Polls v Bookies: UK and Europe
The Brits have always seen themselves as an 'island race'. But happy to belong to a club with other countries that reduces their islandishness in exchange for benefits.
And so the Brits voted in 1975 about membership of the EU. And 67% voted 'yes'.
But then it slowly dawned on the Brits that the economic benefits were obscuring the costs. The costs were the dreaded Schengen Treaty (free movement of labour across borders), aka immigration; and an increasing need to pay homage to bureaucrats in Brussels, aka 'ever closer integration'.
The latter gave rise to some deeply intellectual, but insightful, headlines from the UK media...
(Jacques Delors was the eighth president of the European Commission. He upset Eurosceptics in the UK by championing further integration and a single currency. Which led to the above. The rhyme requires a mispronunciation of his name - a subtlety perhaps lost on the readers of the Sun.)
And so there has been a rise in Euroscepticism. And the cry for a Brexit. Hence the incumbent UK PM, David Cameron, decided to put the UK's membership to a vote. The vote will be on Thursday 23rd June.
The 'remain' case is supported by the three major political parties. And appears to now have the support of they-the-people.
Notwithstanding that the polls and bookies measure different things (polls ask 'which way will you vote?', the bookies ask 'who do you think will win?'), the outcome appears certain.
W&D is curious as to why the strong 'remain' vote. And concludes it has to do with fear (i.e. the economic cost of leaving) and conservatism (might as well stay) rather than any sense of idealism about Europe. Or the greater good of Europe. Except for that small bell ringing in the deep recesses of peoples' minds: a united Europe will be easier to defend.
To W&D's mind the Brits should vote to leave. W&D hates Big Government. Readers will be aware of W&D's political philosophy: anti-Big Government/ Companies/ Unions/ Church - all of which are unaccountable, centralised and remote. And the EU is the epitome of those four malevolencies.
But W&D's voice in the wilderness will remain unheard. As it does in his home.