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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Obama lights a fire

I’ve enjoyed the EU referendum debate for the most part because I’ve been wanting to argue the remain side as passionately as Exiters have dismissed our European neighbours in the superior, we know better tone, they love to use whilst wrapped in an Union Jack and a rack of military medals. I do find it odd that the instinctive military formed nationalism certain media love to portray is based around hatred of the continent many thought hard to defend. Our world war two heritage should give us moral authority in Europe but instead we wasted that with paranoia and a superiority complex. The world has moved on without caring for the opinions of the British.

That’s why it’s good to see Obama light a fire under the debate and tell us all, it’s not just about you little Britain. It’s about everyone and it’s about time you woke up to see that the civilised world does not stop at the white cliffs of Dover.

So now the debate has extra vim and gusto as the US tells us what’s right and Brexit screams in lame protest. It’s ok for the Daily Mail and it’s off shore media moguls to make up twaddle about the Europe and tell us what’s right but the US President… no way. His opinion doesn’t count at all.

American arrogance decorates his words which is often the thing that most winds us up across the Atlantic. But swap Obama for Trump or Clinton and do we really think the message would be any different. It’s only a few months ago we debated Trump's arrogance and blatant racism in Parliament so don’t expect him to be reaching hands across the water. I am confident American high opinions don't have any overt influence over us but it is worth remembering that if we are not in the EU we will need America more and more. To say differently is nonsense. Shun and hate it all you like, but switch on the TV, and flick through the channels. Tell me they don’t already dominate our language, our media, our lives. The price we pay for more trade will likely be on terms we won’t enjoy. The US may even demand equal employment terms for exporting companies. There goes the minimum wage. Take annual holidays. Many US corporations give employees two weeks leave a year. In the EU it’s a minimum of four weeks in most cases. I know what I’m voting for.  

Obama has waded into the debate with heavy boots but take heed not of the threat, but the reality of a world where we are on our own. Yes nations will want to sell us the same and more than they do today, but don’t pretend those nations will give a toss about our marvellous history. Think of Tesco’s doing a deal with a lowly farmer as they screw them into the ground and that’s pretty much how others will see the UK opportunity. Think of China licking their lips. Soon they will have influence over every major investment the UK has. No longer dominated by the EU but bought and paid for by China.

Like any bully, a threat says more about them then it does about us. But like most bully’s we can’t ignore them. We can reach a hand out to shake in friendship but the US is just as likely to pull a raspberry in our faces as reciprocate the handshake.

Vote remain, is about good sense not fear.


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