The Patriotism Refuge

Referendum – 18 days to go

FT Poll Tracker: Remain 46% – Leave 43%  =  Don’t Know 11%

BBC Poll Tracker: Remain 41 – Leave 41 = Don’t Know 13%

William Hill Odds:  Remain: 2/7  Leave: 13/5 –  Scotland Vote Leave: 10/1

If you are not registered to vote – you must register by 7th June 2016

You can register on line – click here

Registering To Vote

Lord Kinnock (the former Labour Leader and one time EU Commissioner) has been campaigning to persuade young people to register and vote.  At a London rally, he said:-

“The outcome of the referendum is vital to the future of British people of all ages and but the longest and strongest effects will be felt by you – the young generations.  The risk is, if we get a low turnout, regardless of what people’s background politics is, that by default Leave could win.    Don’t leave your destiny to others. Don’t dodge your duty to yourself. Make sure that you are registered to vote by next Tuesday, 7 June. Then use your vote.  Vote to remain – and ask your grandparents and those who care about your future to do the same”.

Referendum TV Events

Ordinary political and current affairs programmes continue but the special events which have been scheduled are set out in the table below.

 Date  Channel  Event  
 19 May  BBC  Victoria Derbyshire Young Peoples Debate – Scotland  Done
 02 Jun  SKY  David Cameron questioned by Faisal Islam & Live Audience  Done
 03 Jun  SKY  Michael Gove questioned by Faisal Islam & Live Audience  Done
 07 Jun  ITV  David Cameron & Nigel Farage answer Live Audience Questions  
 09 Jun  ITV  Referendum Debate – Participants to be announced  
 15 Jun  BBC  Question Time Special – Participants to be announced  
 21 Jun  BBC  Live Event at Wembly Arena – David Dimbleby & Guests  
22 Jun  Chan 4  Eve of Poll Event – Participants to be announced  

 The process of organising these events has been complicated by the fact that David Cameron has refused to engaged in so called “blue on blue” debates.  That is to say he has refused to appear on the same platform as members of his government who are campaigning for the Vote Leave campaign.   When this Referendum is over, Mr Cameron may have to ask himself whether it would have been better to require Ministers to resign before they could campaign against government policy.

The Victoria Derbyshire Glasgow debate was very well managed  by the BBC.  Last May a Survation poll for the Daily Record (Scottish) newspaper found that 76% of Scots intend to vote Remain and therefore Liam Fox and UKIP MEP Diane James were fighting an uphill battle. When she was asked whether  Vote Leave would mean that students would require visas to travel, study or work in Europe, all Ms James could say was that she didn’t know.  Alex Salmond did manage to make the point that a decision to leave the EU could mean a further referendum in Scotland which Liam Fox did not like.  On the whole this debate seemed to show a distinct audience preference for Vote Remain.

The Sky Interview of David Cameron did not go nearly as well.  He was on top of the facts but what became clear was that many in the audience were hostile.  There was a lack of respect for the “project fear” economic arguments.  Cameron was flushed by the end of the debate and it cannot have contributed much towards success for the Vote Remain.

GoveforPMThe following evening Michael Gove went through the same Sky process for Vote Leave.  In true Poison Dwarf fashion,  Gove simply refused to deal with the economic arguments and wrapped himself in a Union Jack. It went down much better with the audience than David Cameron’s performance the evening before. All in all, it  was a first class example of Samuel Johnson’s adage about patriotism.

 Overall, the two Sky debates showed that Vote Leave is running on the immigration – sovereignty issues and simply refusing to engage with the economic issues.

 This spells trouble for the Vote Remain camp.  Let’s hope they get their act together in short order.

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