leave the EU (as it is)


or: in which the writer leaves the title as ambiguous as possible

i am angry, it is fair to say. perhaps you are too? i see a lot of angry people around, and some of them i am ideologically opposed to, like total 180-degrees opposed to, and we would never finish arguing with each other about what we believe to be true.

i’m not hoping to change your mind. well, i am deep down i suppose, but that’s not my purpose here. i’d like to tell you why i’m angry, because i think it might be interesting for you to know. i’m not angry at you for disagreeing with me; that’s actually something i’d like to talk to you about. but i would like to know this one thing:

why aren’t you angry at the people who lied to you?

let’s suppose that we know each other, you and i, and you find out that i have been lying to you. about something important, for the sake of this discussion. wouldn’t you feel hurt, angry? wouldn’t the fact of the lie, regardless of its intention, kind of piss you off? would it make you reassess other things i’d said? would it make you think that maybe i wasn’t the friend you thought i was?

i like to feel like i can make decisions based on facts. if i have the facts, i can decide what is best. i’d be very surprised if you didn’t feel the same about yourself. of course, not having all the relevant facts might be an issue, but really, if someone is desperate to control you having access to the truth, to the point they are knowingly misleading you, what does that say about their opinion of your intelligence?

why aren’t you angry?

look, there are asshats on both sides of this EU referendum. like, a lot. but i’m not talking about what side you’re on, and i don’t think you’re an idiot for thinking what you think. i want to know how you feel about the lies, and what that says about what the truth must be. and the great thing about facts is that they don’t care what you believe. you can check facts. no listen, you really can.

there was this article in the guardian which examined whether the Leave campaign lied – to you, to me, all of us – about the UK’s role in eurozone bailouts (we’re not giving all our money to the greeks), the EU contribution rebate (we get a pretty sweeeet deal from the EU), power of veto on EU stuff (yup, we can do that), and saving £8 billion for our dear old NHS (8 billion is so big and so hard to comprehend for us normals, it is easy to be bamboozled – the amount we would lose economically would be much, much bigger, and hurt the NHS more).

the message from this article – read the full thing for the actual numbers, there’s a good few – is fairly simple: the UK is clearly a net beneficiary of the EU. potentially to the tune of £3000 per household every year – which sounds freaking awesome!

maybe you don’t like the guardian though. that’s fair. some of their reporting is lousy, i know, but it’s kind of good that they do at least tell you where they got their information from. here’s an article from the mirror, telling us that this nonsense about halting immigration and saving the NHS is – well, i already said it. nonsense.

here’s an article from the spectator – which is in favour of Leaving – that says we ordinary folks are better off in the EU. which is weird, right? and yeah, i read it even though i knew i was going to emotionally disagree with it, because actually listening to people you disagree with is pretty critical if you want to be intelligent about anything. woo advice!

here’s the same article as that first guardian one, but from the telegraph, examining the ‘six lies’ from the Leave campaign. and though they are clearly desperate to support Leave, they do actually confirm that yes, you were lied to.

i don’t want to talk about your vote right now. maybe we’ll get to that, later.

you were lied to. aren’t you angry?



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