Originally published on The Commentator
If you have a browse of the newspapers today, you’re likely to find a curious feeling of déjà vu sweeping around you. Propaganda warnings of post-Brexit chaos, Armageddon, and catastrophe, fill what seems to be every page.
Special interests, business lobbying, and mainstream media spin continue, as they did during the Referendum campaign in 2016. This time however, the true shamelessness of Project Fear has reached a crescendo roar.
Everyone by now is well versed in the ‘Project Fear’ tactics designed to scare off voters. During the Referendum campaign such scare stories reached an almost laughable hysteria.
Prime Minister David Cameron implied a third World War could be on the horizon. Chancellor, George Osborne, warned of an immediate emergency budget – which, of course, never happened. Anna Soubry MP claimed a recession would occur simply by a vote to Leave. There were many more lies from Remain, too many to mention. Of course, once the truth transpires which shows a particular claim to be false, there is rarely even a minor mention of it by the press.
To their credit, the Great British Public saw through these hysterical lies and voted against blindly conforming to the mainstream opinions and forecasts, which are continuously flawed, or some might suggest, misleading.
Stories about Airbus and BMW have been the latest part in the Project Fear campaign to dominate coverage. Regarding Airbus, even headlines by the so-called ‘neutral’ BBC read: ‘Airbus warns no-deal could see it leave UK’, and ‘Airbus UK exit warning for thousands of Welsh jobs.’
Of course, Airbus never said this. Furthermore, no mainstream media outlet felt it appropriate to mention the judgement last month from the World Trade Organisation’s Appellate Court which, after nearly a decade of investigations, declared Airbus had been in receipt of $22billion of illegal subsidies from the EU. Hardly a credibly neutral company to be taken seriously during the Brexit process.
BMW were alleged to have joined Airbus in claiming they will leave the UK in the event of ‘No Deal’. Yet only days later this myth was dispelled when Ian Robertson, BMWs Special Representative to the UK, rubbished this Fake News and said the scare stories had been taken from a quote which was used out of context! “We are committed to our operation in the UK, our workforce here, and the fact we sell 250, 000 cars here.” Robertson said, at the car industry’s annual summit in London.
Remoaners seem to continuously paint themselves as having the monopoly on morality: they are the virtuous ones, the truth-tellers, the fact-checkers.
The entire Remain campaign in 2016 was crafted on a strategy to intimidate voters with scare-stories. Countless falsehoods were told by Remainer advocates, many of which have been swept under the carpet: such is the privilege of losing in politics.
What makes Project Fear so shameless is the fact that after so many Remain lies, and forecasts which have been proven to be categorically wrong, they still continue.
The outcome of such an aggressive ‘Project Fear’ strategy is – as arguably happened during the latter stages of the Referendum campaign – the public will stop listening to forecasters and politicians. The merits of peaceful debate will seemingly decline as the public perceive no good to come from engaging with politicians who are only interested in advancing their own agenda at any price, instead of building the best solution.
In the long-term, there is a serious concern that every time a trumped up claim is made, the integrity of our democratic system is further undermined.
Remainers who refuse to accept the result of the Referendum to Get Britain Out of the EU must stop the needless lies, hyperbole and exaggeration.
Such unprincipled short-termism is a cancer upon our society. Remainers must also contemplate what the true price of subverting democracy would be; the anger, division, and feeling of betrayal by Leavers would be genuinely catastrophic for the nation.
Joshua King is a Research Executive at grassroots, cross-party campaign Get Britain Out