Time To Talk About The EU Referendum

Undecided voters are crying out for ‘facts’. They don’t trust politicians on either side. They want an objective reality that they can have faith in. The future is uncertain that is the ‘fact’ that we all have to live with, whether IN or OUT. The search for certainty is a delusion and a distraction.
In fact this whole referendum is a distraction from the important issues, which are inequality, human rights, workers rights, underinvestment, low productivity and deteriorating public services. Add to that security and environmental issues, and the need to achieve some kind of internationally co-ordinated control of tax regimes in order to avoid money-laundering and tax evasion on the callosal scale that has become the hallmark of neoliberalism, and you have many reasons to see problems as ‘multinational’ and solutions as ‘collective’.
IN or OUT won’t solve these problems without the political will to do so. This lot of Tories, on either side of the argument, will simply use the result to further their own careers and their own private business interests, continuing to sell public assets off to the highest bidder, letting the most prosperous amongst us continue to pay the least tax, while hounding the rest of the population into the ground over every minor misdemeanor.
The wealth of the tiny, top, less-than-one percent is many multiples more than that of the lowest, or even the average, worker’s pay, a gap that has widened relentlessly since Thatcher came to power with her privatisation agenda. This is another ‘fact’!
The facts are clear though the precise numbers remain obscure. The neoliberal agenda that says inequality is somehow good for all of us is nothing but a lie. It is a lie that higher profits have raised investment in the real economy, boosting competitiveness, productivity and growth. It has not.
It is a lie that deregulation has increased efficiency. It is a lie that public industry is inefficient or unproductive relative to private industry. This is what we need to tackle, not EU membership.
However, forced to have this EU referendum, something that is nothing but a Tory political ploy to appease the far right, the best way to vote is to stay IN and to get back to work on making some important changes to government policy, to start investing in people, in public services, in regions outside the city of London, and to get back to protecting the things that make this country what we want it to be.
The EU did not cause the poverty and inequality crisis. Nor did overspending by the government. The crisis was brought on by the crash in financial markets itself a result of unregulated greed.
Migrants do not put pressure on hospitals, schools and housing, they provide the resources to build and staff hospitals, schools and housing. The tax they pay helps to fund investment in public infrastructure. It is underfunding of services by this government that has created a poverty crisis.
We need to start governing for the many and not for the tiny few. The referendum debate is nothing but a smokescreen for the real problems that this country faces due to horrendous mismanagement and false, crony-backed austerity measures that amount to no more than reverse Robin Hood scams against the people.
Our security is threatened most of all, not by terrorists or migrants, but by the fact that our privately owned weapons manufacturers, BAE systems, and the British government collude in selling arms to tyrannical governments across the globe. To get away with it they perpetuate myths about the true nature of the problems that we face.
As the case of Sports Direct illustrates many economic migrants are enticed to work in Britain by employment agencies making false promises to overseas workers. Migrants are vulnerable when they arrive to work in this country, and so unscrupulous employers find ways to undercut their terms of employment, for example, threatening them with dismissal for taking the sick leave to which they are legally entitled. This undercuts terms of employment for all employees. Many disappointed migrants, feeling duped by agencies, would prefer to return home, but cannot save the money to pay the return fare.
The problem is, thus, the exploitation of workers here and abroad, not EU membership. The same and worse will happen to workers both inside or outside the EU unless we have a government committed to greater equality and to human rights. Yes, there are many issue within the EU, things that need to be reformed, but this referendum does not begin to address the source of the serious political and economic crisis that we face today. The EU referendum is nothing but a distraction. We need to stay where we are in the EU and start addressing those serious concerns once we have put this sorry debacle behind us.
The referendum has exposed divisions within the Conservative Party. A general election may be called sooner than we think. The radical alternative needs to be in place and ready to govern when that election is called. An OUT vote will set us back, an IN vote will enable us to move forward with a real agenda for change.

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