Politicians on both sides of the Referendum have been ineffectual at getting their point across. Fortunately, your mates have stepped in with a dose of reality instead.
If you’re British in 2016, you know this isn’t any ordinary election. This is a confrontation between two options, and the battle for your vote isn’t confined to a few TV specials and your local politics nerds. Gone are the days when it was up to Party figureheads to argue their manifestos with each other for months until the public finally picked one (if they even bothered to vote – we all know someone in the “nothing ever changes” brigade).
This referendum’s being fought on every news feed, comments thread, vlog, pub session, train carriage and living room across the country. There are politicians arguing too, it’s true, but they can never quite connect, and their statements usually sound like “bad things will happen if you vote leave, don’t you dare!” and “bla bla undemocratic bla bla 350 million lie again bla bla take back control”
Laurence Taylor’s Metro Ad
— Joe English (@JoeEEnglish) June 22, 2016
Amid all the leaflets and counter-leaflets, the lies and the propaganda, one man set out to blast away the bullshit. Many of us have complained about the lack of facts in the debate, but all-around regular guy Laurence Taylor put his money where his mouth is and ran this full-page advert in the Metro just one day before the vote takes place. He doesn’t tell people which option to vote for, but urges us to do so “based on facts not fear :)”.
Nick Carter-Lando’s Mammoth Facebook Post
When “politics geek” Nick Carter-Lando made a long ass post about his vote in the Referendum, he had the same expectation as everybody else: his closest friends might skim it, give it a few likes and the world would move on. However, his measured, scientific approach to the topic earned him a huge following, with over 62,800 shares on Facebook and major media coverage.
#CatsAgainstBrexit and #CatsForBrexit
Sometimes even humans can’t get it right, and that’s when you send in the cats. Felines are the most powerful way to reach the hearts of others on the internet, and the EU Referendum was no exception. Started by a Remain supporter, the trend quickly caught on (although these cats seemed far more articulate than their lolcat cousins).
— Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) June 20, 2016
Leave fired back with their own cat-related hashtag, and a prominent Leave campaigner and MEP even enlisted the help of Grumpy Cat (or a lookalike? What are Grumpy Cat’s real motives here?)
John Oliver’s Brexit Segment
John Oliver isn’t really a “man of the people”; he’s a major media star with a current affairs show on HBO and millions of followers. The “Fuck the European Union” closing number to the tune of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was certainly refreshing, capturing the real British attitude at the heart of its relationship with the EU – we don’t even like Europe, but we do like complaining about it while reaping the benefits.
However, that’s not why it’s on the list. The show’s UK airing was taken out of its Monday time slot and postponed until after the vote by Murdoch-owned Sky Atlantic, but it was too late; thousands of ordinary people had already shared the video online, showing a casual disregard for region filters and electoral rules as only the internet can.
If you’re a Leaver reading this, you might be wondering why there aren’t more entries about witty, creative, inspiring or thoughtful things the Brexit campaign has done: we tried finding some in the interests of balance, but there just weren’t that many. Sorry. If you’ve seen any, let us know in the comments below!