Last night I presented to a small group of Finance Director’s in the City, not the masters of the universe type, but the guys who keep our insurance broking and reinsurance industry on the straight and narrow.
They wanted me to talk about Brexit, I didn’t want to talk about Brexit , because I knew if I did, I would not say much useful and would divert time from talking about putting pensions right.
But we ended talking about Brexit v Remain anyway and the room concluded, as Lord Saatchi has concluded, that the public are being presented with two dismal options, neither of which gives rise for hope.
Everyone in the room knew that the economic arguments are with remain, but few were excited about remaining, someone said that they would vote leave if he thought it would result in career-ending damage to the muppets in no’s 10 and 11. Another said he had turned when he was threatened by Osborne’s post Brexit budget, he would not be bullied. A third asked what chance Osborne might have of presenting another budget if we voted out. In short the room was livid.
Punished for not voting remain
It should be remembered that this idea of a referendum was not borne out of popular demand but out of a need within the Conservative party to heal their festering sore over Europe. Clearly it has done no such thing, instead it has shown us that the politicians that govern us are quite out of touch with the mood of the nation.
While they squabble, we try to get on with doing our work but this is increasingly difficult as Brexit, like a cancer, invades everything, including last night’s meeting.
It should be remembered that the overdue reform of our pension taxation system currently sits in the long grass- because of this unwanted debate. While we argue, the country is less productive. This week Angela Meerkat was busy signing Germany up to a whole load of trade agreements with China.
We are fighting a civil war created by politicians , for the benefit of politicians and like all wars, the cost is being picked up by ordinary people.
Ordinary people, who have borne so much of the pain of this recession are now to be punished by our Chancellor with another budget horror show, if they don’t vote the way he wants them to. But they never wanted this vote, it was the Chancellor and his coterie who wanted this referendum.
I may vote remain but it will be with no enthusiasm
The level of political debate over the past months has been so poor that I cannot align myself with either side.
Instead of presenting a positive agenda for remain or leave, we have had nothing but dismal scaremongering. I have no more love now for Westminster than I have for Brussels.
Most people I know feel the same way. My Betfair app. still tells me there is a 64% chance we will stay in. But what injury have we done ourselves if we stay? How will we hold our head up in Europe after this debate. We have made ourselves the political hooligans to rival the perception Europe has of our football fans.
For all the talk of pride in being British, I feel no pride at all in our political debate which I consider shameful.
The people who make Britain great were sitting in the room with me last night. And they were not happy.
Neither am I.