The outcome of last week’s referendum on British membership in the European Union stunned the world; not only that, it has had immediate and dramatic consequences on Britain and the British economy. Despite this, the Twitter account Britain Elects, which records every electoral result in Britain (from council by-elections to generals) referenced a statistic from ComRes showing that of those who responded, only 43% said that they were unhappy with the outcome, while 48% were reportedly happy with it.
You would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, however. Because almost every media outlet on both sides of the Atlantic has been running stories of profound voter regret at the referendum outcome.
An astute Reddit user, /u/dingoperson2, found an incredibly large number of articles being run which interviewed Leave voters regretting their decision, despite the lack of articles published on Leave voters happy with the outcome. Notably missing, too, were articles with voters regretting their decision on the Remain side.
it is inevitable in any scenario of decision making that there will be some left behind who are unhappy with the decision they chose to take, the outcome, or both. It should be no surprise when this happens. But the narrative being run here by media outlets both major and minor is very different. It reflects a sort of sneering ridicule that the educated and upper classes have for the uneducated and working classes; it is the same sort of disgusting behavior we saw rife amongst the Remain campaigners, who consistently smeared the other side as being ignorant or unaware of the facts in the referendum.
Being a student at Cambridge, I personally have seen no end to the Leave-bashing going on on Facebook. There has been no end to the posts attacking and demonizing those who exercised their democratic right to vote Leave. Despite the fact that the young demographic had the lowest turnout rate – only 36% – the vast majority of the verbal aggression has been directed at the elderly, who voted mostly for Leave, and the ‘ignorant’ working classes. This seems strangely ironic – I thought that Leftism was about defending those groups in society who do less well, like the elderly or the working classes?
What’s really worrying though, is that we’ve seen simple Leave-bashing descend into an concentrated attempt by almost every media outlet to portray Leave campaigners as regretful bamboozling ignoramuses. When we have narratives in society casting ‘us’ as the enlightened few and ‘them’ as the ignorant masses, discord and infighting can only follow. At this, a time when the country needs national unity more than ever, the media should act fairly to broadcast the voices of not only the Leave voters who regret their decision, but those that are content with it too.
Here is a list (nonexhaustive) of articles on Leave voters ‘regretting’ their decision: