Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The EU Referendum 6 - How much more exciting can it get?

The following leaflet dropped through my letterbox the other day, as it doubtless did in many million households in the UK. It's a snappy title, is it not? Leaving aside the fact that, as several Cabinet ministers and many junior ones are opposed to remaining and therefore the leaflet cannot really claim to speak for "the Government", it is the sheer length of the thing that baffles.
I mean, it doesn't actually trip off the tongue. They can never make a film out of it, there wouldn't be enough room on the posters. Referendum - this time it's political, perhaps or Cameron - road to redemption.

The contents of the leaflet are a few pages of simple assertions about the importance of the EU to our trade, and a lot of play with the uncertainties of leaving. And, in the section describing the impact on the cost of living, there is a full page picture of a shopping basket, so those of you desperately unsure about what prices and household goods and shopping are, can see for yourselves. I don't think this is good enough. I want a picture showing two men. One, strong, well-dressed, perhaps with some fashionable tinted glasses, should be looking confidently out toward a rising sun over a beautiful rolling landscape. He can be captioned "Mr Yes". The other, scruffy, unshaven, with one dangling earring and half a rollup in the corner of his mouth would be staring unhappily at a dustbin in a dark alley. He would bear the title of "Mr No". This would make everything totally clear and end all possible arguments.

(note to commissioning editors for HMG: I am available at a surprisingly reasonable fee for consultations on Government publications.)

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