost it’s way.
I still feel that the bureaucracy, TTIP and bullying of small countries shows it is less about the people and more about what big business and banks want. Yes, we have rights now that we wouldn’t have if it were down to the UK government and yes devolution occurred because of European pressure and yes a future independent Scotland will have a louder voice than Scotland the region does now. But a little voice in my head still goes still goes but…
Speaking of which, Dan Hodges’ article was on the right wing approach to the current campaign. If leaving the EU is so important, why do the Right have so little to say about it? (Non-archived link, because some pop up turned it grey)
Now I will admit I try to avoid Farage & his ilk, because of the ensuing bouts of bad language. But even in my little social media bubble I am amazed – and grateful – that I’ve not heard of him pontificating on the subject more.
Dan states that despite the right wing blaming Europe for every problem for the past 30 years that the only things coming out of the Out campaign are grumbles over referendum procedure. I find that very hard to believe, unless they’ve realised that it’s difficult to run a negative campaign.
(Stops, because the irony of that sentence has just hit me.)
I imagine it’s more likely that they are still focusing on migration and increasing fears of “swarms of immigrants heading towards us”as the main focus, knowing that the general public will blame Europe for it.
(Tries not to start on number of conflicts that the UK has been involved with or the selling arms to Saudi, destabilising the region, etc. etc.)
Dan continues that the Out campaign don’t have an argument, and that the In campaign is miles ahead, which immediately makes me question EVERYTHING he’s written up to that point. It maybe so in London, but up here in Glasgow I’ve heard nothing from the main campaign. And it’s not just the cities they need to convince. I’ve moved from a rural area which in the last 10 years has had a large influx of migrant workers. These areas hadn’t been used to large increases in population and although the people were needed – the region was short of people willing to work on the farms, especially for the wages on offer – the local infrastructure was not able to cope. Sadly they haven’t had the warmest of welcomes.
The only thing he refers to that I think I know of is that the IN campaign has “taken ownership of the business argument” I assume this refers to Project Fear Part
3 4 – I’m not sure exactly which one we’re on now. “All businesses will leave, the banks will close, your family will be foreigners, what currency will you use?” – maybe not quite that far yet, but it’s coming, just wait.
And then finally, on the subject of negative campaigning, Iain MacWhiter wrote today that There are big risks for Sturgeon in backing negative pro-EU campaign (does no one write short headlines these days, and could they please match the article?)
I like Iain, although I don’t always agree with him. Much of this article is another that casts, in my opinion, reasonable doubts on whether Scotland should be in Europe, although to me his alternative of going it alone like Norway seems a big step. He also points out that the In campaign needs to get it’s act together and not be negative.
He is right that the pro-Europe SNP and Nicola Sturgeon must and are unlikely to make the same mistakes as Labour and campaign on the same platform as the Conservatives. A reminder of the effect of those actions can be seen in Westminster and every poll since the referendum.
It currently looks like the EU referendum will be held in June, only weeks after Holyrood, so in the run up to both polling days the party will be keen to distance itself from the all the unionist parties. I am sure they will run their own narrative on how being in the EU will benefit Scotland.
I don’t know whether my ramblings will help anyone else make up their minds, but writing it has moved my opinion a tad. I’m still not 100% sure, and not sure that I ever will be even close to that. No doubt I will waffle on at you again, when something else gets me thinking about it.