The U.K has become a highly depressing place to be these past couple of months.
Families and friends are arguing civil-war style; we’re faced with blatant and unapologetic bigotry; and logic is repeatedly being told to keep quiet by many wanting to conjure arguments from thin air.
I’ll assume that everyone reading this by now knows what I’m talking about. My least favourite combination of words in recent memory: the E.U. referendum.
The facts of the debates seem relatively clear to those who sift through the arguments to look for actual information. Voting remain makes sense economically (See my earlier post for more on this). Voting remain has become the opposition to a campaign based in fear and half-truths (even half-truths is probably being hugely generous to the out camp). Voting remain may well also rid us of the Basil Faulty meets Emperor Palpatine that is Micheal Gove.
The entire leave campaign is a project based in fear and malice. It’s really quite chilling to watch. What’s even more horrifying though is that its working. Posters depicting hordes of evil immigrants (the most popular image actually depicting refugees fleeing a crisis in their homes) feature heavily in the leave camp. These ghastly foreigners are depicted as lazy, yet manage to muster up energy to try to steal our jobs, racism aside for a moment, I’m not sure how those two things are compatible. Posters all over the country urge “We want our country back.” They don’t say back from who, why they want it ‘back,’ or how the country is anything but ‘ours’ now. Stats are exaggerated and invented. It’s all just playing on people’s fear that there’s a bodysnatchers-style secret invasion happening where the reason people are finding things so tough right now isn’t because of years of right-wing conservative government, but because of immigrants. It isn’t really all that surprising that a whole lot of noise echoing these sentiments, backed by fictitious figures supporting those arguments have gained traction. It is depressing and disappointing nonetheless. This is all to say nothing of how people have spoken of refugees and asylum seekers through the campaign which is sickening to say the least.
The fact that people seem to be trusting the rouges gallery that is the out campaign is really scary. UKIP (a party so out of touch they’re still using the Pound as their logo even though the Pound/Euro debate hasn’t remotely been an issue for over a decade) led by Farage are not the people’s party they present themselves as. Boris Johnson, who is somehow still managing to present himself as a lovable goon despite looking like a run-down Bond villain, has continued to lie about figures and statistics throughout the Leave campaign. Others in the Leave camp include sub-human Katie Hopkins; Aaron Banks who leads the campaign and wants the NHS privatised; and Donald Trump who I really don’t think I need a slur for. These people are not to be trusted. They are ghouls. They’re basically evil-for-the-sake-of-evil sci-fi villains.
Even if we do take leave of our senses as a country and vote leave, those leading the out camp will not be there looking out for people. Their lies will have been exposed but it will be too late to do a thing about it. That such a corrosive campaign led by toxic individuals has gained ground is disheartening to say the least.
I should sign off by wishing us all luck since we’ll really need it. If we do vote to leave, you can probably expect to find me looking for a nice spot of ocean to just walk into out of sheer horror at the result.