UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage admitted this morning – after the votes were counted – that it was a “mistake” for Brexit supporters to promise UK voters that the government would increase health care spending in the country by “350 million pounds per week.” Brexit supporters asserted that the UK sends that amount to the European Union and repeatedly promised that the whole amount would be funneled directly into the NHS. Oops…
Lucy with the football… Just like Charlie Brown, UK “Leave” voters got lured with a lie. Two lies actually: the UK doesn’t send that amount to the EU and, even if it were correct, Brexit leaders had no intention of pumping that into the NHS
So what’s the Alabama connection? When I watched this video, I couldn’t help but flash back to 2014 when Bentley, who ran on a platform of “all is well, re-elect me” told us that, the morning after his landslide re-election, he “discovered” that the state was broke.
Federal courts have protected lying by politicians as “free speech,” but for Alabama Republicans it’s a way of life. How else to explain Governor Bentley’s sudden realization that Alabama’s general fund budget shortfall is not just a whopping $265 million for next year, but a heart-stopping $700 million over “the next few years.” Meaning, we suppose, the rest of his term.
Conveniently, the Governor learned of this the day after an election that gave him another term and increased the size of the GOP supermajority in the Legislature.
At the time, I thought it was the most breathtaking display of political chutzpah ever, but Farage and the “Leave” leaders have truly raised the bar.
Using a campaign of nativism and magical thinking, they convinced 52% of voters that the EU regulations and immigration were the cause of the country’s economic uncertainty and stagnation. They drove the point home with posters and billboards that would have made Goering proud.
It’s no wonder that Donald Trump scheduled a business trip to Scotland during the vote – he felt right at home.
Their voices were drowned out by Farage and the UK Independence Party spouting racist garbage at the far right end and the Tory supporters traveling the country in a bus with the now-worthless promise of “$350 million pounds per week into NHS” promise painted on the side.
Sadly, that’s the new face of England. Even scarier, the same thing could happen here.
Guardian newspaper columnist Gaby Hinsliff offered this warning to pro-Brexit leaders. Let’s just hope he doesn’t write a similar column on November 9, should the US wake up to the carnival barker smile of President-elect Trump.
The deeper fear among Tory remainers now isn’t just of a recession. It’s about the rise of something new in British politics, unleashed when politicians with scant respect for truth meet desperate voters; and for the backlash to come, when it sinks in that Brexit hasn’t ended immigration overnight or magically given depressed communities their futures back.