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Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
I try to keep my LJ politics free, but I just want to put this here...
It may seem odd that there hasn't been more of a swing against Brexit, but here's why I think it hasn't happened...

I was listening to BBC Radio 4's Moneybox at lunchtime. (It's only the fact that it's on at lunchtime just before the repeat of the Friday evening comedy show that means we're listening at all, because it's not a programme I would seek out, but I do always keep half an ear on it while we're eating.) The presenter was talking to a woman who was campaigning on behalf of women who were taken unawares that the retirement age for women is now the same as for men. She was explaining how no one knew and they hadn't been able to prepare to keep on working past when they thought they'd have retired.

The presenter said gently that he'd known and a lot had been written about it at the time in the press when the law changed, and I mentally added, "And I knew. I knew in the late 90s and I remember looking at a government online calculator which would tell you how long you had to work."

But, the woman campaigner went on, "But that was only the broadsheets and the financial papers. Ordinary working women who were busy raising families didn't read them, so they didn't know."

And you know what, it's going to be the same with Brexit. I'm increasingly pessimistic about our chances of stopping it, but if it happens, there will be howls of outrage from people saying, "No one told us the price of food would double!" or "No one told us we'd have to pay for a visa for our holiday on the Costa Brava or that the price of flights would go up so much!" and "No one told us that we can't retire to Spain any more!" And we'll say, "It was in the press. We did tell you," but they'll be hurt and enraged and say, "Well, we never saw it!" it will be the fault of our crappy tabloids and a cowardly BBC.

Current Mood: sad sad

5 comments or Leave a comment
puddleshark From: puddleshark Date: October 28th, 2018 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've given up on the BBC entirely. I didn't used to watch a lot of television, but I did watch the BBC news. Until Brexit. I'm still furious about ALL the issues it failed to cover while giving air time to that ignorant fantasist Nigel Farrage.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: October 28th, 2018 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even now, while the Beeb is being forced to mention Brexit occasionally, they always have a cheery postscript from an ardent leaver. It is so dispiriting.
howlin_wolf_66 From: howlin_wolf_66 Date: October 28th, 2018 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
An awful lot of people just don't take responsibility for educating themselves. :-(
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: October 28th, 2018 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
We do have a rubbish press though. A few newspapers are reasonably reliable, but the Irish press has had much better coverage, based on facts. Our press, even the supposedly better newspapers seem more interested in the personalities and the political infighting in the political parties than in the very serious consequences Brexit will have for the ordinary people.

People should expect papers to give facts and write about the most important issues. Sadly a lot of our press don't do this, so while people should take responsibility, they are badly let down by our media.
eve_prime From: eve_prime Date: October 28th, 2018 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
In our information age, it seems that people usually want to learn what's going on in the world from media and public figures who have already digested the information into simple sound-bites. Combining that with polarization, we get the problem of people using who-said-it as a shorthand for whether the information is true. In the U.S., the media itself is almost fully polarized (in the public eye, that is - many media outlets still strive for non-bias, although some sadly do not, but they're all generally seen as being on one side or the other). So if pro-Brexit people only trust the pro-Brexit leaders to tell them the truth, they'll never hear about the likely consequences. If they do hear about the consequences, they'll be hearing it from its opponents and attribute it to "sour grapes" and not believe it.

That's basically why the Republican Party in the U.S. is so opposed to accepting and understanding global climate change. Most people learned about it from Al Gore, and he'd already been labelled as highly partisan, so Republicans could dismiss it out of hand. If Gore had had the foresight to partner with respected military and religious leaders from the outset, he could have undercut that dynamic and had more credibility.

If the BBC is still widely respected in the UK across the political spectrum, then shame on them for not using that power to educate the masses about the Brexit consequences.
5 comments or Leave a comment