By: Ben Ramanauskas (@BenRamanauskas)
The world awoke on Friday morning to the news that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. As someone who had campaigned and voted for Brexit, I was understandably thrilled. However, despite being pleased with the result, I knew that it would cause many in the country hurt, confusion, and anger. The scenes of throngs of ashen raced remain supporters highlighted this- not least of all because their immediate reaction was akin to pop;e’s responses in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
However, what the response has really revealed is just how out touch many of our politicians and media are- especially those on the left. Moreover, it has also demonstrated the snobbish elitism and intolerance of many who call themselves liberal.
For example, as the count began to reveal that leave might win, many Labour politicians offered their own interpretation of why so many people voted to leave. They smugly asserted that many from working class backgrounds had simply voted leave as a protest vote or to show their disdain for the Conservatives, or because they had been tricked by the leave campaign. Such remarks are the height of arrogance as they suggest that the working class are nothing more than slack-jawed troglodytes who are so motivated by contempt for the Tories an so ignorant and uneducated that they were unable to appreciate the consequences of their decision. As a result, they argue, there should be another referendum as the plebs have voted the wrong way. They must be re-educated so that they will learn to vote the correct way- failing that, their decision should be ignored because the middle class, well educated politicians and journalists know what’s best for the chavs.
Even more worrying than our out of touch politicians and the media, was the reaction of many young, so called liberal people. The level of vitriol from many remain supporters was truly shocking. Facebook and Twitter were full of shocked and angry people who would call themselves liberal and tolerant, branding leave supporters as elderly, selfish, and, uneducated bigots. The elderly, it was argued, had voted to leave and they were incredibly selfish to do so as they will not have to live with the consequences. Rather than entertaining the possibility that older people might possibly have drawn on their decades of life experience who had been told repeatedly by successive government that the EU was going to reform, they simply dismissed the older voters as nostalgic fools. There were even calls on social media that the elderly should have been banned from voting as they won’t have to live with the consequences as long. Of course, by that same warped and twisted logic, anyone over a certain age or suffering from a terminal illness should be unable to vote in a general election.
Furthermore, anyone who voted for leave must, in the minds of those unhappy with the result, have a severely low IQ. After all, why else would they ,ale a decision different from all those level, well read, educated people? Disturbingly, a social media post advocating for an intelligence test for those wishing to vote was incredibly popular. Howe else can the great unwashed be stopped from making the wrong decision?
The Brexiteer was also characterised as a xenophobic bigot. Why else would they not be on the side of all those tolerant, cultured, Guardian reading, metropolitan liberals? Surely such disgusting people should not be given a voice- the referendum result must be ignored.
Such thoughts and responses reveal that sneering snobbery and elitism of many of those who claim to be liberal and tolerant. It is breathtakingly arrogant to assume that those who disagree with you do so simply because they lack the ability to examine and analyse the evidence and arguments and then arrive at an informed decision.
Referendum Reveals Snobbery of Remainers Reviewed by Student Voices on 23:31 Rating: