Friday, 15 April 2016

How do you feel about this EU campaign?

Dare one say it? The campaign which started this morning but which is in reality already 2 months old, is both boring and badly managed. Yes, the subject f EU membership is important. Yes, voting about Europe is, for us who live in safe Tory seats, the one occasion when our votes count. But the powers that be could hardly have done worse in terms of enthusing the electorate.

If I were a Brexit-er [which I am most decidedly NOT] I could at least be enthusiastic because this is such a simple, clear message. But the awfulness and chaos of the rival gangs could reduce this clarity to confusion and lose them their chance of prevailing.

Then there are the Remainers. Oh dear! Their case could be so strong but their message and presentation are so poor. As usual with anything run by the Tories, the focus is on money and foreigners, when the visceral, emotional attraction must surely lie in decades past and future of peace and cooperation. Instead, we have Johnny Foreigner against Colonel Blimp; gunboats against the defenceless; and, sadly, old-and-voting versus young-and-disenfranchised. As if it were not already bad enough that Europe as an issue historically attracts low priority in voter concerns and low turnout. Four months of bad-mouthing bigotry is no turn-on, will do nothing to give democracy a good name and may lead to a damaging conclusion when there was no need for the referendum in the first place. What a mess.

Tom Serpell

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