Response: Josh Teal of LADBible (updated)


So I saw this post on the LADBible, I have a few leave friends on social media, and they happen to have liked this page. So I often get snippets and updates from things they like. The post is about BREXIT and specifically remain campaigners. Who are now worried beyond measure about their lives and the lives of people they know, while the country hangs in uncertainty of its entire future. Except the LADBible doesn’t play this angle, it plays the anti-democracy angle. Trying to set off people’s democratic defences by saying that remain is trying to undermine democracy by protesting and requesting a second referendum etc. Whereas I agree that we should respect democracy, I have a few issues with Josh over at the LADBible and his opinions.

Lets get started then eh?

First of all Josh, there are a lot of factors that are involved here, it’s not quite as simple as 100% of the people took a vote and over half of the population voted to leave. You know it, I know it, but since you refuse to actually talk about this whole referendum thing in a fair and balanced light, I’ll do it for you.  Perhaps the campaigners on both sides of the argument should’ve considered this option when they called for a democratic vote on the matter in the first place.

Not only is this vote not 100% of the population, meaning that the 52% ‘majority’ of voters doesn’t equate to “majority of the population”. But also there’s the fact that there was literally no real facts or evidence or even plans of what to do if leave won. I’m not saying this was exclusive to the leave campaign, both sides had their problems and failed to really deliver. However its awful the amount of propaganda that was spread, and the use of fearmongering to intimidate and scare people into voting out. Not to mention the sheer lies told by the leave campaign regarding nearly every promise that was made, such as the 350m a week to the NHS claim.

If you’re telling people that things are going to be super amazing and great and wonderful if they vote this one way from a position of power and trust; you’re going to get believed. This is what people mean when they say the public were mislead and they talk about the shady tactics used. Some even to the extent of saying the entire campaign was criminally irresponsible. 

I think I read that within 4 days after BREXIT the leave campaign had made four pretty spectacular u-turns on promises they had made before the campaign. This is just symptomatic of the shitshow that was the campaign’s promises. They were made of thin air, and because they were told to us by politicians and people we’re supposed to trust, a lot of people believed them. This is also why there are a lot of Regrexiters around, people who regret their leave vote for one reason or another. Which takes slices off that very thin majority of voters who voted leave.

Which leads me to the problems with the remain campaign, who basically didn’t do anything worth doing. They argued their point and they did talks and they did all that, but they appear to have mostly relied on the idea that we weren’t going to leave right from the beginning. Which I guess was a really dumb mistake in hindsight.

Now we get to the media; who played the whole country off against each other. All of this anger and upset is media manufactured. They framed this very serious public debate and referendum as purely a sideshow, a Boris vs Cameron deathmatch. People chose sides based on which person they wanted to see hurt the most, no not all people, but a lot of people. Unfortunately for remain, a lot more people wanted to kick Cameron in the teeth than they did Boris.

You complain a lot that people are saying things like “it was the working class” or “it was the elderly” or “it was the uneducated” who voted out!!! You don’t seem to like this generalisation at all, but I’m afraid its just the truth. Nobody is saying all leave voters are dumb, old and working class, that’s not what the statistic means and you shouldn’t take it so personally. The statistic shows the difference between voters in each of those categories. So if you are working class, you were more likely to have voted leave than remain. This doesn’t mean that educated, middle aged, middle class people couldn’t vote leave; just that the majority of those categories didn’t.

It’s important to know these statistics, its insight into how voters of different categories vote and how to appeal best to them. It’s kind of like demographics in a marketing setting. You wouldn’t advertise your army man action figure with pink colour and friendship is magical written all over it – it wouldn’t appeal to the demographic. Don’t take it personally that most leave voters were elderly, or racist or whatever. Nobody is saying you or all leave voters were; just that the majority were.

You’re wrong in thinking that Remain campaigners are fighting against democracy; that’s not the case at all. We’re fighting against an establishment who just used every propaganda tool in the book to force a referendum that could very well damage our country forever. That could put the futures of our families and friends in jeopardy. We’re still about two months away from finding out who and when article 50 is going to be triggered. Which is two more months then at least two more years that EU residents in this country are terrified of losing their homes, jobs and livelihoods that they’ve built up here for years already. This isn’t about democracy any more, it’s about those good, hard working people who just got shafted. Shafted by fatcats in fancy suits, some of whom take £76,000 a year in money from the EU, but only turn up to 40% of votes; yet still have the tenacity to stand over you and say “we don’t have a voice in Europe”.

There’s such thing as being a sore loser, absolutely, and I would be more surprised at any ‘losers’ post referendum who didn’t feel sore about it, because it is genuinely a really big deal. We’re looking into a dark hole of uncertainty and you’re acting surprised when people don’t want to jump in just yet. However there’s also such thing as a sore winner, and what I’ve noticed about sore winners is that they know they wouldn’t win again. They know things would be different if we did a redo; so they hold onto their win with all of their might, trying to demoralise and discredit people who would threaten that. Actually go and read up about all of the BREXIT drama, from top to bottom, and then tell me whether you still think it’s totally wrong of people to protest the outcome of this vote. I don’t think you’ll feel the same.

Whatever your opinion on Brexit, the idea of people sticking together through whatever happens next is going to be important. Separating ourselves from Europe could very well mean we’ve only got each other left. It’s just a shame that the culmination of a criminally irresponsible campaign, plus the media making this into a Punch and Judy puppet show, plus the fears of honest hard working every day people all collided into one. We’re further apart from each other than we ever have been in the history of our country, and articles like yours that mislead people from the point and try to paint the whole of the opposition as one bad thing aren’t helping.

The Remainer’s revolt isn’t anti-democracy, it’s anti-bullshit, and we can all agree we’ve had far too much of that this referendum.

 


UPDATE: I managed to actually have a few exchanges with Joshua over Twitter today. It took less than 5 responses before his defence of the article he wrote was boiled down to three words. He’s part of the problem that people are marching against, he’s part of the media who have over simplified this referendum to the point of it being criminally irresponsible. Yet he doesn’t actually care, he’s getting paid to shill the simplified ‘us vs them ‘narrative that has lead us into the position we’re in today.

Whatever your opinions on Brexit are, I implore you, let them be informed by the facts, not by people in the media who are just trying to play you off against each other to make money. Thank you.

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