The Madness of Crowds

Dark DayI awoke early this morning just in time to hear the news that the country had voted to leave the European Union and I couldn’t help wondering what Charles Mackay would have made of it and whether he would have added another chapter to his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

It seems to me that the electorate has been led up the garden path with promises that will never materialise. That leaving the EU will somehow solve the immigration issue, push up wages, improve trade etc.

If you voted in the referendum, the chances are better than 50:50 that your choice was to cross the leave box and I wouldn’t want to insult you by saying that it was a very foolish decision. Let me put it another way, that was a very foolish decision.

But it’s democratic foolishness, so that’s okay, except the ballot paper was in the hands of those who voiced some very odd reasons for voting Brexit. I heard a woman on the radio on Wednesday blaming potholes in the roads on immigration and de facto it was the EU’s fault.

Then yesterday there was hysteria at the polling stations because there were only pencils in the voting booths, as there always are. They genuinely believed that an army of bureaucrats were poised ready with a mountain of erasers to switch their votes. Setting aside their sheer paranoia and unfamiliarity with the election process, that is a peculiar logic. That they want to hand more power to a government they suspect of electoral fraud.

It is madness that has left me speechless. I really hope that I’m wrong, but I suspect that dark days lie ahead for this country and that the solutions to our perceived problems will prove be an illusion.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 24th June 2016

    I share some of your gloom… even though I believe there’s a lot wrong with The European Union. I voted “Remain” but I wish there had been a third option combining the other two – “Relieve”. Zvonimira and her sisters would have been very busy afterwards…in spite of the duct tape.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 24th June 2016

      Certainly the most depressing news I”ve heard in a long while. The EU isn’t perfect, but it isn’t the cause of every single problem in the country as some people think. I fear it’s a case of be careful what you wish for.

      Reply
  • Steve 24th June 2016

    The paranoia about ticking boxes with a pencil was remarkable! Dave and I had a good laugh about that last night. It resembles some of the hair-brained conspiracy theories that pop up now and again in our American homeland. (Usually about “guvmint” trying to take away guns — which it should, but that’s another matter…)

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 24th June 2016

      Ah but that few percentage difference is all down to the non-erasable vote you know 🙂

      Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 25th June 2016

    We even had a theory, put forward in one newspaper, that it would have been wise to cast your vote in ball point pen as the “powers that be” had every intention of erasing the votes (cast in pencil) they didn’t agree with. Some theory that one?

    Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 25th June 2016

    …sorry, Mr P. Just noticed that you’d already covered this little “gem.” Now, where did I leave that pencil eraser?

    Reply

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