In much the same spirit of the intervention he made during the Scottish Independence Referendum the Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has come out against any moves to leave the European Union – Gordon Brown might not be ready to save him this time however.
In a ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ press release entitled “Europe’s Single Market: the real choice in the EU referendum”. Darling makes quite a striking similar use of adjectives and terminology in this address as he did in a bid to preserve the United Kingdom.
According to Darling, Britain would have a more “confident, more secure and stronger future” as part of the EU. He also made sure to remind voters that “the decision is final. If we’re out, we’re out. That’s it.” His view was also that “this campaign is not about our sovereignty. Britain is a sovereign nation and we will remain so.”
Darling also used the the IMF as a economic arbiter in his speech: “We don’t need any more risks. We’ve got enough already…The IMF have said “a ‘Brexit’ could do severe regional and global damage by disrupting established trading relationships.”
Then he was quite happy to link the Scottish and EU referendums claiming that the Scottish Nationalists would have put Scotland in danger away from the UK as the UK will do so away from the EU.
Allan Grogan, a Scottish socialist and activist, has made his thoughts very clear on Darling’s intervention both now and in 2014. Grogan has said on social media that “[a]ll the [Brexit] scare stories are rehashed versions of Scottish referendum“.
In a more mocking tone Grogan also had this to say: “So Alastair Darling is back to head up [the Britain Stronger In] campaign[.] [I]s this just [deja-vu]? Might have to reconsider my vote now[.]”
Darling’s intervention, although he is perfectly entitled to make one, shows the banal level this referendum campaign has reached. Unlike the Scottish referendum where on both sides there was a general sense of hope and enfranchisement the EU referendum has been spectacularly uninspiring and dull. Although great things came from the Scottish Referendum campaign there was also a lot of negativity, a lot of destroyed hope for both sides, but it seems that the rest of the country have not learned from our example.
It can’t be said that Darling’s intervention is negative because quite frankly there is not enough hope injected into the debate at all for his opinion to counter. This a really lacklustre campaign because people realise that it was a Tory move to prevent a haemorrhage of voters to UKIP. Even people who are vehemently against the EU a realising this fact – UKIP are now nowhere to be seen.
There is now two months to go and hopefully it will get exciting soon – or there will be record low voter turnout.
Image credit: flickr.com/ykoutsomitis