I have always been of the general disposition that national referendums are not the most cunning of alleged cunning plans. Indeed, since the 2016 EU referendum I have become totally convinced that they are positively cataclysmic. On paper, our hard won democracy seems like an ideal system of government. When gaps however emerge between our toothless electoral governance and advances in cyber manipulation, democracy becomes a convenient method for disguising the mercenary whims of newspaper editors, tyrannical foreign despots, selfish billionaire lobbyists and extremist political strategists as the independent will of the people. In the absence of enough reliable evidence and undisputed facts in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum the Remain campaign ostensively settled for complacency whilst the more creative architects of the Vote Leave campaign were able to distort, cherry pick and even fabricate un-evidenced facts via a steady drumbeat of easily parroted mantras, misleading memes and brightly painted buses that chimed with the pre-existing beliefs and veiled prejudices of much of the populace.
Twenty eight months after the referendum more accurate analysis has become available, definitive facts have emerged and tragic scenarios have played out that clearly demonstrate that Brexit is bad for our economy, bad for the future of our younger generations, bad for “just in time” manufacturing, bad for the collective advancement of science, technology and medicine, bad for the staffing of the NHS, bad for trade, bad for logistics and catastrophic for the Northern Ireland peace process. A truly strong and stable government would not require a People’s Vote to reassess the situation we now find ourselves in. It would act decisively in the best interests of the country and its citizens rather than continue to trifle in its deeply flawed and universally unpopular Chequers plan. A plan that is plainly detrimental to our future but nonetheless crucially appeases the mere advisory will of a slim majority of people who on a particular day in June 2016, (following a misleading and ill-informed campaign that broke the rules of Electoral Commission), thought it might be a bit of fun to leave the EU. I am therefore at a loss to envisage another way out of this deep political predicament other than chucking another round of ill-conceived democracy at the problem and asking the people if the deal negotiated (assuming there is one), is still what they really want in the cold light of day.
I was reminded on Facebook the other day that we are all entitled to our own opinions. True enough. We are not however entitled to our own facts. The facts are, quite simply, the facts. It would be reassuring to imagine that our entitled opinions are based on these unequivocal facts. It is a sage and valiant person indeed who is able to reconsider and upgrade their opinions based on newly emerging facts. Human nature alas ensures that rather than suffer the embarrassment of conceding that our previous opinion is now out of synch with the newly available facts, we instead consciously or unconsciously un-objectively select or tinker with the facts to bend them into something that allows us to justify our original opinion. As such there is no guarantee that the results of a People’s Vote would accurately reflect the clear evidence now available. I am therefore forced to stoop to the same underhand tactics adopted by the Leave campaign and compile a set of Top Twat cards that will hopefully appeal to your ideology, reiterate tired and dodgy quotes and resort to poorly reasoned ad-hominem attacks in a desperate attempt to try and sway your opinion based on emotion rather than actuality. I will however endeavour to do my best to make my ad-hominem attacks as creative as I am able.
Incidentally the fifty-two cards I have devised and assembled below comprise a rather motley crew of suspects. if I were foolish enough to rely solely on the argument from authority to form my opinions it would be quite easy to browse the listed names below and, even without any knowledge or understanding of the issue in question, conclude that this is not a group whose membership I seek. Indeed, if I were to find myself on the same side of the argument as this bunch of reprobates, then I would want to seriously reconsider if I was actually on the right-side of the debate after all. If the likes of Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins, Donald Trump, David Icke and Jacob Rees Mogg are in favour of something, experience tells me to be immediately and deeply suspicious of it.
Feel free to copy and share as you see fit and even print them out and have a game or two on the train on the way to the next protest march. I would of course be extremely grateful if you could link back to this original posts and include my Twitter handle: @Crispian_Jago
Finally for those whose depraved childhood has left them unfamiliar with the rules of the game, here’s a link.
Caricatures created with iToon