The hypocrisy of Brexiteers who moan about Project Fear is ridiculous

by Samuel Dale

A few years ago I had an interesting lunch at the East India Club in Pall Mall.

I was a guest of then-Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom and was joined by Janice Atkinson, before she was an MEP.

It was an enjoyable meal and they were both good company.

But look at us now. Bloom was kicked out of UKIP just days later when he hit Channel 4’s Michael Crick over the head and called a room of women sluts.

Atkinson became an MEP but was expelled for expenses irregularities. She had also insulted a Thai constituent as a “ting tong”. She later apologised.

And me? A forlorn Blairite journalist in the era of hard left Corbynite dominance. All of us disgraced within our own parties!

Politically, I couldn’t be further from Atkinson and Bloom but they are not always wrong.

For example, at the said lunch Bloom told me that UKIP should support Scottish independence as so much of the SNP’s arguments resembled Ukip’s anti-EU points.

At the very least, Bloom opposed UKIP campaigning forcefully to keep the UK together.

He pointed out how easy it would be to brand them hypocrites when big business opposed an EU exit in the same way they opposed Scottish independence.

Godfrey, we don’t agree on much but you were right.

Those who support Brexit are using the exact same arguments of the SNP.

The arguments they opposed vehemently just 18 months ago.

Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan (someone I have a lot of respect for as a politician and author) responded to President Hollande’s warnings about “consequences” if the UK left the EU this week.

Hannan said the EU resembled a protection racket and no one should be a member of such a club.

This is the same Hannan who supported Scotland remaining in the UK despite clear threats from London if it left.

Pro-Union politicians made threats on the currency, business leaving, borders, national debt and monetary policy.

And more.

And it worked. Project Fear worked and no one seemed happier than Hannan with the result.

Now he and other Leavers complain when business sets out its post referendum plans.

They slam the Bank of England as part of the scaremongering “establishment” when it sets out its clear-sighted independent views on the EU.

They attack banks and other companies who set out concerns about what a Brexit would mean for European trade and access to the single market.

It is even more nauseating to listen to Conservatives moan about fearmongering when they ran the most negative (and brutally effective) campaign for parliament last May. And cheered it’s result and Lynton Crosby’s influence.

Ultimately, if you are complaining about scaremongering then you’re losing.

And the Leavers are losing the debate so they resort to moaning about the other side.

For many, it is boorish. For some who supported Scotland remaining in the UK and a Tory victory last May, it is hypocrisy. Straightforward hypocrisy.

They support negativity and fear when it’s on their side and oppose when it is used against them.

Negative campaigning works. It’s part of politics and rightly so. We should know the risks of any major political decision in vivid detail. It is an essential part of any assessment about what to do.

For once, Godfrey Bloom is right. He showed more political acumen than many Leavers when he backed Scottish independence because leaving the EU is the same argument.

And the Brexiteers are so blinded by zealotry they can’t even see it.

Sam Dale is a financial and political journalist

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9 Responses to “The hypocrisy of Brexiteers who moan about Project Fear is ridiculous”

  1. John p Reid says:

    I know pro Eu labour members who thought Scotland would have been better if they voted to go alone, the Sun which of course backed the Tories in1983 and said had labour won in 1983 and voted to leave the EEC, it would cost jobs, plus Frank Field labour Mo thought Scotland would be better going alone as Did Michael Portillo,

    Ironic that a article that claims Brexiters feel they’re being treeted badly, is full of innacuricies,so why wouldn’t they feel badly done by if the pro campaign has to lie, and what’s bloom got to do with it anyway,

  2. Mike Stallard says:

    “For many, it is boorish. For some who supported Scotland remaining in the UK and a Tory victory last May, it is hypocrisy. Straightforward hypocrisy.”
    No, Sam, the two are not the same at all.

    There are over 50 MPs in Parliament. They all speak English. They are allowed a free vote and they are allowed to put their point of view. They did so yesterday. From time to time Nocola Sturgeon is interviewed – in English – on the radio. Scots are indeed different, but they are us.

