Here’s the very booklet I received yesterday from Her Majesty’s government. It’s a rather dry looking document, but the message is clear, as it is repeated, more or less, three times on the cover of the booklet:
Why The Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is in the best decision for the UK.
…on the front and:
The Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK.
The Government believes that it is in you and your family’s best interests that the UK remains in the European Union.
…on the back. So you have to have the memory of a particularly forgetful goldfish to miss the message.
The document is also at pains to point out:
The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU.
This is all spookily reminiscent of the “remain” 1975 European Community referendum leaflet sent out by the government, which I am old enough to remember, which said:
…the Government, after long, hard negotiations, are recommending to the British people that we should remain a member of the European Community.
I’m struck that the 1975 government pamphlet puts virtually the same arguments as the 2016 booklet.
I’m in favour of “remain”, so I approve of the booklet – it argues the points well. I applaud David Cameron and co. for being bold in their communication with citizens.
But I can’t help but thinking that that canny old fox Harold Wilson was right to send out “yes” and “no” leaflets to households in 1975. It probably helped the “remain” case in the end.