Brexit Part IV: Project "Fear"

Cameron’s project ‘Fear’ is an ironic choice upon which to base his campaign, as it casts him in the classical role of the archetype monarch who governs from a narrow power base with coercion rather than empowerment. His use of government powers to strangle the opposition only reinforces these characteristics. This negative archetype will strongly resonate with the public perception that Cameron originates from the entitled ruling class and that his campaign is defending an EU that is governed by an unelected group of bureaucrats that bear a resemblance with the concept of a monarchy’s unelected right to rule.

Understandably, Cameron is repeating this fear strategy as it worked well in the Scottish referendum and, thus his reasoning is to apply the same but vastly enhanced strategy again. However, this is a fundamental mistake as the Brexit situation is completely different from the Scottish referendum. In the latter case a relatively small nation was voting on leaving a growing and expanding Britain and on losing the affiliation with this growing economic power. Conversely, in Britain's case a strong and growing nation is choosing to leave a larger but economically failing EU. By the rule of alternation in history, situations do not repeat themselves sequentially, due to the feedback loop of the first event into the subsequent event, and thus, Brexit will not end with the Scottish choice of the Uk staying in Europe.

Essential to this fear campaign is the security issue which Cameron claims will make us weaker alone. However, he has failed to point out that our security architecture is dependent on NATO, which predates the EU’s birth and of which we would remain a member. Most importantly and little talked about was the EU’s role in the Ukraine, which then forced Putin's interference that alienated Russia from the West. This was one of the greatest strategic disasters in modern time in which the EU had a driving role as it sought to expand eastwards. As such, it is hard to argue that the EU adds to Britain's security, but rather that it has detracted  from it.

If Cameron's campaign proves successful he will have employed the chains of fear to tie Britain to what is effectively the sinking ship of the EU. However, Cameron's timing is very poor and he is facing an environment where exogenous shocks will all damage his case, i.e. the immigration pressures on the EU and the economic shock of stock markets that look ready to take a bungee jump. Any such wealth destruction process will only highlight the EU's underlying weakness, and move the undecided into a leave vote.

In the next part of Brexit: Project ‘Hope’.

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