An official-looking leaflet has been delivered to the Zelo Street household in the last few days. Under the guise of being a “Referendum Communication”, and titled “Official Information About The Referendum On 23 June 2016”, it tells “THE EUROPEAN UNION AND YOUR FAMILY: THE FACTS … We are sending this to you as someone who cares about the future of Britain and fair access to our public services”.
Who is this “We” who cares so much that they have sent out this leaflet into the world? Ah well. That is left to the bottom right corner of the back page, such is the furtiveness and subterfuge at play. It is, to no surprise at all, from Vote Leave. It is flagrantly dishonest throughout. And it is dripping with the crudest of dog-whistle politics.
The dishonesty begins with “FACT: Britain’s official bill for EU membership is £19 billion a year or £350 million every week - the cost of a new hospital”. Even Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has given up on the “£350 million a week” claim. But the claim that takes no time at all to be pitched, and where Vote Leave is really aiming, is “FACT: Five new countries are in the queue to join the EU - Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey … You have to decide whether this will help Britain, Europe, and fair access to public services”.
There is only one message there - all those nasty foreigners are coming here and stopping you, the upstanding, hard-working, put-upon, downtrodden yet proud British people from getting an appointment to see your GP. And the kind of foreigners Vote Leave has in mind are made clear in a helpful map which shows the location of all those countries - along with their populations. Look - there are 76 million of those Turks!
And see what else the helpful map shows? It extends east to show you Syria and Iraq. Why? Because, like Turkey, they are full of Scary Muslims (tm) who by definition are coming over here to do terrible things to us. Forget that something around 90% of Turks do not hold a passport, and so are not about to travel anywhere outside their own country. Forget that Turkish accession to the EU will not happen for decades, if ever.
No, what Vote Leave want you to believe is that not only do all those 76 million Turks - most of whom are Muslims, in case you still hadn’t got that one - want to come here, but that they will bring millions more Muslims from Syria and Iraq with them, because, well, they’re all Muslims, and they’re all after one thing, and whatever it is that they’re all after, it involves them coming over here and doing terrible things to us.
There it all is - money scares, religious scares, racial scares, terror scares, all wrapped up in the language of asking for things to be “fair”. And then they point at anyone wanting Britain to remain an EU member state and shout “Look - Project Fear!” All shot through with rank dishonesty (we’re also told that “politicians in Brussels” are not “people we elect”, which will be news to our MEPs). This is how low the Out campaign has sunk.
This is not “information”. It is hatred and bigotry. As such, it deserves to fail.