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wonderpup

The Fatal Decision to Weaponise the EU Referendum

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Having voted to leave the EU I am-of course- happy with the way things turned out- but the frustration of remain voters is understandable from one point of view- the fact that the Referendum was such a blunt instrument in terms of the conditions it defined for failure or success.

There was no nuance in it's design, no conditionality in terms of the ratio of votes required to win or lose- in theory even a single majority vote to leave would have been sufficiant to call a win for leave- which is quite extraordinary.

So why did Cameron create such a crude device in an attempt to settle what was a rather complex question?

The reason-I believe- was strategic. In reality the Referendum was never meant to be a fair fight- the entire weight of the establishment was to be lined up against the leave side in a campaign that came to be called 'Project Fear'.

However, in order to be effective Project Fear required a Referendum that was as binary and apocalyptic as could be contrived- the choice presented to voters had to be as stark as possible in order to terrorise as many potential leave voters as possible into voting remain.

So the decision was made to weaponise the Referendum by making the choice it offered an extreme binary choice between remaining in the EU or suffering a financial apocalpse-with no 'shades of grey' in terms of the ratio of votes needed for success. This extreme binary structure was important because if a potential leave voter felt 'safe' in voting leave because he beleived his individual vote would carry little weight in the overall result such voters might be less afraid to vote leave-and this would weaken the impact of Project Fear.

In the event however this strategic choice to create the most frightening dichotomy between voteing to leave or remain backfired because- while close- the eventual vote was still too decisive in terms of margin for the result to be democratically challenged*. Had the referendum been structured to require a specific ratio of decisive votes rather than a crude majority of decisive votes the close result might have offered more wiggle room in favour of a subsequent revote once the conseqences of leaving were more clear, as some continue to argue even now.

From the perspective of those who favour remain two gross errors are obvious;

1) The decision to evoke the democratic principle in it's most mythically potent form- 'Let the people decide'.

2) The attempt to undercut this evoction by seeking to make the choice put before the people so binary and apocalyptic that the only 'rational' decison the people could make was to vote remain.

Alas for architects of this grand design 'the people' made the 'wrong' binary choice- they chose the economic apocalypse- for the very excallent but entirely unforseen reason that their decision was not based only economic considerations.

So the weapon they fashioned the Referndum into turned out to be a Boomerang that in due course smacked them the back of head while they stood wondering what the hell had gone so horribly wrong.

 

 

*It has of course been legally challenged- but as a democratic outcome in the terms that it was put before 'the people' the credentials of the Referendum are beyond dispute.

Edited by wonderpup

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I'm not sure you can read that much into it.  I think it's much simpler.

Cameron had to get the Tory eurosceptics off his back.  He was emboldened by the result of the Scottish referendum.

The polls were all showing 60-40 Remain.

So here was his chance to shut up the Tory eurosceptics for good.  The result we got was never going to happen.  I think it's as simple as that.

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I'm not sure you can read that much into it.  I think it's much simpler.

Cameron had to get the Tory eurosceptics off his back.  He was emboldened by the result of the Scottish referendum.

The polls were all showing 60-40 Remain.

So here was his chance to shut up the Tory eurosceptics for good.  The result we got was never going to happen.  I think it's as simple as that.

I may have my tin foil hat on too tight here- it's possible of course. But in retrospect to make the single most important vote this country has ever taken a simple majority vote seems an incredible gamble to take-what if the final vote had been only a few thousand majority to leave?

To make the bar to a successful leave vote that low seems madness unless there was a powerful strategic reason to take the risk.

 

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"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity,"

 

They all fcked up big time

 

And there is of course the question that has never been adequately answered by anyone, as to why was the word 'advisory' was very deliberately inserted in the referendum act - as it would have been easier to omit it and cause less confusion/argument. It truly puzzles me

I'm not hiding behind the advisory word - people on here should by now know my line of argument

Edited by knock out johnny

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22 minutes ago, kzb said:

I'm not sure you can read that much into it.  I think it's much simpler.

Cameron had to get the Tory eurosceptics off his back.  He was emboldened by the result of the Scottish referendum.

