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Weekly Edition - Published  18 April 2016

 

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It's not about Cameron v Boris

THIS is the most dangerous time the UK has faced in politics in living memory and sadly, the media is making this a personality contest. We need less sound bites and silly headline grabbing stunts and more facts. The booklet sent out by the Government making a strong case to stay in is a good idea, but this should have been accompanied by an objective statement of the case for leaving. Sadly, neither side is presenting their arguments clearly. Both sides are obfuscating the facts with unwanted drivel and scare stories not rooted in fact. Whether we stay or go, this affects not just the UK, but the world. Unfortunately, it seems that many people are not considering both sides of the argument and their implications. They are being whipped up by misleading information, from immigration to what we get and do not get from the EU. True debate is being overlooked and this could cost us all for generations to come, should we get this wrong. A Brexit could prove extremely bad, both long term and short term, but so too could staying in. Sadly, the Brexit campaign has become just a personality contest of late, with no facts to support their views being given out. On the other hand the 'Stay in the EU' camp are not being listened as they are putting out too much complex written information including mathematical formulae which are being regarded with great suspicion by many. Plus, the booklet is perhaps being perceived as purely Conservative government propaganda and frankly most of the media are anti the Conservative Government at the moment. This has led to an exit being seen as a way for the general public to bloody nose of the Government, as they do not see the EU doing anything for them, so why should they be bothered. Should the media be turning it into a Cameron v Boris, sound bite, campaign? Does the general public really know the full facts from both sides and do they care? Do people really understand how dangerous a wrong vote could? Sadly, only time will tell... But we need to look more at how we are reporting this in the media, Some sectors of the UK press are very myopic; some not taking full responsibility. However the dilemma is to present objective facts whilst holding a strong and very partial view. Have we still the time to accomplish the complex task of arming the public with the requite information necessary for an informed choice? It will be interesting to see what other people think. Are we getting our reporting wrong in the UK? With headlines like:- "Brexit Would Cost UK Families £4,300 A Year" and "Let us say knickers to the pessimists" making daily copy, online and offline, we are being told by our readers they are already fed up with it. Sadly, in the UK, we will have to expect some more bizarre scenes and headlines, as modern politics descends into more and more American style sound bite culture. This is in part also down to a generation who are being led to believe that short, quick to read nibs on blog websites, gossip columns and twitter posts are all you need to know. Often disillusioned they feel they can have little influence on conventional politics so are prone to making misleading and exaggerated claims on social media. To many in the media, it looks like we are being forced by PR groups on both sides to run this as a Cameron v Boris election and on the Out vote, to push the "kick Cameron" view. Oddly, when you do try to give facts, most people's minds seem to be made up by this strange and dangerous mindset already, leading too many just turning off and not taking notice. Well facts are boring aren't they, plus you have to take time to read during our already hectic lives! But is this culture of voting via facts gained from the spoon fed selections of click bait sound bites going to hurt us for generations to come? When it comes to putting the X on the paper, on 23 June 2016, in the referendum, it should not be about personalities, it should be about the facts, but how many will be looking at the facts concerning the complex issue of the future of the EU. So far only the pro-EU camps have given any hard facts. The eurosceptics so far have just been using anti Conservative Government feelings, plus lots of unsupported statements to dominate the headlines. This is the British version of the Donald Trump campaign, but at least in the US, if Donald Trump is voted in and they do not like him, he can be voted out next time round. This is definitely not an option for the UK and neither side has made this clear. What do you, our readers think? Do you think we are heading down a dangerous path? How have you made up your mind, or have you? Are you going to vote? Do you care? Please email your thoughts and views to:- News24@southportReporter.com and let us know.

Fact file...

Did you know that this referendum result is not legally binding? Technically MPs can still block an EU exit after the referendum, but it would be seen as political suicide to go against the will of the people. Plus if the people expressed a view to leave, in a referendum and we did not go, it could lead to unrest, equally if we vote to stay in and Parliament pulls us out, the same would be the case.

Did you know that should we vote to 'Leave' the EU, Parliament will still have to pass laws that would allow Britain to pull out of the 28 nation bloc? Interestingly 1 of those many laws that would have to repeal would be the infamous 1972 European Communities Act.

 

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