Channel 4 devoted an important segment of its evening news on Tuesday to a report from Blackpool. The subject ? Polling analysis which concludes that this town is the most eurosceptic town in the country - by far. A fascinating series of interviews with a cross section of people (not a politician or political activist in sight) included performers at the Tower Circus, centre residents, working mens club and visitors revealed antipathy at best with the idea of Britain's continued membership of the EU.
Despite the unending pleas of this government and its retinue of well-heeled supporters (mostly from the Home Counties or outside the UK) the overwhelming mood in this part of the country is 'good riddance'. Not an EU flag flies in Blackpool (as previously noted in a previous blog). The multi hued GLBT colours fly from the Town Hall (during Armed Forces Week in Britain) -but the blue and gold stars of the EU 'superstate' are an alien intrusion on the Fylde coast. Understandably the Cross of St George is a frequent sight around the town - given England's presence in the UEFA Cup (along with Wales and Northern Ireland).
What tomorrow's count in this constituent area will reveal is the actual extent of dissatisfaction not only with the EU mantra spouted by HM Government but the Government itself. For once it is the people's voice which will be heard on Friday morning and not that of manipulative political machines and their spin doctors. While the country may reluctantly end up determining by a slim margin to stay within the EU - much like the underlying resentment felt in Scotland after their referendum on Independence last year the EU story will not be over.
The gulf between much of Britain north of Watford and the coastal periphery of England - with the inflated economic bubble that is London is going to be laid bare. No amount of patronising stroking by Party Leaders (all of them) will disguise the level of frustration evident in the population. A frustration born of banker and financial services excess and plunder of the country, frustration arising from the norm of 'zero hour contracts' arbitrarily imposed by corporate greed with Boards and owners detached from their workforces. Tax havens, free trade, political lobbyists and their ilk congregating like fruit flies in Westminster and Whitehall; arrogant unelected suits in Brussels determining policies to be followed by a supine parliament and its executive. Australian political manipulators in Number Ten, Canadian 'experts' running the 'Bank of England' all doing incalculable harm to this country's confidence - aided and abetted by the risible untruths and sound bites flowing daily by a desperate elite intent on keeping their gravy train moving. The rallies are over, the sound bites are ending it is time for a reality test at the ballot box. We know which way Blackpool is leaning thanks to Channel 4 News. The extent to which such sentiments here are replicated across the Midlands and the north of England will be an eyeopener on Friday. To be continued....... Colin has a new T Shirt for the occasion tomorrow ! Note the Vambac tram from a far better age in Blackpool (and the country).