A week since the 23rd June aka, our ‘independence day’ still leaves traces of the nation’s shock and disbelief this is happening.
Yes, although the 53% of the UK population voted out of the EU, but the outrage and reaction received from the British people has left me wondering this surely must be the wrong decision?
I voted to remain but originally, I was all up for leaving the EU.
My reasons were due to Cameron’s ‘scare tactics’, also known in the press as “Project Fear” I cannot speak for others but for me, it made me suspicious that every day, there was a statement from him in the media warning people that if we voted out, there would be consequences.
Counter arguing this were the Vote Leave Campaign that reassured us by saying David Cameron had no substance to his argument and how Britain should ‘Take control’.
The Leave Campaign
Boris’s Leave campaign focused on a point that could win the heart of the public – the NHS. Yes, the all too familiar line, of building more hospitals, re allocating more funding towards staffing and services..
I recall they had aired a video based on the possibilities of what the NHS would be like if we left the EU (which is a bit of joke after Nigel Farage took back his word days after we voted to leave.) But my point is, people believed this campaign because it showed a positive and painted the ‘perfect picture’ of what our society would look like if we left.
Unfortunately for the Remain campaign, David Cameron chose not to market positive facts and reasons to remain in the EU and instead adopted scaremongering tactics throughout his campaign.
He must have trusted that people would be fully educated on all the facts based on their research. What he should have done was use factual benefits of the EU membership within the entire campaign.
Both campaigns only started 10 weeks before the referendum which did not allow enough time for people to come to a clear decision that will ultimately change our lives forever.
How it started to go wrong
Frankly, these quotes from Cameron publicised over the media, radio and news didn’t help…
“Leaving will make you poorer, don’t take the risk.”
“So here is the reality: if we leave, the pensioner benefits would be under threat, and the Triple Lock could no longer be guaranteed in the long term.”
“If we stay in a reformed EU, you know what you get – a border in Calais and vital information about criminals and terrorists travelling around Europe.”
To summarise, if we left, more terror would be happening, we will be poor and our pension benefits are screwed.
Quotes like these by Cameron made me feel that Britain couldn’t stand alone, or that we had to rely on the EU to make our economy survive. There were hardly any positives mentioned in the campaign. It was always ultimatums which ended up putting people off and pushing them away. In addition, it didn’t help that the media published EU’s plans to open EU membership to Turkey which the Leave Campaign used to their advantage by threatening our security levels.
So what changed my mind from out to remain?
For starters, it was the night of the 16th June when heard the tragic news of MP Jo Cox murdered. Such a horrific crime to somebody that devoted to making the country better. It changed my perceptions completely. I thought the campaign has gone out of control and i thought, if this was the type of people that are supporting this campaign, I’m not going to be associated with it.
I also watched a couple of question times sessions and listened to a load of airy nonsense from politicians from the leave campaign that didn’t really have any substance.
I researched and read something my sister had sent me, a list of all the people backing the IN campaign and those who were backing the OUT campaign.
There must be a good reason why not a single economist has backed the Leave campaign. Surely, these professionals know the economy better than us? Even Stephen Hawking said Britain needed to vote IN. How can we possibly dismiss an opinion from one of the most intelligent men in our lifetime?
There is a really interesting article on Spectator blog site by Fraser Nelson who published a blog post back in February 2016 predicting Cameron would lose the referendum if he continued his fear strategy. It was the same strategy adopted during Scotland’s referendum and he nearly lost. Do you remember how close the results were? 55% Vs 45%.
In this referendum, I see four main types of audiences involved:
- OUT people (Everyone has their own opinion but some of them have fallen victims into propaganda and media portraying migrants in a negative way)
- IN people (people who have read the facts and truly understand and experience the benefits of being part of the EU)
- The undecided – (people who genuinely don’t know enough to vote)
- The quiet ones (The ones that weren’t that bothered with the referendum)
Since the beginning of this year, there were plenty of surveys that were done throughout the UK including from many different industries where it showed that people would be voting based on their emotions, not facts.
Which poses the question, are some of us really qualified to vote for our country’s future?
The emotional psychology in a referendum voting, shows that some of the people that voted out could have been a victim of the propaganda used by emotional touch points throughout the campaign. With this type of voting, the people who were undecided probably favoured the Leave Campaign more so than the remain.
The undecided lot didn’t know enough about it but went by their gut based on the campaign and believed the Leave campaign as opposed to reading up the facts.
They were ‘sold’ the dream of a perfect society with no problems without immigrants and the country being over populated and having extra money to spend it on UK services.
As for the quiet ones, they didn’t vote because the majority thought the remain would win. The Remain campaign clearly was not strong enough and failed to provide a justified message on the positives of remaining in the EU and the importance of every vote mattering to winning the campaign.
A colleague of mine (who voted out) admitted to me that if Cameron had marketed the campaign in a different angle by focusing on the benefits and and positives of the EU membership, he would have voted IN.
In a week, I came across four people who favoured remaining in the EU but didn’t vote because they thought remain would win now regret not voting.
Do I believe that if Cameron had steered his campaign at a positive angle, would Remain have won? I do.
Why did UK vote out of the EU?
Because the wrong strategy was used in the remain campaign.