Friday, 22 April 2016

Hopemongering

As the referendum on Britain's EU membership is approaching, one would really like to consider one's leave vs. remain vote based on some objective analyses of the consequences.

The studies and projections on the costs and, in general, the consequences of Britain leaving the EU, made by the London School of Economics (and one about the legal aspects, too), Global CounselInstitute of Economic Affairs, Confederation of British IndustryBank of England, HM Treasury, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BlackRock (the world's largest fund manager), to name a few, are instantly dismissed as "scaremongering" by the Brexit campaigners.

What is worrying is that the series of dismissals that promptly followed the series of studies are not substantiated to this day by a single counter-study from comparably ranked bodies and/or individuals, independent or not.

What we have is the Brexit campaigners purely personal and purely subjective rhetoric, which uses phraseology soaked in "I am sure", "but surely", "we are certain", and in the more honest cases, "I believe" or "I strongly believe".

If the Bank of England dared to measure in an ice-cold lucid way the pros and cons of Brexit, highlighting the uncertainties and risks, even that was dismissed as a "political intervention" (at best) and, to use the by now tiring and certainly tired expression, "scaremongering". The Governor of BoE rightly pointed out that the BoE not listing the risks and uncertainties would be a politically biased act...

One has to take e.g. HM Treasury's long-term predictions with a pinch of salt, but this goes for every single economic study, biased or not...

The problem is that any attempt to quantify the possible outcomes of Brexit is completely dismissed by empty rhetoric if that attempt has any negative conclusions. When the HM Treasury's analysis was dismissed, the Leave campaign has destroyed any hope of us seeing a counter-analysis by stating that they have no plans to publish their version of projected reality.

Also, a treaty signed by 28 countries was dismissed as "worthless" and as something that can be "easily undone" when compared to (literal quotes) "I am sure" and "surely" phraseology used by e.g. Michael Gove when he depicted the glorious future UK would have outside the EU. Yes, 28 countries signing a treaty is nullifiable by "I am sure" promptly followed in same sentence by personal unsubstantiated beliefs...

With utmost lucidity, one has to ask these increasingly hopemongering demagogues: if everything signed and published so far on the costs of Brexit is purely scaremongering, could the Leave campaigners come forward with any objective quantitative analysis that would, point by point, counter the "scaremongering" conclusions?

Perhaps some figures are only partial truths, perhaps some projections are biased - but if it is so, why so far we have zero quantitative counter-arguments that point by point demolish those scaremongering projections?

So far the campaign has been vastly disappointing on both sides... The Remain campaign quoting numerous independent, and sometimes not quite independent, sources has been attacked time and time again about them standing for "Project Fear".

What really strikes fear into the desperately trying to be objective voter's mind is the absence of comparable substance in the Leave campaign's empty rhetoric.

It is merely tragicomic that emotions about immigration (the eternal British election-time device) and fundamentally wrong emotions about "Britain setting its own destiny" are becoming the main devices of the Leave campaign.

Anybody with a very basic command of contemporary economics and geopolitics can only hear rhetoric about Britain "on its own" and "setting its destiny" very few times before it starts to physically hurt (or, at best, make one have cramps of rather bitter laughter).

It is deeply worrying that the hopemongering campaign not only refuses to produce objective quantitative analyses to attack what they so far attacked with merely subjective rhetoric, but it actually denies the fundamental realities of how Britain's future political, economical and financial destiny is inseparable of very external factors... whether the Leave campaign demagogues like it or not.

It is even more worrying that some parts of the electorate is, once again, suspending any basic logic in favour of such pseudo-patriotic nonsense that just betrays a willful denial of contemporary world economics (not to mention the political aspects).

So in a way, the Leave campaigners are right... there is a lot of scaremongering happening, but it increasingly feels as if the endless hopemongering devoid of substance is the main cause of one's fear...