Saturday 9 April 2016

Europe: stay or leave? Focus on fact - 2

I saw Boris Johnson on tv the other night saying he wanted an honest debate about Europe. So why does he keep telling lies? As the Treasury Select Committee found, Boris has no scruples about just making stuff up (which was what got him sacked by The Times, of course).

Boris and his fellow Brexiters were up in arms because the government is going to send out a letter explaining some of the facts about EU membership. If we are going to have a fair referendum, this is, of course, vital, as the right wing tabloids spew out a relentless tide of anti-European propaganda, and have long ago given up any idea of covering the issue in a balanced, factual way.

But the Brexiters want to silence anyone who speaks up for Europe. They tried it on President Obama. His advice to Britain to stay in the EU was particularly inconvenient, because the anti-Europeans claim we will be able to cosy up to America once we leave Europe.

Boris also tried to ban anyone at City Hall from saying anything nice about Europe.

Also interesting this week: the ‘Jagger backs Brexit’ claim (so apparently do the Queen, and probably God, according to the anti-European tabloids). If you actually read what Mick said, he argues that for the first 20 years, leaving will damage us. Then in the ‘long term’ it might be ‘beneficial. ‘ As the great economist John Maynard Keynes said: ‘In the long term, we are all dead.’

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