Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Brexit saga continues

The Brexit saga continues with an excellent commentary by Andrew Rawnsley:
"So the phoney war is over. The real battle is engaged. After decades of tortured agonising about this country’s relationship with its continent, three years of manoeuvring by David Cameron, 30 hours of sweaty haggling in Brussels and an extraordinary 140-minute cabinet meeting yesterday morning, the referendum finally begins. The United Kingdom’s complicated and often contradictory feelings about itself and its role in the world will now be compressed into four months of intense argument. Rival visions of the country and competing versions of its future will contend to impress voters before they make their choice on 23 June, the date with destiny announced from Downing Street by the prime minister."
David Cameron in Downing Street delivering a statement
on his EU deal. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Selected quotes from Andrew Rawnsley's commentary:
One way of looking at this, always popular among both commentators and opposition parties, is to see this moment as the final, and potentially extremely bloody, act of a Tory psychodrama that has riven that party for so long.
Those who clamour for what they call self-government cannot even agree with each other about how to run a campaign.
Journalists have colluded in the self-pleasuring of Boris Johnson by obsessing over which side of the fence that incorrigible attention-seeker will fall.  
It is certainly correct that this will be the climactic struggle for the soul of the right that has been brewing for so long. It is also true that the stakes couldn’t be more vertiginous for David Cameron.
After all those years in which Europhobia has been pandered to and fed by Tory leaders, it is a novelty to hear Mr Cameron making the arguments for membership. His backing chorus will look impressive ...
... On the other side of the argument will be about half a dozen of the less important members of the cabinet, Nigel Farage, George Galloway, Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and possibly Boris if that is the company he really wants to keep.
his is an age of rage characterised by a widespread and deep-seated alienation from anything and anyone who can be labelled “the establishment”.  
Leaping in the dark will surely feel even riskier when the people urging the blindfolded jump are Nigel Farage and George Galloway.
In or Out will be a generational choice about the future of the United Kingdom.