Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you’re gone
(Lucy in the sky with diamonds – Beatles)
Which just about sums up the vacuous words that are now appearing in the media on the subject of the forthcoming referendum on this nation’s membership of the European Union. According to the Financial Times, the Conservative success at the recent general election has left both pro- and anti-EU lobby groups scrambling to come up with a coherent strategy for the EU referendum.
In resect of the quote heading this article, Lucy Thomas, Campaign Director for Business for New Europe, must surely take first prize for the most contradictory statement ever issued. Apparently there is a need for popular figures to represent the range of views on Europe. She then adds: The campaign has to be about real peoples lives; it has to be from the bottom up. Er, if it has to be from the bottom up, then why, one has to ask, is there a need for a ‘popular figure’ to front either side of the argument. One can only assume she most definitely has caught the ‘newspaper taxi’, that her head is in the clouds – and that she most definitely is ‘gone’. (Mind you, one could be forgiven for posing the question was she ever ‘not gone’ previously).
What is also obvious from the FT article is that egos still flourish, with the statements that groups have no plans to merge – and why would they? They all hope to make a name for themselves and no doubt have any eye on the ‘wonga’ that will be available were they to secure ‘lead status’ in either the pro or anti campaign.
Besides ‘Our Lucy’, Andrew Lilico is another who appears to have his head in the clouds. Writing on Capx, he asks what should, could and will Cameron get from his renegotiation., listing what he considers to be ‘matters of importance’. At this point one must also bring in the likes of John Redwood who also believes that only ‘certain matters’ are important. Just what is it that these individuals do not understand about sovereignty? The moment that one iota of sovereignty is ceded to another, the ‘cedee’, as a nation, is no longer sovereign – is not ‘sovereignty’ the ability to determine that which happens within a nation’s borders, coupled with that nation’s relationship with other nations? Where Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ is concerned, those of us who were of age and thus having the mental capacity to understand the events of 1975 (Wilson) are about to see history repeat itself – with no deal being sold to the people as a deal, one too good to reject.
The discussion about whether we stay ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU is not helped by articles such as this, from David Skelton, Head of Public Affairs at Weber Shandwick, another who believes that a broad alliance of large and small businesses, politicians, unions, consumer groups, newspapers, academics and experts will be essential for the campaigns. It is a continual source of amazement that some individuals manage to become ‘head of this, that, or the other’, while obviously having no knowledge of the subject matter (Matthew Elliot and Mats Persson spring to mind) – but I digress.
In view of the foregoing, one cannot but come back to ‘Our Lucy’ and ask if the question of this nation’s membership of the EU is a matter for the people, just why do we need a ‘figure head’ to front each campaign? This, in turn, begs the question that if the decision is that of the people, then where is the source of unbiased information for the people so they can make up their minds – and thus negate the need for a ‘figure head’?
That such a source does exist would seem to be of no consequence as those able to publicise such – the MSM – choose not to as obviously this would upset their paymasters, namely the political class per se. So, the next question is: what are the proponents of this ‘deal-breaker’ going to do to break the deadlock – after all we read a lot of words about the need for breaking said deadlock, but on action and statergy there seems no word. Couple this with the fact that our present system of democracy is ‘shot to hell’, or to put it more kindly, past its sell-by-date, then the need to combine both leaving the EU and changing our system of democracy becomes of paramount importance.
It is said that some are borne to lead, others try to lead – but both rely on innovation. It has been said that for good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate – so how to get that human interaction, argumment and debate? It has also been said that a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
With regard to the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, where those that choose to lead are concerned, we appear to have seen little of the former, but a lot of the latter – and that goes for both camps. If those of us, who do have something to contribute to the discussion, are ‘shut out’ (for whatever reason), then can the debate be considered ‘fair’?