The polls were all showing 60-40 Remain.

So here was his chance to shut up the Tory eurosceptics for good.  The result we got was never going to happen.  I think it's as simple as that.

This.  He miscalculated and chose the worst possible time to hold the referendum.

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2 minutes ago, knock out johnny said:

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity,"

 

They all fcked up big time

Yep, and that includes the Leave camp.

The ongoing absence of any form of plan and Farage's concession early in the evening of the result demonstrates that nobody believed a Leave win would happen.

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23 minutes ago, kzb said:

I'm not sure you can read that much into it.  I think it's much simpler.

Cameron had to get the Tory eurosceptics off his back.  He was emboldened by the result of the Scottish referendum.

The polls were all showing 60-40 Remain.

So here was his chance to shut up the Tory eurosceptics for good.  The result we got was never going to happen.  I think it's as simple as that.

...the polls were run by the out of touch  'elites' ...Cameron the leader of the government an elite ..surrounded himself with the elite ...no truths here ....but if it had not been for the scare tactics...I had calculated 80:20 pareto to leave...Sunderland managed it and this site was near that prediction ratio ...2017 is the year the EU will pull itself apart and the remains will have nowhere to remain if they wish to migrate across the channel IMHO...a guid new year to come......:rolleyes:

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26 minutes ago, South Lorne said:

...the polls were run by the out of touch  'elites' ...Cameron the leader of the government an elite ..surrounded himself with the elite ...no truths here ....but if it had not been for the scare tactics...I had calculated 80:20 pareto to leave...Sunderland managed it and this site was near that prediction ratio ...2017 is the year the EU will pull itself apart and the remains will have nowhere to remain if they wish to migrate across the channel IMHO...a guid new year to come......:rolleyes:

Maybe that's the strategy all along - to drag article 50 invocation out long enough for the EU to disintegrate of it's own accord

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9 minutes ago, knock out johnny said:

Maybe that's the strategy all along - to drag article 50 invocation out long enough for the EU to disintegrate of it's own accord

..who knows...?...but don't tell anyone.....:rolleyes:

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And there is of course the question that has never been adequately answered by anyone, as to why was the word 'advisory' was very deliberately inserted in the referendum act - as it would have been easier to omit it and cause less confusion/argument. It truly puzzles me

Still wearing my tin foil hat I conclude it was inserted precisely to create a 'back door exit' away from any actual vote-should it be required.

The problem is that no one told the People that democracy in this instance had a back door- most are convinced that when you win a vote it actully changes something. So how do you go about explaining to them that the  'vote' they thought they had cast was a kind of practical joke and in fact legally changed nothing?

Not an easy sell given the decades of propaganda they have been exposed to regarding the moral superiority and inviolable sanctity of the Democratic process.

 

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16 minutes ago, knock out johnny said:

Maybe that's the strategy all along - to drag article 50 invocation out long enough for the EU to disintegrate of it's own accord

I have said all along that dragging Article 50 out as long a possible is "the plan" 

There is a dispensation in Article 50 for the submitting country to request a longer than 2 year negotiation period before invoking it, 

(this does not need to be ratified by all 27 member states just a request to the EU parliment)

The plan likely even invoke Article 50 in March as planned but with some drawn out negotiating period of 4 years or something blaming the Courts etc 

Notice the news leaks drip drip today re brexit hold ups and Labour now backing Article 50 

The sc*m betrayers have it all planned out. 

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53 minutes ago, South Lorne said:

...the polls were run by the out of touch  'elites' ...Cameron the leader of the government an elite ..surrounded himself with the elite ...no truths here ....but if it had not been for the scare tactics...I had calculated 80:20 pareto to leave...Sunderland managed it and this site was near that prediction ratio ...2017 is the year the EU will pull itself apart and the remains will have nowhere to remain if they wish to migrate across the channel IMHO...a guid new year to come......:rolleyes:

If it handnt been for the obviously staged killing of that woman MP by a right wing nutter, the result wouldnt have even been close. At that point I think leave had a 3 or 4 point lead in the opinion polls which would probably have translated to a 10% ish win at the ballot box.

