As Leave campaigners win more and more arguments across the nation, more and more people are getting scared into supporting the Remain vote.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but there is some logic explaining this social phenomena.
After all, who does not fear war and financial ruin? And conversely, is there anyone who is genuinely afraid of democratic unaccountability and political incompetence? The latter will seem abstract to most, whilst the former are things that would affect individuals. This is why the Leave campaign is focusing on the problems of immigration. Not only is immigration a very real and observable fact, an issue that is more presently felt than even the fears of recession/war. It is also arguably related to issues of wages and social conflict, the very fears that wrack hearts of voters
However, drawing on the issue of immigration is polarising public opinion. Arguing against immigration draws accusations of racism. But at the same time, in terms of EU politics, nothing seems to bother the hearts of this country more than this very issue.
Debaters on both sides like to pretend that they are arguing on reason, but most decisions are spurred by emotion. Emotions such as fear. There is no reasoning or arguing against emotion.
Much as I want to argue on the basis of reason, of principles and results, Brexit has descended into a war of passion and emotion. There is no telling where this is going to end up, but one thing is for certain – there isn’t going to be a happy ending.
I know that the most recent polls show a lead on the Leave side, but at the same time I am also very aware that the silent majority is what decides the final result.
Dare I hope? I dare not. If we win this referendum, it will be the first time I would ever cheer for a political result. But history has shown that politics always disappoints. That British voters will always choose the ‘safe’ option. It looks like the result will not be a brave venture into the world, but rather Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” – which is anything but brave.