Buried in a 19,800 word Spectator essay written by former online editor and Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings is an admission: The Brexit referendum was won by lying to the public.
The piece, found here, is well worth reading but also falls victim to classic “mansplaining” (explaining something in a condescending or patronizing way) of a complex issue with many words wasted on prose that most politicians would be proud of, working around the subject rather than delving in to the heart of it.
Of course, that’s for a very good reason, because at the heart of the vote to leave the European Union is an entanglement of lies and propagandist sensationalism that even the most brave souls wouldn’t dare admit to.
There is the admission that the NHS wouldn’t really take back our £350 million EU fee, and that immigration wouldn’t really be capped, and that standards of living wouldn’t really change if we left the EU. All of which are matters that the general public voted on, and all are incorrect.
And so to the damning paragraph that outs the Leave Campaign for what it was:
“Pundits and MPs kept saying ‘why isn’t Leave arguing about the economy and living standards’. They did not realise that for millions of people, £350m/NHS was about the economy and living standards – that’s why it was so effective. It was clearly the most effective argument not only with the crucial swing fifth but with almost every demographic. Even with UKIP voters it was level-pegging with immigration. Would we have won without immigration? No. Would we have won without £350m/NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests No. Would we have won by spending our time talking about trade and the Single Market? No way.”