 

Edited by goldbug9999

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56 minutes ago, thecrashingisles said:

This.  He miscalculated and chose the worst possible time to hold the referendum.

I think we're witnessing the decline of the ability of "the establishment" to control the narrative, largely thanks to the internet, this is especially true of the US election.

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12 minutes ago, workingpoor said:

I have said all along that dragging Article 50 out as long a possible is "the plan" 

There is a dispensation in Article 50 for the submitting country to request a longer than 2 year negotiation period before invoking it, 

(this does not need to be ratified by all 27 member states just a request to the EU parliment)

The plan likely even invoke Article 50 in March as planned but with some drawn out negotiating period of 4 years or something blaming the Courts etc 

Notice the news leaks drip drip today re brexit hold ups and Labour now backing Article 50 

The sc*m betrayers have it all planned out. 

I recall seeing 2022 quoted as the most likely leaving date in the early days. That would be consistent with what you're saying. I must admit to finding the Labour Party's pro-Article 50 conversion a little hard to swallow. Perhaps the Corbynistas know something we don't?

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5 minutes ago, goldbug9999 said:

I think we're witnessing the decline of the ability of "the establishment" to control the narrative, largely thanks to the internet, this is especially true of the US election.

..the establishment and mogul media are  loosing their their grip of the 'airwaves' ..through the democratic change of  social media run by the people for the people , everywhere....that is why the big guns like the BBC and SKY look puzzled and confused...they just don't get it......and think as elites, they should hold the power....:rolleyes:

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28 minutes ago, South Lorne said:

..the establishment and mogul media are  loosing their their grip of the 'airwaves' ..through the democratic change of  social media run by the people for the people , everywhere....that is why the big guns like the BBC and SKY look puzzled and confused...they just don't get it......and think as elites, they should hold the power....:rolleyes:

I agree and await proposed internet controls in an effort to 'regulate' harmful misinformation

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22 minutes ago, knock out johnny said:

I agree and await proposed internet controls in an effort to 'regulate' harmful misinformation

Big piece by BBC about 'fake' news articles (unauthorised) on facepalm & google. May have swung the US election etc. An opportunity to introduce vetting of posts methinks.

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2 minutes ago, interestrateripoff said:

And ran a campaign of moronic proportions.

In retrospect, Cameron's entire political career looks like a moronic folly rounded off by a self-inflicted calamity. The one and only thing history will remember him for.

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44 minutes ago, workingpoor said:

SJW ^^^^

I was agreeing with south Lorne and being  sarcastic, but unfortunately I bet they'll try it on

Continue  thinking i'm a sjw, simply because I don't agree with your Brexit stance - Tw@t

Edited by knock out johnny

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38 minutes ago, John The Pessimist said:

Big piece by BBC about 'fake' news articles (unauthorised) on facepalm & google. May have swung the US election etc. An opportunity to introduce vetting of posts methinks.

You can see where this is heading - maybe we'll all end up on the dark web - can they control that?

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1 hour ago, goldbug9999 said:

I think we're witnessing the decline of the ability of "the establishment" to control the narrative, largely thanks to the internet, this is especially true of the US election.

+1 and the thing about the democratisation of the media is that it has no narrative.

No "auntie" to guide you through the mass of information and news providing a convenient and coherent narrative. 

You're on your own. 

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1 hour ago, knock out johnny said:

I agree and await proposed internet controls in an effort to 'regulate' harmful misinformation

You need look no further than the NSPCC. They never stop demanding tighter controls on the internet. Of course they say it's because "will nobody think of he children", but there's a reason why NSPCC are the GCHQ official sponsored charity.

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3 hours ago, South Lorne said:

...2017 is the year the EU will pull itself apart and the remains will have nowhere to remain if they wish to migrate across the channel IMHO...a guid new year to come......:rolleyes:

Relatives abroad tell me that no one has the courage any longer to defend the EU against criticism. In fact its considered impolite, bad form, or as he put it no one would have dared say positive things about the nazi during the last war and that how it is now with the EU. Their take of the British that are in favour of the EU is that they are either stupid or naive.  

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