"This is about control" – yes, of course it is

https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/politics/video/2016/may/17/nigel-farage-peter-mandelson-you-wanted-to-rub-our-noses-in-diversity-eu-referendum-video

This video clip sums up the whole EU referendum debate. It hits the nail on the head. It is virtually all you need to see, to make your mind up on the matter.

It’s from a Daily Mirror debate, chaired by Mark Austin. The Guardian summarises the clip thus:

Ukip’s Nigel Farage accuses Labour and Peter Mandelson of encouraging immigration to “rub our noses in diversity”, during the Daily Mirror’s panel discussion on the EU referendum on Tuesday. The comment sparked a furious row between Farage and other members of the panel, with novelist Dreda Say Mitchell saying many from ethnic minorities refrain from supporting the Leave campaign due to ‘the intolerant rhetoric’.

At the height of the spat, Nigel Farage blasts out:

This is about control!

That word “control” has struck me as being at the heart of this debate for a long time. “We want to take back control” – say the Brexiteers.

It reminds me of a tipsy man propping up the bar at his local – boring everyone to death with his boozy rants at closing time. “We need to take back control” he says. “Control!”

It’s a very male thing. Machismo. We need to be in control! We need to have our hands on the steering wheel!

The problem is that you can be in control and also be completely messed up.

A man marooned on a desert island is completely in control. But he is also completely snafued.

And this is the EU Referendum debate in a nutshell.

If we leave the EU we will be completely in control but completely messed up.

The boozy, boring men propping up the Brexit bar offer no facts, just blithe sweeping boasts. And yet, we have piles and piles of businesses and experts saying over and over again, with hosts of facts: we’ll be worse off.

So we actually seem to have a coalesced debate now. The Brexiteers seem resigned to the fact that we’ll be worse off if we leave – they have offered no real facts to support the contention that we won’t be.

So all they are left with is:

Ah, but we’ll be in control!

Yes, indeed. In control of our own mess.

Great!

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