    Europeans are mostly the same race as us but that is about it. They do not speak English. They have very different standards (Notrumanians are not Germans). They have a long history of dictatorship and absolute monarchy which we do not.

    Please do not pretend that the UK is the EU! If you cannot see the difference, please do change your job.

    PS You really ought, as a journalist, to look at this excellent piece of expertise on how to get out of the EU:

  3. Tafia says:

    And it worked. Project Fear worked

    Yes I’m sure Cameron would agree as he watched his sunday trading laws collapse in ashes yesterday, safe in the knowledge that the SNP said last year that wherever and whenever they hold the blanace of power they can mobilise their block vote to defeat Westminster legislation – be it red or blue.

    And safe in the knowledge that a badly divided Labour Party and a Conservative Party that will go into civil war shortly means that there will be more and more occasions that the SNP hold the balance of power and more and more occasions they can torpedo Westminster legislation and Opposition amendments unless they are ‘bought-off’, and because of Westminster’s playing with oowrds oo=regarding the Covenenat, any buying off is, – as they have been told, strictly cash up front, no promises..

    Yes I’m sure Cameron is now so glad Project Fear worked.

    (PS – months of Holyrood polling showing the SNP now north of 60% for this years Holyrood elections and the fact that the voters of Scotland – who use STV, are far more tactically aware than their England counter-parts, means that the SNP are a shoe-in for a massive majority and because of their voters tactical savvy, the Opposition stands a good chance of being a coalition of the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Green Party – both pro-independence, unless the Tories go into coalition with Scottish Labour to form an Opposition – which would be the final nail in Scottish Labour’s coffin.)

    Yep. I bet he’s so glad Project Fear worked. And Corbyn.

  4. Rallan says:

    Leaving the EU means real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

    It’s all so obviously Project Fact. Anyone who moans about Project Fear is ridiculous! All Brexiteers are hypocrites! No-one must question Project Fact! Please, won’t someone think of the children?!

  5. Tafia says:

    Rallan – You forgot the rivers turning red, the flies, the frogs, lice, boils,diseased livestock, storms of fire, locusts, darkness and the death of the first born sons. Don’t forget them – they’re all part of Project Fact as well.

    There are two cast-iron facts though. Firstly, no-one has got any odea waht the day after Brexit will be like. And secondly, any politician, banker or economist making comments for either side who never saw 2007/2008 coming is talking out of their arse and should be ignored.

    Bottom line is ‘could’ ‘might’ ‘may’ ‘possibly’ ‘probably’ are pointless and mean nothing and nobody is prepared to say ‘definately will’ for the simple reason they do not know. So any voter saying I need the facts is an idiot to start with because there simply aren’t any.

    People should vote on gut instinct or tossing a coin. Nothing else is any the more accurate.

  6. ad says:

    He showed more political acumen than many Leavers when he backed Scottish independence because leaving the EU is the same argument.

    Assuming you have no loyalty to the UK, of course.

  7. Ex Labour says:

    The Scottish Ref and the EU Ref are very different in many ways, and as a “financial and political journalist” one would have hoped you could see that. Apparently not though.

  8. WHS says:

    Please, Rallan and Tafia, please do point us all to the Remain statement that asserts leaving the EU means fire and brimstone and plagues of locusts. There must be a link.

    The Leave side seem to think that simply asserting the Remain side is running Project Fear, then having nothing to back that up except bold assertions that, well, they *are* running Project Fear, really they are, coupled with an absurd fabricated statement that would be fearmongering if it were real, means that the Remain campaign is Project Fear. Repeat the lie long enough and it simply must be true.

  9. Tafia says:

    WHS – The Leave side seem to think that simply asserting the Remain side is running Project Fear, then having nothing to back that up

    You are either an idiot or you didn’t read all of what I wrote. Nobody knows for definate what will happen if we leave and anyone that says they do is a liar and not even a very convincing one.

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