The EU referendum result was not a triumph for democracy, so much as a symptom of large-scale manipulation. For all the discord and unrest it has unleashed, it may at least serve to enhance global awareness of how mind-control works.
The truth of what happened was that a minority group of politicians garnered support by offering us a rare opportunity to reclaim control of the nation from all those purportedly holding us back. Yet, the politicians’ offer was based on misinformation, designed primarily, it seems, to satisfy their personal ambitions and/or to control the nation themselves.
The strategy was no doubt to embolden nostalgic nationalists along with the generally disaffected, by professing to endorse their sovereignty, thereby overriding their willingness to engage critically with their liberators’ bogus prospectus. The message was music to the ears of many. Yet – as betrayed by the absence of any genuine plan – that is all it was.
The referendum vote was as unsafe as it was unrepresentative - it deserves as little respect as the architects who contrived it. “Regrexit” is testament to this. Yet, so too is the blind fervour of those who continue to cling to the untruths they invested in, while the country crashes around them.
Psychological coercion can appear in any number of contexts: cults, trafficking, radicalization, domestic servitude etc. Yet its two key components are invariably the same: a faux “liberator” whose audience possesses an overriding desire to believe his message. Perhaps the cruelest thing about this dynamic - and a fact we urgently need to wake up to – is the illusion it creates that victims willingly submit to their own exploitation.
The coerced will defend their manipulators until the illusion is shattered. And while we are still a free nation and a member of the EU, we can only hope this happens before the flames get too high.
Typically, deception is built on elements of truth. In this case, there are valid reasons for being critical of the EU and, arguably, our policies surrounding immigration. We must listen to the concerns of Leave voters, not vilify them.
Equally, however, we cannot afford - in any sense – to hold the nation to the “decision”, elicited by deception, of an unsafe majority. To do so would lend legitimacy to the fraudsters and further punish the defrauded.
Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the Euro Crisis in the Press blog nor of the London School of Economics.
Tom Gaisford is a barrister with particular experience in the fields of human rights, immigration and asylum law. He is a former alumnus of the LSE’s Human Rights MSc programme
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Will the Real Project Fear Please Stand Up?
Defenestrations: (Un)Framing the EU Referendum Debate, Part I
Thanks Roberto (long time – hope you’re well!) Whilst I share your concern, arguably it is equally/more hazardous to jump from the general to the particular: as you concede – impliedly at least – this was not the same as other votes & not a general election. This morning I received this article, which may further inform the discussion: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2095975-what-explains-brexit-trump-and-the-rise-of-the-far-right/#.V3tJFHptOUk.twitter See, for instance:
““Never before in history has so much deception been unmasked so quickly and with so little shame,” says Stephan Lewandowsky, a researcher on misinformation at Bristol University in the UK, in regards to the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU.”
I do not suggest we should ignore the vote, but that we address it (ideally together) & that proper parliamentary scrutiny is given to any constitutional change proposed. Notwithstanding last week’s result, understandably many Leave voters have changed their minds and control seems conspicuous in its absence.
“[…] the politicians’ offer was based on misinformation, designed primarily, it seems, to satisfy their personal ambitions and/or to control the nation themselves.”
That is, it shared a lot of basic similarities with all other votes.
So next time some people may want to disregard the result of a General Election.
Ignore the result of the EU referendum, and the price will be colossal. What is left of the political capital of UK institutions and parties will be destroyed. It will become clear that there is no peaceful way to change the trajectory of the country.
“We must listen to the concerns of Leave voters, not vilify them.”
Sorry, but you are not in control. Leave voters have the majority, they should have control. Maybe they will “listen” to the concerns of Remain voters.