They say familiarity breeds contempt and that certainly seems true of the Brexit debate. Around 60% of people living in far flung Scotland are quite happy to remain in the EU, while the ones most likely to vote go live nearest Europe, ie the south and east coast.
You can see it mapped here, but you’d think with those ferries and the tunnel making it handy to pop across the channel to pick up cheap booze, fags etc would make Europe more popular in those parts, but apparently not.
The whole leave or stay debate gets more hysterical by the day. It’s mostly the Brexiteers who are the angriest, wanting Mark Carney sacked for saying what he thinks, threatening legal action against ITV on who should and shouldn’t represent them in the tv debate and generally accusing anyone who says that leaving would be a bad thing of being in David Cameron’s pocket.
The Stayers tend be a little more measured, although not immune to a bit of hyperbole, as witnessed by David Cameron claiming that a UK-less Europe could spark World War Three which is overplaying his hand more than a tad.
It all sounds like dog-whistle politics to me, aimed at the people who have already made their minds up, rather than being any meaningful attempt to clarify the issues. I’ve said before that whether we go or stay is far too complex to be reduced to soundbites and I can’t say I’ve met anyone who has the time or the inclination to study the implications either way and suspect that how they vote will boil down to their politics, gut-feeling or their prejudices, depending on how you describe it.
I happened to catch Boris Johnson’s speech on Monday and no matter what you think of his politics, you have to admit that he can be very persuasive. He had me convinced anyway. Well almost. Then I heard Mark Carney and Christine Lagarde and had my mind changed back again.
You’ll guess from this that I’m a floating voter, but I do try to make the effort to understand the arguments for and against. But it isn’t easy. I looked at the BBC’s Referendum Guide on the issues that matter and I’ve included some of them in the table below. You’ll see that the two camps flatly contradict each other on pretty much everything. They can’t both be right, so someone is fibbing.
I reckon that what will swing it one way or the other will be the result of tomorrow’s Eurovision Song Contest. If Europe wants to show us some love then they’ll vote for Joe and Jake instead blockvoting for their friends and neighbours.
[table id=1 /]