The EU referendum was hardly a pinnacle of informed debate, but, while there are those Leavers who were shaky about the issues, it seems to be a requirement that to be one of the Remain brigade who still cannot accept they lost, a Remainer must be stupid. This might, of course, explain their stubborn detachment from reality; it probably explains why they lost.
Now, while they’re unlikely to sway me, I don’t doubt there are sensible arguments for remaining in the EU, but they are conspicuous by their absence from TV debate and the letter pages of newspapers. Perhaps it’s just that the idiots, who tend also to the loudest and most hysterical, are more entertaining than those offering measured arguments. Or, perhaps it’s just that those sensible people who voted remain are sensible enough to accept the result and get on with their lives, leaving the ongoing arguing to the idiots. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame the debate continues to be tainted with idiocy.
The closest I’ve seen to a decent argument from a Remainer was Ross Kemp complaining that the weakened pound might affect his ability to film overseas. Unfortunately, that not only reduces weighty questions to whether there might be some temporary inconvenience (an argument heard all-too-frequently from Remainers during the run-up to the referendum), while also ignoring the fact that, for some people, a weak pound is a good thing, but it ignores the fact that the reason the pound is weaker is due to currency speculators and the way the Remainers have been talking down the UK and stoking confusion over the referendum result, rather than the result itself (especially as nothing has actually changed yet).
The funniest of the bad arguments I’ve seen was the claim that, after complaining about being governed by unelected foreigners, the UK has submitted itself to an ‘unelected Prime Minister’. Because, of course, the fact that Theresa May was elected as an MP by her constituents, was then elected as Conservative Party leaders (and, thus, as Prime Minister) by Tory MPs (who, in turn, had been elected by their electorates), holds her position because a Tory majority was elected by the British electorate, and, in the case of withdrawing from the EU, at least, is pursuing a policy endorsed by said electorate, and, of course, is limited by the need for future elections, is the same as unelected EU officials. There are certainly arguments for improving the British system, but a flawed democracy is still a democracy. A better comparison would have been to compare the Eurocrats with the unelected civil servants who wield too much power in the UK or the members of the Lords who, too frequently, ride roughshod over the desires of the electorate. Except, of course, those two groups mostly want to remain in the EU…
A number of bad analogues have been presented to show why ‘Brexit is bad’, such as wanting to keep playing at a golf club without paying the membership fees, ignoring the fact that said golf player would own one of the holes and have been subsidising the other members for years, while being subject to intrusions into their life far beyond the necessities of being a member. Even the attempts at jokes (Private Eye has, unexpectedly, been an offender here, although the latest issue has finally turned the tide with couple of genuinely amusing pieces) rely on such poor analogies, rendering them unfunny. Even the most-fervent Leaver could be made to laugh with well-aimed jokes targeting the in-fighting or lack of organisation amongst lead Leave campaign figures, but, as usual, the Remainers utterly miss the point.
The dregs of the EU debate continue to be depressing. Perhaps we’ll be lucky and the idiots will compromise those who plan to leave the UK if the UK leaves the EU and we can raise the level of debate…