Vince Cable was not ‘insulting 17.4 million voters’ when he said that nostalgia played a part in the referendum result; he was telling the truth, argues Sarah Thomas.
After years of peace and economic stability, the referendum took place at a time when the news was dominated by ISIS, Calais and austerity. No wonder some older voters chose to look back to less frightening and confusing times, no matter what the cost to their younger relatives.
No wonder too when the daily newspapers which are still read widely by older people pumped out relentless pro-Brexit propaganda. Some four million people read the Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Express or Star every day compared to the 1.3 people who read the Mirror, Times, Financial Times and Guardian.
The Brexiteer campaign to portray Sir Vince as some kind of reverse racist is built on misrepresentation. The much-quoted mention of a desire by Brexit voters to see ‘white faces’ was part of a section in which he said that ‘too many were driven by nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink’. As such, if you will forgive the pun, it is a red herring.
In the absence of real leadership on Brexit from Labour, Sir Vince is at least trying to lead. The faux outrage from Brexiteers which has greeted his speech shows how much they feel the need to discredit him.
Sarah Thomas, Staffordshire
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