Brexiteers love democracy – that's why they don't want you to be able to vote

'Most of us feel like starting the day by fishing for herring in an area designated for those with a European license. Eventually, you can’t help but be sick of the EU telling you what to do'

Mark Steel
Thursday 09 June 2016 17:13 BST
Aaron Banks, who founded the grassroots Leave.EU campaign, has said he could challenge the voter registration extension
Aaron Banks, who founded the grassroots Leave.EU campaign, has said he could challenge the voter registration extension (Rex)

Of all the filthy underhand despicable tricks in this referendum, now there’s a new grubby low. Thousands of people couldn’t register to vote because the registration website crashed, so they were given an extra two days to register.

Thankfully the founder of Leave.EU is planning a legal challenge, because it’s vital – in this referendum on finally getting back our democracy and giving the British people a say in the running of their own country – that we don’t let everyone vote.

Allowing a vote to everyone who tries to register to vote is an insult to people who think that, on important matters, the people of this country deserve a vote.

It’s been suggested there’s no way of knowing which way the extra voters will vote. But the Leave campaign will probably argue in court that the website crashed at 10pm in the evening, when only students and liberals are still up, whereas good British people who want to leave Europe are in bed; they have to be up early for milking, and cycling through villages to deliver eggs to policemen in 1952.

Major and Blair on Brexit

The Leave campaign is determined that voters hear the truth. This is why you hear claims every day about how the EU will soon ban odd numbers, forcing anyone who wants to play bingo or eat ice cream with a 99 flake to live in underground communities. Then diesel will be reclassified as a sausage, ruining the great British breakfast.

And to comply with free movement of labour, the EU is going to ban teaspoons – if you want your tea stirred you’ll have to let a Bulgarian do it with his knob.

All our pets will have to be handed in to Brussels in exchange for a huge European Superpet. Then, once Turkey is admitted into the EU, they’ll invite black holes to join too, so we’ll all be swallowed into perpetual darkness – costing us up to £12 a year extra in lightbulbs. The moon will be designated Slovakian and given a flat in Exeter, causing havoc with tides along the coast of Devon, and Jihadism will be taught at nursery schools that will be failed by Ofsted if they don’t explode once a week.

Because this is no longer a referendum about the EU, it’s about whether you support an attitude of ‘I’m sick of being told what to do by bloody foreigners’.

This has become the slogan: 'We’re sick of being told what to do’. And you can understand this because, through the course of a day, most people are told what to do by the EU.

Many people live in a house in which they pay ridiculous rents that are higher than ever, and who causes that? The EU, that’s who. The good old British landlord wants to cut the rent in half, but then a chap from Brussels forces him to charge £1,000 a month for a place where brown liquid appears mysteriously every morning in the bath, and a pack of hyenas have settled in the loft and the kitchen’s radioactive, and his hands are tied.

Then most people have to go to work, but at no point in the day does their manager ever tell them what to do, as British employers are fairly relaxed about what their staff get up to during working hours. Until someone from Brussels with a clipboard arrives to insist you have to answer calls or scrub saucepans or wear a jolly hat and sell someone a sandwich, and demand there’s a specific time when you arrive for work, and whether you can have a tea break, and how much unpaid overtime you have to work, and make you work even when you’re sick.

“Stop telling my staff what to do, please remember their needs as British citizens,” insist our kindly bosses, but the EU bureaucrat will reply curtly, “Sorry Mister Ashley, but I’m from Brussels and I’m afraid your staff here at Sports Direct must do exactly what I tell them to do.”

And so it goes on, all day, with the EU telling you what to do.

Most of us, when we wake up, feel like starting the day by fishing for herring in an area of the sea designated for people who possess a license that has to be ratified by the EU. Then, over breakfast, we might fancy subsidising a steel industry to an extent that would be classified as contrary to EU trading regulations.

In the evening we might feel like relaxing by manufacturing paint with more lead than the permitted amount according to EU safety rules. Eventually you can’t help but be sick of the EU telling you what to do.

Then there are the global events that tell us what to do, such as the banking crash that cost millions of people their homes and jobs. Friendly British bankers tried all they could to help out, working day and night for no pay to assist their customers – but they were forced to behave as they did by the 'European Union Bankrupt the Planet and Take Vast Bonuses and Not Give a Shit Treaty', signed by all member states in Frankfurt in 2011.

The Remain camp may not be helped by its choice of spokespeople to make their case. They seem to think former Prime Minister Tony Blair will swing some votes, because he was popular in 1997. But that was also true of Rolf Harris. Maybe they’ll get him to do a song called EU Doodly-do in which he quotes the IMF forecasts to the accompaniment of a wobble board.

Perhaps there should be a third choice: we become a suburb of Iceland.

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