Scaremongering and Misinformation
I hate everything about this referendum. It’s drained all love of politics from me, instead reducing the subject to one which I get very stressed about. I have to, or severely want to, leave the room every time it’s brought up because of the rising levels of panic I feel. It’s therefore strange that I’m writing a blog on the subject, however Emma has convinced me it might help.
I should start by saying I’ve already voted. Voting by post as soon as I could, I crossed the “Remain” box. Nothing was going to change my mind and I’ve been sure from the moment Cameron announced this referendum of how I was going to vote.
So, what’s my problem?
My problem is how the campaigns are being run. Just the other day, the Leave campaign horrifically violated the memories of 49 innocent people in Orlando by using that terror attack for their own personal gain. Wrong on many levels, the first being that there is no substantial evidence it was an attack motivated by religion. Therefore, all they were doing is playing on very basic fears to manipulate the public to an endgame which has very little to do with terrorism. Security is one of the few issues which both sides agree will be pretty much the same in or out.
Scaremongering. It’s the word of the campaign.
Too many people are voting with their heart rather than their head. Too many people are saying “I won’t vote Leave because Farage and the Sun backs them” or “I won’t vote Remain because David Cameron supports it”. I’ve genuinely seen both of those as reasons for voting, and both are unbelievably idiotic.
This is one of the most important votes of our generation. And, true to 21st century form, we decide to vote on it based on who likes who, rather than what is best for us as people of this country, and yes, as people of this continent.
The whole of this endless drivel of a campaign has been based on making the other side look worse. And it’s worse on the Remain side, just watch the “debates”.
In 2014, Scotland remained part of the UK because the “No” side convinced Scots of the dangers of leaving. Note the wording there. That does not say “reminded them of the greatness of the union”, instead it implies “convinced them to stay”. There was no love in that decision, it was simply a decision. In many ways, it’s the reason there is still the possibility of another referendum.
In 2015, clearly noticing that it had worked, the Conservatives continued in the same vein. In 2010, their election billboards read “I’ve never voted Tory before, but … ” yet come 2015, the headlines said “I’m not voting Labour because …”. Negativity had clouded the minds of the public, and negatively was how they responded.
Clearly believing they were onto something, and knighting the man behind it, the Conservatives tried it again at the 2016 London mayoral election. This time, it backfired spectacularly as Londoners wholeheartedly rejected the hate mandate of Zac Goldsmith and instead elected the positive, likeable and charming Sadiq Khan.
Rather than that be a wakeup call, both sides decided that negativity was the way forward and we’ve had a hateful two months of lies, lies and bigger lies.
Will the economy go into a recession if we leave the EU? Of course it won’t!
Will we be flooded with Turkish immigrants if we remain? Of course we won’t!
In theory, this debate should have reignited my love for politics. In theory, it should have opened a generation’s eyes to the benefits and fallbacks of a major political power they happen to be a part of. In theory, we should have had positive comments met with minor negatives.
The EU does as much as it doesn’t. I just don’t think people know that.
This morning, I came across this graph:
Misinformation. The second word of the campaign.
I’m not here to tell you facts, I’m not here to convince you who to vote for. In reality, we won’t feel much either way. It boils down to how you feel, and how you want to vote. As I did during last year’s general, I urge you to read everything you can on the subject and don’t believe the forceful Remain leaflets or lying Leave TV spots and reach your own conclusion.
The two sides can be summed up as thus: the Remain side will tell you lies, the Leave side will mix vague truths with Daily Mail lies to persuade you to address a problem that isn’t there. Both are as bad as each other, both are hateful.
As a final point, despite the fact we had a referendum before, I don’t think we should be voting on this. It’s been proven that a) we don’t know enough and b) our politicians are not trustworthy enough to provide us with enough. It begs the question: why? Why have the elite dumped this decision on the masses, instead of hiring independent experts to answer for us. Some things we should get a say in, but an issue as flammable as this? Definitely not.
Cameron, Farage, Osborne, Johnson, Corbyn and Gove have thrown us into a river without a lifejacket. We have to make sure they pay for that.