Let them eat cake
On the 23rd June 2016, the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were asked whether they wanted to leave or remain in the European Union. 52% voted to leave while 48% voted to remain.
On April 10th 2016, ten weeks before the vote, ICM published an opinion poll that gave a four-point lead for Leave (52% vs 48%), which turned out to be the correct result.
One explanation is that with several pollsters covering the referendum, one has to be right; after all, even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.
However, lets consider an alternative explanation, that the whole EU referendum campaign made absolutely no difference to public opinion at all.
Hundreds of millions of pounds spent by the campaigns, posters, Boris’ bus slogan, acres of newspaper columns, billions and trillions of tweets, all of it, didn’t manage to convince anyone of anything.
People are just not that into politics.
In other words, the day to day minutiae of events doesn’t really matter to the silent majority, they haven’t got the time or the inclination to care and why should they? It would be very conceited to say the people should look up and spend their time listening to their Lords and masters.
The print circulation of Britain’s main broadsheet newspapers has fallen so far they can barely scrape a million per day combined. What percentage of their remaining readers do more than browse the news before going straight to the crossword or the sport section?
Meanwhile, less than 200,000 people in the UK watch the BBC’s political programmes, but over 15 million people watch ‘The Great British Bake Off’ on the same network, which is a cake baking competition.
As I said on Twitter: Politics is important. However, cakes are 75 times more important.
In fact, I don’t want to ever live in a country where politics is more important than cake, it doesn’t sound like a very benevolent regime.