By: Jake Thurman, Student Voices writer
By now, everyone should have received their copy of the Governments 16-page glossy leaflet entitled “Why the Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK”. Hopefully, you all enjoyed reading it. After all, it cost you (the British Tax-Payer) £9.3 Million.
Leave campaigners were quick to jump on this leaflet and highlight the negatives. In an ‘Age of Austerity’ where David Cameron himself has complained of wasteful spending by the last Labour Government, this is a massive waste of public funds. As one MP pointed out, had it been on something cheaper than high quality glossy paper, the people of Britain might have been able to put it to good use.
Vote Leave will be able to spend a maximum of £7Million on their campaign, and the other side has already spent more than that on one leaflet. Obviously this means the ‘Remainians’ have a huge advantage before the official campaign even starts.
You may be thinking, “The leaflet is a waste of money, but at least that £9.3 Million going into the British economy”. Nope. Turns out that the leaflet was printed by a German company.
Despite the leaflet claiming to contain ‘the facts’ it only actually contains rather vague statements like “Over 3 Million jobs are linked to exports to the EU” which, while being correct, doesn’t have anything to do with our membership. Nor will those jobs be affected if we leave, since trade will continue Post-Brexit. It also contains a lot of biased opinions and predictions, rather than hard facts or evidence. Nowhere in the booklet does it give facts such as: The amount of money we spend on the EU; The amount of control Brussels has over our Government; The fact that David Cameron’s ‘Renegotiation’ hasn’t delivered us a ‘Special Status’.
However, looking at the big picture, I think it was £9.3 Million well spent.
When I received my leaflet through the mail, I had a flashback to Year 9 English lessons, when we studied George Orwell’s ‘1984’. It was like this leaflet had come straight from ‘The Ministry of Truth’. The British people are an intelligent bunch. I’m sure they will know that when a Government starts telling you how to vote, something is wrong. Very wrong.
That’s not the only Orwellian theme that is playing its part in the EU debate, this week we also found out that ‘Man of Principle’ Jeremy Corbyn, had been secretly deleting his archive of articles in which he has called the EU “anti-democratic” and “bad for the working people”, among other things. This is exactly what the Ministry of Truth does in 1984.
Then I began to think about the Ministry’s slogans: "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY," and "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." As well as the idea that if The Party says that 2+2=5, then 2+2=5. We are frequently told by BSE that we are Stronger in the EU. We have also been told by The Party that we are Stronger in the EU. We have been told various big banks and corporations that we are Stronger in the EU. Therefore people are starting to believe that we are. Which makes sense since that is what everyone in power is telling us.
But what happens when we start to look at the facts? If we look at the maths ourselves we notice that 2+2=4. We notice that the economy of the EU is in no way ‘Strong’. We notice that open borders is leading to dangerous criminals and terrorists being able to move around and hide with ease, something that does not make us ‘Strong’. We notice that we have 1/28th of a seat at the top tables such as the World Trade Organisation, rather than the whole seat that we would have if we were to Vote Leave, once again showing that we are in no way ‘Strong’.
It’s scary how relatable a Novel written in the 1940s is to the modern world. Are we living in a country similar to the one described by Orwell? Where the idea of doublespeak exists, since the European Union is simultaneously failing economically and ‘Strong’. Where records are being altered to support the current view of ‘The Party’, or in this case, Mr Corbyn. Where propaganda is sent out directly into people’s homes to tell them how brilliant their beloved rulers are, and they are brainwashed into believing everything they are told by the Government.
This is why I think the £9.3 Million is well spent. On 23rd June Britain will head to the polling booths, and will be thinking of everything they see around them. I believe they will look at the facts themselves, and see the EU isn’t what ‘Remain’ campaigners say it is. They will look at David Cameron’s leaflet and say “Don’t tell me what to think” and “Don’t patronise me”. Ultimately, I hope they will vote to leave the EU.
EU Leaflets: £9.3 Million well spent Reviewed by Student Voices on 11:26 Rating: