A reader claims that the media narrative on Brexit will not change even if it fails to be a success.
It isn’t a matter of wanting leaving the EU to be a success or not. Even if the process seems to be an objective failure it is likely the tabloid press will try to frame it otherwise to create a myth of success.
Politics is fertile ground for myth-making as it can seem to help people rationalise and understand difficult concepts. The tabloid press have created and promoted a variety of myths based on inaccurate or non-existent ‘facts’. This has been a key factor in framing the public opinion of the EU – for example the myth of lost sovereignty which ignores the sovereignty the UK gained (but failed to use effectively) over the EU itself.
One recent instructive example is the portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn as coward / chicken who didn’t want a general election. Corbyn has many faults but was extremely clear about wanting an election and it was only his lack of trust in Johnson that caused him to delay forcing an election. Despite clear evidence to the contrary the myth gained traction and even prompted other myths. The view that Jo Swinson foolishly forced an election that otherwise wouldn’t have happened only makes sense if you accept the Corbyn is a chicken myth.
A crucial part of making a pro-EU case in the future will be identifying and negating such myths.
Surely the point is that in terms of its economic cost and our standing in the world, Brexit is already a failure. If you jump off a cliff, you are not going to sprout wings and fly.
Matt Kelly’s idea in TNE #180 that having fallen off the cliff, we can “re-imagine the NHS to make it once again the best healthcare system in the world” is just dreaming. He omits to say that in order to do that, we need to arduously climb back up the cliff again.
This should not be derided as fighting yesterday’s battles, it is simply a need to reverse a gross miscarriage of justice. We need to re-join the EU, and the “enormously positive energy of our Remain movement”, to which he pays tribute, must not lose sight of that eventual goal.
John King, Stratford-upon-Avon
On Brexit Day a few of us brave souls from the group NE4EU travelled the 300 miles down from the north east and ventured into Parliament Square as we wanted our side to also be represented to the world’s press. As virtually the only Remainers there, we were photographed and filmed by everyone from the New York Times to India Today.
However, as the day went on, some of the Leavers acted in a truly disgusting manner towards us, pulling a female member’s top open and putting dog poo in her bra, punching our placards aggressively, all accompanied by the most vile verbal abuse (including racist) in an attempt to intimidate even though we were being dignified and peaceful. Police with horses had to restrain them at a candle-lit vigil at Europe House.
In a pub the following day, we were met with filthy looks for our pro-EU clothes and had a stink bomb thrown at us. Scary to think this is the ‘winning side’.
Louise Brown, Gateshead
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