Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Our Government's misguided definition of an 'informed decision'

Apparently, Europe Minister David Lidington, when asked about the decision to send out the increasingly infamous EU Referendum information booklet (yes, the one that cost £9.3 million to create and which was printed in Germany rather than here in the UK), said this:

"I am spending time virtually every day now signing replies to Members of Parliament who have enclosed letters from constituents where those constituents have said they feel they do not yet have enough information on which to take an informed decision and they would like to have some more please," he said.

Clearly he doesn't seem to understand what it is that has got so many people hot under the collar.
You see, like so many of the constituents that Mr Lidington is referring to, I too would very much welcome enough information on which to make an informed decision about the UK's continued membership of the EU - indeed, I believe that such information has been conspicuous by its absence.
I'd love to see some sensible, rational economic data, for example, clearly showing me how much the UK pays into the EU and how much it gets out; I'd love to see a balanced critique of how long it might take the UK to reach a trade agreement with the EU if the UK decides to leave, and what the implications could be to our economy in the interim; I'd love to know what the Leave Campaign plan to create in place of the awful Human Rights Act (one of my pet hates because it is such a poorly drafted law).
And so on...
So in that respect, I'm fully in agreement with Mr Lidington that I don't yet have enough information on which to make an informed decision. Indeed I, for one, would have no qualms (except about the printing of it in Germany) about the government spending taxpayers' money on a leaflet that provides a sensible, balanced explanation of the potential risks and benefits of EU membership and an EU exit on issues such as the economy, security, trade, migration, etc, etc. In fact, I'd positively welcome it.
But that's exactly what we haven't got!!!!
Instead, Mr Lidington, along with Mr Cameron et al, seem to believe that an 'informed decision' is one based only on one side of an argument, and it's that utter arrogance and complete disregard for 'fairness' that I (and a lot of other people, I suspect) find really, really infuriating.