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Thursday 23rd June 2016
Good afternoon, friends,
In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….
I don’t vote ordinarily. I haven’t cast a vote in an election for nearly 30 years.
I think to do so serves only to encourage the preservation of the present political system and the state of the politics perpetrated on the public from within it.
‘People died for your right to vote, Sir…. To refuse to vote is a kick in the teeth for those people….’
I’ve heard that argument. And I don’t buy it.
Nobody died for my vote. Anybody who fought and died for the right to vote, fought and died for their own right to vote. And for the rights of the people around them. Which is just as it should be.
And in any case, a vote only has value if you are free to cast and express that vote (or not) in line with your own beliefs and your own conscience.
If nobody on the ballot paper represents my interests, then what am I voting for? The lesser of the few evils I am presented with? What kind of election is that? What kind of democracy is that?
Who am I to vote for when the candidates comprise the thief, the fraud, the liar, the vainglorious and the messianic personality disorder with its eyes on an office in the corridors of power?
Where is the NONE OF THE ABOVE option? That’s where I want to put my cross.
Until I am able to express in the ballot box what it is I believe – that none of these candidates represent my interests – I won’t be voting in elections of any sort.
The only protest vote open to me is to choose not to vote, not to take part, not to engage. And anybody who says it is my duty to vote is missing the point.
My duty is to follow my conscience. If I believe the political system to be corrupt, dishonest and undemocratic, then it is my duty to oppose it rather than offer my tacit on-going consent by engaging with it on its own terms.
But that’s just me. And you will understand why I don’t get too many invitations to dinner parties these days. I am not conducive to good digestion.
But all that said I went out this morning and voted in the European Referendum. And I voted LEAVE. And I’ll tell you why in a moment.
First, a few words on the quality of the debate….
We are told this European Referendum is the most important political event in this country for donkeys’ years….
Fair enough. That might be the case. But the quality of the debate certainly hasn’t reflected that view.
From where I’m sitting the ‘debate’ (I use the word loosely) has consisted of little more than a toxic mix of playground mud-slinging, exaggerated and groundless fabrications and outright bare-faced lying and fear-mongering – with both sides as guilty as one another.
We are told that if we leave we can expect instant economic meltdown. That Britain cannot stand on its own two feet. That we cannot survive on the basis of our own efforts. That we are weak and that we are hideously and tragically deluded – like some bed-ridden geriatric in soiled pyjamas still believing he’s going to get the call-up from Roy Hodgson.
We are told we will become a pariah nation – abandoned, ostracized and shunned by the international community, business and the peoples of the world.
By next Friday we will all be living in a third-world country that looks more like the stone-age than 2016.
The dead will lie rotting in the streets. Children will be eating their own parents. Lawlessness will prevail. Famine, disease and pestilence will sweep the land. Life expectancy rates will plunge to 37 (34 for men).
On the other hand we are told that if we vote to remain in Europe we will be living under Sharia law. 30 million Turks are poised like coiled springs – itching to make their way to the sunlit uplands of Bognor Regis and Huddersfield so that they can convert us to their ways.
All our churches will be converted into mosques. Harlots will be stoned to death in the High Street. Men like me, physically incapable of growing a beard, will be forced at sword-point to wear burkas.
German will become the National language – with Arabic coming a close second. Bayern Munich will be parachuted into the Premier League. German sausage will become the National dish.
The good old British banger will be outlawed for failing to comply with EU regulation 3472345/NHR/870023-GHTN-99 (if you haven’t already read it then do so without further delay because the ramifications are mind-blowing).
British pubs will be phased out by 2024 and replaced with French street-cafes. Wembley stadium will be required to put on a fair and equal quota of bull-fights. Every business in the land will be forced to employ at least one Albanian and one Romanian.
The NHS will collapse. Eastern European transplant patients will be given organs taken from British people at gunpoint in the middle of the night on their own doorsteps. The European powers will force Britain to start driving on the other side of the road. Our way of life will be destroyed. Britons will be slowly bred out of existence.
If the powers that be have set out to confuse and befuddle the public with a barrage of conflicting nonsense then their work is done.
Only this morning Katie Price came out and said she’s confused. I’m confused too. And if KP and I (two of the truly great modern-day British thinkers) are confused, then everybody else must be absolutely bewildered.
I suspect very few people are voting in today’s referendum on the basis of any facts. Nobody knows what to believe. Nobody knows what is true or what is false. Nobody has any real clue on what to solidly base an opinion – let alone a vote. I doubt there’s been a single factual statement made by either side throughout the entire debate.
The public will largely be voting on the basis of fear, kneejerk emotional responses to downright lies or because David Beckham, Katie Hopkins, Joey Essex, and all the other great elder states-people of our times, have swayed our opinions with their excellent well-thought-out arguments….
Of course, mine is just another half-demented voice crying out in the wilderness of confusion. But, just for balance, I felt I should put my case forward for the LEAVE side of the debate….
It isn’t that I have been swayed by the arguments of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan-Smith, Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farage, the Daily Mail, or the Sun. I haven’t.
And I must admit to being embarrassed to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with such a shower of wretched individuals and institutions.
I couldn’t be more embarrassed if I was on the front page of the Sunday Mirror photographed coming out of a back-street Liverpool brothel. I really couldn’t….
But I must vote LEAVE. And here’s the reason why….
When David Cameron, George Osborne, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson and John Major all simultaneously tell me that I should be voting REMAIN, I know that voting REMAIN is the wrong thing for me to do. It’s as simple as that. These men are professional deceivers. Whatever they say, I do the opposite. I think that’s solid policy.
All those political operators rose to the highest seats of power in the country. Most disgraced themselves and their offices one way or another. Some repeatedly. Others are still at it.
And I can say honestly that I couldn’t point at any one of those men and say, in any convincing fashion whatsoever, that when in office his heart was in the right place and that he was truly doing what he felt was right for the common good.
My own view is that all those above-mentioned individuals represented interests far-removed from the interests of the average voter. The real programme on which they were engaged is not the one they were elected on. The people they really served were not the general electorate.
So when all these ‘passionate’ men come out and tell me that they really ‘believe’ that voting REMAIN is the right thing to do, I wonder who it is really right for. I wonder what or whose purposes such a vote would really serve.
I wouldn’t share a lifeboat with the likes of Blair, Cameron and Osborne. I don’t trust them. I consider them professional liars. I certainly can’t bring myself to share their particular view of what is right for the British people.
Call me contrarian, but if that set of serpents say LEAVE is wrong for the British people, that’s a strong signal (in my book) that LEAVE is the best option for me. And I’ve voted accordingly.
Of course, the European Union is also completely lacking in democratic accountability.
Many decisions are taken by a Group of ministers that nobody has elected. Nobody can challenge them either. Most people haven’t even got a clue who they are or where they come from.
Does that sound like democracy? No, I didn’t think so either. And that put the tin lid on my decision to vote LEAVE.
I don’t know which way it will go. Next week we’ll either be back in stone-age Britain or getting to grips with the finer points of German grammar.
Just don’t forget to vote for whichever dystopian night-mare vision you think is best…. Your vote counts….
I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.